There are only four kinds of people in the world – Those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers. – Rosalynn Carter
The evening of September 24th, 14 women gathered in Mission Valley to bring a cherished concept to life. Anne Tumlinson, Karen Van Dyke and Christine Davies invited San Diego women, daughters and caregivers to launch the first ‘real-life’ chapter of Daughterhood.org. While Daughterhood.org is Anne’s creation, Karen and Christine had been working on a similar concept for months. When a mutual connection brought all three together, and they realized that they had the same great idea, Daughterhood San Diego was born.
Daughterhood.org is the brainchild of Anne Tumlinson, a Washington D.C.-based author, consultant and aging expert. Her experience with aging in the public, private and personal sectors inspired her to create a resource to help families care for loved ones that is available nationally. As Anne says on the Meet Anne page of her website,
“I have spent my entire career — the last twenty-three years — working to improve how America pays for and delivers care to its oldest and frailest adults. I have worked in government, done policy-wonk research, and consulted to hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living providers and home care companies. I continue to work with leading foundations, providers and thinkers in this field. Also, over this time, I have written A LOT of policy and research papers and have given speeches and trainings to businesses about how to improve how they deliver health and aging services. …I’ve testified before federal commissions and Congress. Despite all of this fevered dedication and typical Washington, DC type-A activity, I have had a series of humbling experiences as friends and family have started coming to me for advice about their aging parent’s care. My knowledge of the system didn’t prepare me for or teach me how seriously families are suffering as a result of the real-life, day-to-day chaos in our health and elder care systems. It was a shock to me just how little support people receive.”
Meanwhile, on the West Coast, Karen Van Dyke, Founder of Senior Care By Design, and Christine Davies, Founder and Director of Casa Companion Homecare Solutions, were thinking along the same lines. As Christine says:
“About a year ago, Karen and I were in the process of getting something started for women in San Diego that had the same intention and purpose of Daughterhood, but we were going to call it by a different name. As professionals in the senior care industry, we were encountering questions and issues that we knew were universal to women who are caring for loved ones. We wanted to create a forum that would allow these women to discuss, share, and get answers, and find the support they needed. Caregiving tends to be a very isolating job, and we wanted to connect and collaborate to make the experience better.”
The spirit of daughterhood resonates personally for both Karen and Christine, and professionally, they both work with people of both genders every day who are in the thick of daughterhood. The daughterhood experience of caring for loved ones isn’t limited to women, of course, but the statistics show that more than 60% of caregivers are female. As Christine and Karen were planning the launch of their group in San Diego, Karen made a connection at the Washington, DC location of Hera Hub, a women’s co-working space. Karen is a member of Hera Hub here in San Diego, and her DC connection introduced her to Anne Tumlinson. Anne already had plans to travel to San Diego for a conference, giving her the opportunity to meet with Christine and Karen. Christine continues,
“The three of us met, and we told Anne that we were planning on starting this group for female caregivers. As Daughterhood’s mission was similar to what we wanted to do locally with our group in San Diego, we decided to partner up with Anne and offered to help her expand Daughterhood.org’s mission and business. We decided to rebrand and rename our initial efforts for the group we were planning, and decided to launch Daughterhood San Diego instead. After our first meeting on September 24th, Karen and I became the very first in the country to launch a Daughterhood group.”
Anne believes that “the connection with Christine and Karen was just one of those incredible coincidences — they are leaders looking to bring something special to women who are in a caregiving role and I was creating Daughterhood for that purpose, and we found each other through Hera Hub connections all the way across the country!!”
Next week, Part II of Daughterhood Launches In San Diego will go inside the very first Daughterhood San Diego meeting, and outline the leaders’ plans for the future of daughterhood and caregiver support, encouragement and advocacy in San Diego.