In honor of National Caregiver Month in November, the Social Health Network hosted a panel to hear community members Richard Faust, Auldyn Matthews and Frances McInerney talk about their experiences caring for loved ones. If you are a healthcare leader who has been a caregiver or are currently caring for a loved one, we encourage you to check out this panel.
Key points to remember
Advocacy is one of the most important aspects of the caregiver role. In this panel, panelists delve into topics related to self-care, drug and treatment advocacy for loved ones, research involved as a caregiver, and more. Auldyn and Frances add their unique perspectives on what it’s like to be a “young” caregiver and having to sacrifice certain aspects of your life to care for your loved one. Whether you are caring for a spouse, parent or loved one, these panelists address topics relevant to your journey.
About the panelists
In addition to being part of the ProstateCancer.net contributor team, Richard is also a site moderator. Her stepfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the spring of 2019.
Richard is a Senior Multisite Moderator for Health Union (the parent company of ProstateCancer.net) as well as an accomplished communications specialist, writer and researcher in the fields of health, science and technology and policy. He was introduced to Health Union by his wife, Kelly Mack, who has juvenile idiopathic arthritis and contributes to RheumatoidArthritis.net.
Auldyn is the carer for her husband, Keegan, who was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis in 2014. Auldyn has always known Keegan with pain, even when they started dating over 10 years ago. Over the years, they have navigated doctors, surgeries and treatments to define a new normal for their family.
After the birth of their daughter in 2018, Keegan was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in both hips from her AS and received double hip replacement surgery. Throughout her journey as a caregiver, Auldyn has researched AS, osteoarthritis in young patients, and pain management to support Keegan in her illness.
As the primary caregiver to her father, John, who was diagnosed early with Alzheimer’s disease in 2017, Frances works in tandem with her mother to deal with the ups and downs of this disease. During her experience living with and caring for her father, Frances was able to use her expertise as a speech therapist to facilitate verbal and non-verbal communication, promote interpersonal relationships, and support her independence with daily life skills.
Frances’ passion for advocating for people with neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, coupled with her extensive experience in speech and language intervention, brings a unique perspective to the panel.