Linda Abbit '76 didn't expect to become an expert in eldercare. In fact, she graduated from Adelphi with a B.S. in Elementary Education.
Linda Abbit ’76 didn’t expect to become an expert in eldercare. In fact, she graduated from Adelphi with a B.S. in Elementary Education. But age has a way of reaching us all, and by the time her parents passed away—her father at age 98 in 2005 and her mother at age 99 in 2009—she had experienced all the transitions that family caregivers face and found a new career path.
Her mother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. At first Abbit’s father was her mother’s primary caregiver. Her parents later moved from Florida to California to be near her, their only child, and she shifted from long-distance support to daily caregiving. Eventually, she helped her parents navigate the transition to assisted living, then to a residential care facility and eventually hospice.
“I started a blog to share what I was learning, mostly with my friends, so they wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel when their turn came,” she said. The blog became the website Tender Loving Eldercare, which in turn led to a book, The Conscious Caregiver: A Mindful Approach to Caring for Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself (Adams Media, 2017).
In addition to writing about eldercare, Abbit also works as the community outreach manager for the Mind & Memory Program at St. Joseph Health Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, California, which opened in February 2018. It is an intensive outpatient program for people who have early memory loss along with a psychiatric condition, which can range from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder.
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