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LMM Hosts: Finding Gratitude And Positive Meaning In Family Caregiving


Featuring Barry J. Jacobs, Psy. D. and Julia L. Mayer, Psy.D. 

Dr. Jacobs and Dr Mayer are the co-authors of the newly released AARP Meditations for Caregivers — Practical, Emotional and Spiritual Support for You and Your Family.

More than 43 million Americans are currently estimated to be serving in caregiving roles, and that number as well as the stresses that accompany it are expected to rapidly increase each year. Though caregiving is undoubtedly difficult, Dr. Barry Jacobs and Dr. Julia Mayer say that with the right mindsetthe role can not only be manageable, but deeply rewarding. 

According to a 2015 survey by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP, 38 percent of family caregivers report the experience as “highly stressful.” The overwhelming majority report some level of stress. Additionally, dementia-related caregiving has been shown to be linked with a 63 percent increase in mortality. Dr. Jacobs and Dr. Mayer say it doesn’t have to be this way. They will offer strategies to minimize caregiving’s strain while maximizing “gains.”

They will share their own stories and the stories of many featured in their new AARP Meditations for Caregivers, inspiring attendees in ways to reframe caregiving into a very positive experience of real personal growth, increased family closeness, and above all, greater meaning.

Dr. Jacobs is a clinical psychologist and the Director of Behavioral Sciences for the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in Springfield, Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers—Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent. Dr. Jacobs has given more than 400 presentations on family caregiving for caregivers and health professionals. He is the national spokesperson on caregiving for the American Heart Association and has served on the expert panel for the Caregiver Crisis Great Challenge for He has held adjunct faculty positions with the Temple University School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, and the Department of Psychology of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is a columnist on family caregiving topics for and Life Matters Media. Dr. Jacobs received his bachelor’s degree from Brown University and his doctorate in psychology from Hahnemann/Widener Universities. 

Dr. Mayer is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Media Pennsylvania, where she specializes in caregiving, women’s issues and other relationship concerns. She has held adjunct teaching positions at the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology of Widener University; she was also an instructor for the Master’s Program in Creative Arts Therapy at Hahnemann University. Her novel, A Fleeting State of Mind, was published in 2014. She has written previously with Dr. Jacobs for WebMD and HealthCentral. Dr. Mayer received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her doctorate in psychology from Widener University. 

Dr. Jacobs and Dr. Mayer have been married for more than 25 years, have two adult children and have both served numerous times as primary family caregivers. 

Wednesday, March 22
Baldwin Auditorium – Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center
303 E. Superior St. 
Program 6:30 p.m.
Ryan Atrium reception 7:45 p.m.