Recently Published Commentaries
Tribune Media Content (Syndication)
IT’S JUST LIFE April 20, 2022
As the intercom announced the end of visiting hours, I grabbed my coat, kissed my wife (without a mask – don’t tell Dr. Fauci), and headed towards the elevator. Hanging my head a bit, I sighed while recalling countless hours in hospitals during 35+ years as her caregiver – and through her more than 80 operations. A 1983 car accident left Gracie severely disabled and eventually cost her both legs, and most recently, a 9-hour surgery on her back. Briefly lost in reflection, I overheard a group of nurses laughing loudly. Turning to see the commotion, I discovered they put baby pictures of themselves on a wall, and their colleagues had to guess who belonged to which image.
To hear lively conversations and laughter seems a stark contrast to the difficulties of daily care those nurses undertake. Yet joy and even hilarity are not mutually exclusive to difficult times. Caring for those following complex operations is hard enough. However, medical care in the COVID world is brutal and isolating – and the laughter of nurses served as a welcome reverberation against the painful circumstances felt by patients and at least one weary caregiver. Just as I thought I’d spent all my optimism and humor, a group of laughing nurses lent me theirs.
Journey Into the Sunset , April 10 2022
Tribune Content Agency
Many families struggle with a loved one facing encroaching cognitive impairments — and the decision points serve as heartbreaking reminders of life’s fragility. More than simply taking the keys away, some families preside over a sad exit to iconic life. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Ronald Reagan shared his final thoughts about this subject when writing, “I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life.”
Recently, we learned of another world-renown figure leaving the stage due to cognitive challenges. Closing ranks around the dimming star of an extraordinary bright life, the touching letter of Bruce Willis’ family resonated deeply with so many. While the debate rages on whether “Die Hard” serves as a Christmas movie, millions agree that Bruce Willis defined action hero for generations. Not since Errol Flynn has a movie star paired more memorable action with such a mischievous flair and towering wit.
As Mr. Willis’ family struggles to care for someone with chronic challenges, they model the daily hard choices family caregivers make. Stories now quietly slip into the news of industry insiders who recognized the decline and increasing dangers on movie sets with Mr. Willis. The time had come, and the family formed ranks — united in care, concern, and most likely sadness.
Without the bright lights of Hollywood or politics, countless families face similar struggles with their loved ones. When are the reins surrendered – or when are they taken?
The Washington Times
The Currency of Rage
May 11, 2022
“While cheering on the cockfights, the loudest voices place bets and gloat while counting blood-stained winnings. War-profiteers throughout history learned that peace accords produce less financial gain than military actions. Those benefitting from conflict see little value in reconciliation.
True leaders recognize that healthiness and respect serve society better than hate. Those types of leaders are harder to hear but easier to identify. They extend hands without fists, laugh without mocking, smile without smirking, and their raised voices inspire rather than incite.
Savagery and civility cannot coexist, but disagreements and dignity can.”
Enabling Elected Officials Who Refuse To Retire
April 20, 2022
At a Washington DC reception years ago, a family member of mine witnessed the late Strom Thurmond (R-SC) happily pocketing Buffalo wings – leaving the sauce dripping from his suit jacket pocket. Aides quickly rushed to his side to steer him away from the buffet and clean up the mess. At the time, Senator Strom Thurmond was in his nineties, was President, Pro-tempore of the United States Senate – and fourth in line to the Presidency.
In 2010, Rep. Hank Johnson (D- GA) became a punchline when expressing his concern that overpopulation on the island of Guam would cause it to “…tip over and capsize.” While bizarre statements and actions by elected officials remain too lengthy to record, some behaviors can indicate a more significant problem. What about when an entire political party and agenda hangs on the tenure of an impaired government official? Who dims the spotlight?
The Aquila Report
AVOIDING THE GOD TALK
April 29, 2022
Even before the pandemic, the stress levels in our country soared to record highs. Since COVID-19, it seems we need new indicators to measure the off-the-chart angst, rancor, and overall unsettledness weighing on so many. More than ever, people need plain and unadorned speech—compassion without pretension and assurance rather than arguments.
See more from Peter Rosenberger at The Aquila Report
We Must Take Care of America’s Caregivers
“Outrage” – Our New Political Past Time
Peter is a trusted voice in the caregiving world offering powerful tips and strategies with a lot of empathy and humor. He is an informed, engaging host whose distinct perspective, formed over decades, is valued and appreciated.
“…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” Ecclesiastes 3:4
“Are your caregiving duties different as you now care for your wife, Gracie, with the COVID-19 virus?” A reporter asked me that in a video interview recently.
7 CAREGIVER LANDMINES and How You Can Avoid Them. Draws upon his vast experience as the self- proclaimed “Crash Test Dummy of Caregivers,” Peter identifies seven caregiver landmines that can wreak havoc in a caregiver’s life. Furthermore, these landmines can also affect the life of the caregiver’s vulnerable loved one.
This book releases in bookstores across the US in November 2018.
In HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER
Peter addresses the vast population of America’s 65 million caregivers. Now in its 5th printing, this powerful book continues to inspire and equip thousands of readers. Furthermore, Hope for the Caregiver also serves as a valuable resource for physicians, pastors, counselors, and support groups. In addition, Peter brings an astonishing understanding of health care issues. Adding to his a deep compassion for the heartache of caregiving, Peter’s outrageous humor brings the fresh air of laughter into the painful places faced by America’s exponentially growing number of caregivers.
Gracie: Standing With Hope
Chronicles a young woman awakening from a horrific car accident to a life filled with searing pain, enormous loss, and brutal challenges. Yet all of those things find themselves eclipsed by her indomitable spirit and desire to live a life of meaning. In addition, this book shares the story that launched Standing With Hope, the prosthetic limb outreach to Gracie’s fellow amputees. Written with her husband, Peter, this book also chronicles his journey as Gracie’s caregiver.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 3 "I's" that all caregivers face?
- Loss of Identity
- Loss of Independence
What is the "FOG of Caregivers"?
What do you not say to Caregivers?
Instead, offer specific help.
- I’m at the grocery story, can I bring you some milk?
- Can I pay to have your gutters cleaned?
- Can we sit with your loved one while you see your own doctor?
“YOUR CAREGIVER MINUTE”
Airs daily on 300+ stations. Here are samples:
Caregiver's Lost identity
Whats the "Delta Doctrine"?
Caregivers and Fear
Acceptance vs. Agreement
Following a horrific wreck in college that left her permanently disabled, Gracie (who also launched her musical journey as a young child) would go on to resume her studies as a vocal performance major at Belmont University, where she would meet her future husband, Peter. A pianist found his singer, and a vocalist found her accompanist. Gracie’s powerful voice took her to some of the biggest stages in the country, and she has performed for numerous dignitaries–including two US Presidents. Together, their music continues sustains the couple in the harsh and lonely places of disability, pain, and suffering. Supported by Peter’s lush chords and tender arrangements, Gracie’s passionate voice defies her broken body and soars into the heavens.