Caring for a sick loved one is always difficult, and with it often comes financial, legal and emotional distress. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. Author, advocate and non-profit founder Carolyn Brent knows these struggles all too well, which is why she has made it her life mission to help caregivers discover their own sense of personal strength in preparing for the future. Carolyn’s research and extensive collection of published works has made her a notable figure in her field.

The road to self-care

When Carolyn’s dad was diagnosed with dementia 1997, she put all her time and energy in to caregiving. She spent most of her days working to pay for his private care, while also battling personal health issues.

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Brent’s perseverance and deep love her father inspired her to keep moving forward and help other caregivers move forward as well.

“Many caregivers forget to live their own lives because they are so dedicated to helping their loved ones,” says Brent. “After gaining 20 pounds and suffering from a severe back issue, I realized I had to start taking care of myself and there is nothing wrong with that.”

Changing the rules

After being wrongfully accused of neglecting her father, Carolyn took to the California courts to make sure others did not have to go through the same hardships. In 2013, Brent began advocating for a bill that would make vexatious litigation a felony. She took it as a personal responsibility to fight against harmful legislation, inform other caregivers about existing laws, and teach them how to legally prepare for a loved ones departure.

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“Many people end up in a care giving situation that they are not prepared for. Over 60 percent have no legal documents in place, and this can be extremely problematic because of state laws,” says Carolyn. “This is why I have gone to Washington D.C to make sure caregivers are not being taken advantage of, and I am working tirelessly to get these harmful laws changed.”

Brent’s most impressive accomplishment has been her expansive body of work. Her best-selling #Book, “The Caregiver’s Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself,” is now in the Library of Congress and will be available in hardcover from Thorndike Press this November.

To learn more about Carolyn Brent and her mission, watch her in action on “Across All Ages” NTV/ABC every third Tuesday. #Congress #ABC