Michael Boylan is the founder of The Reach For Me Network, the first social media site created specifically for the parents and caregivers of children with special needs. He is the proud father of a son who has physical and cognitive challenges. He writes about his journey from life as a successful, Type A, married, globe-trotting business consultant to life as a Type B single father, homebody, and full-time caregiver, in his book, Reach For Me The Story of My Son Connor. Michael and Connor live in a suburb of Minneapolis.
Michael Boylan answers your questions below:
My 55-years-young sister has a 6-year-old granddaughter with special needs. She is caring for her mom with Alzheimers and her brother with uncontrolled diabetes. I’m very concerned about her caring for herself. Any suggestions?
YES––Get the book for her right away. I mean that sincerely, because as she reads it, she will see that she is not alone, but part of a community that is 35 MILLION parents caring for their special needs children. She will read story after story in the book that will make her smile, cry, feel embraced, and comforted.
She is on a journey with millions of other caregivers, and that that step-by-step process in the book is a road map that she can follow to handle the really tough stuff as it comes up, with more power, peace, and a process to cut the stress, the anxiety, the doubt, etc. It is an outstanding and heartfelt guidepost for caregivers to follow to help them in their daily routine.
Second, have her join www.ReachForMeNetwork.com for free, then she can download the Angel Child song and music video if she wishes for FREE. It will be a comfort to her. She can also click on the Reach For Me Book on the website, scroll down and listen to the caregiver video testimonials about the book to show her what other caregivers gained from the book. Hope this is helpful for her.
As a 55-year-old single parent of a 31-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy, my biggest fear is my health. Who will take care of her after I’m gone? Are there programs out there that will help with financial assistance for special needs kids and adults?
I am right there with you with your concern, as I am a 57-year-old single father of an 18-year-old son with special needs and have the same concerns you state. I am not aware of any direct organization that offers outright financial assistance for caregivers of special needs children like us, the 35 million of us out there, which is why we are building the Reach For Me Network.
The goal is to get one million of us signed up, so please spread the word. Once we have at least a million on the network, we will begin to negotiate deals with various companies such as life insurance, health care, drug companies, so that we SAVE OURSELVES LOTS OF MONEY VIA THE POWER OF LEVERAGE.
Secondly, I would look into some term life insurance that will cover your daughter when you are no longer able to care for her. Typically, caregivers should have 2-3 times the amount of life insurance to care for our special needs children upon our passing. I hope that this helps.
What can people do to help caretakers?
AGAIN ––Get the book to them right away. I mean that sincerely, because as they read it, they will see that they are not alone, but part of a community.
PHOTO: YouTube Screenshot