Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers! Thank you so much for joining us today as we get to know more about our honoree Aaron Blight, Ed.D., and his Mom’s Choice Award-winning book When Caregiving Calls: Guidance as You Care for a Parent, Spouse, or Aging Relative! Caring for a parent, spouse, or relative who cannot care for themselves due to age, infirmity, or illness is one of the noblest human activities. It’s also one of the most stressful, posing challenges that can be painful, confusing, frustrating, and deeply rewarding—sometimes all at once. When Caregiving Calls is an invitation to a deep conversation about caregiving and its meaning for you. This is a must-add to your library, as every one of us has or will face the task of caregiving at one point in our lives. Dr. Aaron Blight’s book is complete, informative, comforting, and rewarding, doing an outstanding job of understanding caregiving’s struggles while providing the wisdom to help them. Keep reading to find out more about Dr. Aaron Blight and his award-winning book, When Caregiving Calls: Guidance as You Care for a Parent!
MCA: Hi Dr. Blight, thank you so much for joining us today, and a huge congratulations on your Mom’s Choice Award! Can we first start the interview by having you tell us yourself?
Dr. Aaron Blight: I have lived in the Washington DC Metro Area for most of my adult life. My wife, Jessica, and I have four children, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren. My career path includes a series of leadership positions at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, ownership of a large home care company, and serving as a consultant to care organizations and those who support family caregivers (www.caregivingkinetics.com). I completed my doctoral degree at The George Washington University, my master’s degree at the University of Baltimore, and my bachelor’s degree at Brigham Young University. I enjoy exercise, music, cats, and ice cream (not necessarily in that order)!
MCA: You’ve had quite an accomplished career so far, that is wonderful! What led you to want to become a writer?
Dr. Aaron Blight: I had written federal regulations and scholarly research reports before publishing an accessible non-fiction book. I wrote When Caregiving Calls: Guidance as You Care for a Parent, Spouse, or Aging Relative because I know how much help family caregivers need. I suppose it was the caregivers who inspired me to write this book.
MCA: Can you elaborate on how exactly caregiving entered your life?
Dr. Aaron Blight: Family caregiving abruptly entered my life in 2000 when my mother-in-law got a brain tumor. Doctors said she had 6-9 months to live. She underwent brain surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy–and she miraculously lived five-and-a-half years after the original diagnosis. However, she experienced a steady cognitive decline for the rest of her life. My wife and I were members of the “sandwich generation” as we spent five-and-a-half years caring for her mother while also raising our young children.
MCA: That is truly amazing and so powerful. Why did you write your book, When Caregiving Calls: Guidance as You Care for a Parent, Spouse, or Aging Relative?
Dr. Aaron Blight: During the years we were enveloped in the day-to-day care of Mom, my wife and I had no sense of perspective on what was happening to our family. We faced one day at a time. Only through subsequent experiences working with families in similar caregiving situations, employing professional caregivers who know how to transition across care stages, and exposing myself to rich insights born from research did I come to truly understand the quiet strain and heroic service that caregiving exacts from individuals, families, organizations, and society. I wrote my book to offer hope, affirmation, and support to family caregivers, the unsung heroes of our long-term care delivery system.
MCA: Can you explain to us how your book assists family caregivers?
Dr. Aaron Blight: The book is organized into 18 concise chapters, each of which covers a topic inherent in family caregiving. At the conclusion of each chapter, there are questions for reflection designed to prompt the family caregiver to think deeply about the topic and apply it to their personal caregiving situation. The questions for reflection are a gateway to self-discovery because they enable the caregiver to consider things they may not have thought about before. The book thus becomes a learning tool for caregivers–one that can be used personally or in connection with caregiver support groups.
MCA: What does receiving a Mom’s Choice Award mean to you?
Dr. Aaron Blight: I specifically wrote When Caregiving Calls for families, and receiving the Mom’s Choice Award is supremely gratifying because it recognizes excellence in family-friendly products.
MCA: Well we are supremely glad to have you as part of our MCA family! If you could ensure readers of your book walk away with one main lesson, what would it be?
Dr. Aaron Blight: Family caregiving is hard, but you can grow into the caregiver role, and there are people and resources you can turn to for help.
MCA: Thank you for leaving us with that and for a lovely and insightful interview, Dr. Aaron Blight! We hope to get the chance to speak with you again soon.
You can learn more about Aaron Blight, Ed.D., and his award-winning book, When Caregiving Calls: Guidance as You Care for a Parent, Spouse, or Aging Relative, by visiting his MCA Shop pages.