Rob Harris: Giving Caregivers a Voice

Any one who meets Rob Harris is immediately drawn by his warm smile and genuineness. The logo on his golf shirt says it all; ”Rob Cares”. So what is this nice guy from Maryland doing at an Evidenced- Based Complementary and Alternative Cancer Therapies Conference?

This is where we learn of the journey Rob and his wife Cindy, a two-time cancer survivor, has traveled. It has become Rob’s personal goal to provide caregivers, patients, and members of the medical community support and helpful tips learned (some painfully) from his experiences as a caregiver.

Rob is the author of “We’re In This Together, A Caregiver’s Story” available through print and ebook from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other locations. Rob’s book has been met with positive reviews and reaffirmed the need for this information to be available especially to the aging baby boomer generation. The following information from AARP confirms that that while caregivers and care recipients continue to be predominately female (66%), they are approximately three years older now than their counterparts were five years ago. Among caregivers age 18 and older, the average age of today’s caregiver is 49, and the average age of today’s care recipient is 69.Caregivers say they have increased their use of supportive services, such as outside transportation and respite services. Although most caregivers say they experience little physical strain, emotional stress, or financial hardship as a result of being a caregiver, there are indications that caregiving is becoming more emotionally stressful for some and that some are experiencing more financial hardship fulfilling this role than five years ago (AARP, 2012).

This past year has been a busy one with Rob has started co-hosting a radio show on Blog Talk Radio with Maryann Makekau entitled “Because Hope Matters”. The show provides education and information for families faced with a cancer diagnosis, Alzheimer’s, deployment and more. Rob has also compiled more tips for caregivers so we will look forward to another book soon along with a “caregiver support kit” he is working on.

What a privilege to sit and speak with Rob, hear the unvarnished truth about the challenges caregivers face. Thanks Rob for truly giving a voice to the caregivers!

www.Robcares.com

Marie Borsellino RN BSN OCN

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