Support for Spousal Caregivers

Honorary Board

WSA's Honorary Board members promote the agenda and activities of the Well Spouse Association and its members. 

 

Joni Aldrich

After Joni James Aldrich's husband died of cancer in 2006, she used her long business experience in multi-million-dollar organizations to create her own company and to offer practical advice to patients, their families, caregivers and friends during a life crisis such as a cancer diagnosis, a caregiving challenge (such as caring for a brain illness patient), or even surviving the grief process. Joni is an author, speaker, W4CS Radio Network Co-Owner, show host, and syndicated columnist. She was first elected to WSA’s honorary board in 2012.

 

Gary Barg

Gary Barg is CEO/Editor-in-Chief of Today’s Caregiver magazine. Gary has dedicated the last 22 years of his life to being the caregiver of caregivers. In 1995, Gary moved from Atlanta, GA back home to Miami, FL to help his mother care for his grandparents. He was overwhelmed by nursing home, insurance, and state brochures, all of which lacked proper direction. Gary realized there needed to be a single source of information, advice, and support for caregivers. In 1995, he established Today’s Caregiver magazine to be that source. In addition to the magazine, Caregiver.com was launched on the Internet in 1995. He also began hosting a series of conferences around the nation called Fearless Caregiver Conferences. He also introduced free online newsletters from Caregiver.com to provide caregivers with support. He was first elected to WSA’s Honorary Board in 2011. 

 

Teena Cahill, Psy.D.

"Resilient," "passionate," "inspiring," and "fun" are words often used to characterize Teena Cahill, Psy.D., respected expert, educator, speaker, humorist, and author. Dr. Cahill brings a uniquely empowering perspective to topics of leadership, health & wellness, productivity, contribution, and success. Her insight and expertise stem from ideas based in evidence-based research in cognitive behavioral psychology, positive psychology, leadership and the new science of wellness, plus hands-on experience in all parts of life. A spousal caregiver and well spouse herself, Dr. Cahill is the author of The Cahill Factor: Turning Adversity into Advantage. More about her work is available at teenacahill.com. She was first elected to WSA’s Honorary Board in 2011.

 

Viki Kind, M.A.

Viki Kind is a clinical bioethicist, professional speaker and hospice volunteer.  Her award-winning book, The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making:  Making Choices for Those Who Can’t, guides families, conservators and other professionals through the difficult process of making decisions for those who have lost capacity. Her newly released book, The Caregiver’s Path:  Resource Workbook, Conversation Guide and Visual Toolkit, provides uniquely designed communication tools for managing challenging conversations such as evaluating danger and risk, managing guilt and denial, end-of-life decisions, and helping the family know when it is time to create a new care plan. Viki spends much of her time speaking at conferences out in the community teaching patients and family caregivers how to make better decisions regarding their health, life and end-of-life. She also lectures across the United States teaching professionals to have integrity, compassion and to improve care through better communication and ethical frameworks. Her recent experience as an expert witness for a court case where an advance healthcare directive failed has inspired her to create a set of tools to increase advance directive success by making them personalized and meaningful instead of generic. Viki provides bioethics consultation and support for many hospitals in the Los Angeles area.  She also provides private consultations for individuals who are struggling to make difficult decisions.  She holds a master’s degree in bioethics from the Medical College of Wisconsin and a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from California State University at Northridge.  She has specialized training in mediation and cultural negotiation from Pepperdine University and UCLA.  She has also been a caregiver for many years for six members of her family. Viki was first elected to WSA’s Honorary Board in 2011.  

 

Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D.

Barry Jacobs is a clinical psychologist, a family therapist and a member of AARP's Caregiving Advisory Panel. He is also a former magazine journalist. His passion for enhancing support for family caregivers led him to write or cowrite dozens of articles and several books on the subject, including The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers: Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent, AARP Meditations for Caregivers: Practical, Emotional and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family, and Love and Meaning after 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. He was first elected to WSA’s Honorary Board in 2011. 

 

Dr. Zachary White

Zachary White is a Professor of Communication who researches and writes about the caregiver experience. He received his Ph.D. in communication from Purdue University. His academic research and teaching focus on how people manage meaning and communicate their experiences amidst high levels of ambiguity.  He has published and presented academic research addressing health communication as encountered by medical providers, informal caregivers, family members, and organizational employees. He and Donna Thomson wrote The Unexpected Journey of Caring: The Transformation From Loved One to Caregiver. He teaches university courses at the graduate and undergraduate level addressing topics including provider-patient communication, health and illness narratives, digital health literacy, interpersonal communication and relationship development on and offline, online social support and disclosure, the management of health-related disclosures in the workplace, and sense making amidst life transitions. His work can be found at theunpreparedcaregiver.com. He was first elected to WSA’s Honorary Board in 2016. 

 

Aaron Blight, Ed.D.

Aaron Blight is an international speaker and consultant on caregiving, aging, and healthcare. He is the Founder of Caregiving Kinetics and has been recognized as a “Top 100 Healthcare Leader” by the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare. He attends caregiver support groups to facilitate discussions related to his book, When Caregiving Calls: Guidance as You Care for a Parent, Spouse, or Aging Relative. Aaron’s passion for supporting caregivers is rooted in his personal experience as a family caregiver; his professional work as the owner of a large home care company and as a leader at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and his study of caregiving as a phenomenon of social science. Aaron serves as an Adjunct Professor at Shenandoah University, an honorary board member of the Well Spouse Association, and an advisory board member of the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree from the University of Baltimore, and a doctorate degree from The George Washington University. Aaron was first elected to WSA's Honorary Board in 2020.

 

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