WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP, one of the world's largest member organizations with over 40 million members and the leading organization for people 50+, today announced that renown journalist and an emerging voice on caregiving issues, Gail Sheehy, has been named Ambassador of Caregiving for the organization. In this new role Sheehy will provide information to guide members through the emotional and practical sides of the caregiver role. With more than 44 million Americans providing care for a loved one, AARP has identified the need for assistance and made caregiving a focal point for its members.
"Gail's expertise and emotional compassion on the issue of caregiving makes her the ideal voice to speak to our members," said Emilio Pardo, Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer, AARP. "We were impressed and touched by Gail's personal story of being a caregiver and we are thrilled to be able to connect her "in real time" with our members through an interactive experience."
As Ambassador of Caregiving, Sheehy will communicate with millions of AARP members and others through a multi-faceted platform including interactive webcasts for AARP's caregiving Web site (http://www.aarp.org/caregiving). Her personal blog on the topic will provide members with a community of ideas, practical solutions, and highlight the incredible resources available to caregivers. As the Ambassador of Caregiving, Sheehy will be traveling around the country to film the personal stories of families in different phases of the caregiving journey as well as interviewing experts who hold the key to the best resources. The webcasts will go live in January, 2009.
The AARP relationship with Ms. Sheehy will also break new ground in publishing. She will draft her next book--about the journey of caregiving--on the AARP Web site, inviting her readers to comment, online, and amplify the stories of the caregivers they will see and hear. The book, to be published in 2009 by Harper Collins, will be the emotional and instructive outcome of countless interactions Ms. Sheehy will have with the online community.
"None of us is prepared for the role of caregiving and many of us find ourselves thrust into the role with nowhere to turn and a sense of helplessness and fear that only add to the stress," said Sheehy. "Through the power of the AARP community, I can share my own personal passage as a caregiver and that of the thousands of people I have met along the way with the many millions who feel alone and without direction. To be able to do this in real time on the Web and to then to incorporate the best of these "real time" stories in my book offers me a unique opportunity, and I am grateful to AARP for their vision and dedication to this issue touching so many Americans."
Described as America's "emotional tour guide," Ms. Sheehy has published 15 books and her 1976 book Passages was named by The Library of Congress as one of the ten most influential books of our time. Passages has been printed in 28 languages and remained on The New York Times Bestseller list for more than three years. In 2006, Random House rereleased Passages in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of its first printing. Other best sellers include The Silent Passage, New Passages, and Hillary's Choice.
She is also a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and to Parade since 1984. Her articles have won her numerous journalistic awards.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 34.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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