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Tended: The Creative Work of Dementia Caregiving

An illustration featuring two people in a kitchen. The person on the left is younger with curly dark hair and medium-tone skin. She's wearing a striped tank top and blue pants and is smiling and dancing while facing the person on the right, who is older with medium-tone skin and shorter gray hair. The person on the right is wearing a long-sleeved green shirt and striped pants and is smiling and facing the person on the left with her two hands up in the air as though she's dancing. In the foreground of the illustration is a plate with a piece of bread on it with purple jelly partially spread on it. The words "Embodied Tended" are in the lower right hand corner of the illustration.
Charnel Hunter

More than 11 million Americans are unpaid caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. That equates to billions of hours of deeply emotional work, most of which is taken on by friends and family. In honor of Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month, host Anita Rao meets two caregivers to discuss the joys and challenges of caring for a loved one with dementia.

Jacquelyn Revere was 29 when she landed her dream job as a TV writer. Her career was on the rise when she received an urgent call from a family friend: “Come home, something is wrong with your mother and grandmother.” This call began Jacquelyn’s multi-year caregiving journey.

Jacquelyn tells Anita how she supported her mom and grandmother through different stages of Alzheimer's disease. She also shares how her viral TikTok page, “Mom of My Mom,” connected her with fellow caregivers from all around the world.

Anita also talks to Kanu C. “KC” Mehta, an engineer, about his experience care-partnering for his wife of 50 years, Sumi. KC shares how he used data and science to creatively anticipate Sumi’s needs and how self-care is an essential asset to any care-partner.

A huge thank you to Dr. Gerald Lazarus, Patti LaFleur, Kris McCabe and Alma Valencia for their heartfelt contributions to this episode.

The poem that KC reads at the end of the episode is "Do Not Ask Me to Remember" by Owen Darnell.

Read the transcript

Paige Miranda is a producer for "Embodied". Previously, she served as WUNC’s 2023 AAAS Mass Media Fellow.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.
Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.