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AARP Caregiving Expert: Barry J. Jacobs

Barry J. Jacobs is a clinical psychologist, a family therapist and a member of AARP's Caregiving Advisory Panel.

His passion for enhancing support for family caregivers led him to write or cowrite dozens of articles and several books on the subject, including AARP Meditations for Caregivers: Practical, Emotional and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family and the forthcoming Love and Meaning at 50. He served as caregiver for his mother and stepfather, both of whom had dementia.

Jacobs has appeared as a caregiving expert on Dr. Phil and given more than 600 presentations for family caregivers, community groups, and medical and mental health professionals. His areas of expertise include behavioral health integration, complex care management, enhancing family caregiver engagement and supports, team-based care, and provider wellness.

A former magazine journalist, he helped put together the first edition of The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll.

Connect with Barry

  

Barry's Latest Columns

How Family Caregiving Can Alter Dreams and Goals Deferred

Post-caregiving life may be different than once imagined — in a good way

  

How Holiday Rituals Can Comfort Grieving Family Caregivers 

Create a personalized remembrance to honor a loved one who has passed

  

How Worried Caregivers Can Avoid Becoming Anxious

These strategies can help you observe and stop harmful behavior in its tracks

  

How to Manage Your Expectations as a Caregiver

Some caregiving challenges have no easy solutions, but there are different ways to approach the issues

  

How to Cope With Guilt When a Parent Enters Nursing Home

 Look at the big picture to help understand and ease conflicted emotions 

  

3 Caregiving Strategies for Dealing With Medical Uncertainty

Learn how to ease the anguish with these tactics

  

How Family Members Can Cope with Sudden Caregiving

Training and preparation for future medical issues can help caregivers regain some control

  

Caregivers Wonder: Why Does My Relative Suffer?

Ways to find acceptance and avoid the blame game

  

  

Why Family Caregivers Should Say “No”

Occasionally declining help can assist the care recipient in the long run

  

How to Forgive Others After Family Caregiving Ends

Looking at the past with new insight may help caregivers get over lingering hurt, anger

  

Why Caregivers Should Become Champions for Other Caregivers

Helping others navigate their caregiving journey can reduce stress and provide emotional benefits

  

Why Caregivers Should Confront Rather Than Avoid a Dementia Diagnosis

Don’t let fear of the unknown prevent you from taking the steps to help your loved one

  

How Caregiving Can Liberate Caregivers From Past Trauma

Learn ways to face the challenges with dignity and resilience

  

How Caregivers Can Counter Family Gaslighting

Recognize the intentional deception and learn ways to stop it

  

How to Handle ‘Hard Feelings’ After Caregiving Ends

Guilt and emotional withdrawal can make the grieving process even more difficult

  

How to Write ‘The Letter’ to Uncooperative Sibling Caregivers

Make a straightforward appeal for assistance with a loved one

  

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Caregivers to Consider

Positive intentions to embrace in the year ahead

  

‘When I’m 64’ — and Hope to Never Need a Caregiver

Steps everyone can take to remain independent as long as possible

  

Managing Aging Adults With Personality Disorders

Strategies include staying calm during outbursts and balancing loyalty with limits

  

What New Family Caregivers Really Need to Know

Regular exercise, respite breaks and connecting with others will help you in this challenging role

 

  

How Guilt-Ridden Caregivers Can Set Limits

To make long-term caregiving sustainable, consider some boundaries

  

More About Barry

Professional

  • Principal, Health Management Associates, Philadelphia
  • Former director of behavioral sciences, Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program

Education

  • Doctor of psychology, Widener University
  • Bachelor of arts, Brown University

Select books and publications

Awards

  • Don Bloch Award for lifetime achievement, Collaborative Family Healthcare Association, 2016
  • Widener University Graduate Award for Excellence in Professional Psychology, 2009

Select associations and memberships

  • Member, AARP Caregiving Advisory Panel
  • National spokesman, American Heart Association
  • Honorary board member, Well Spouse Association
  • Member, American Psychological Association, American Society on Aging, Collaborative Family Healthcare Association