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Jennifer Cares

Jennifer Cares

Bio

Jennifer Antkowiak's expertise in the caregiving field is authentic and inspiring. She is a busy mother of five, wife, award-winning TV news anchor and talk show host, author, and speaker. Jennifer knows how long-term illness affects a family. Her mother had post-partum depression and died of a heart attack at age 50. Jennifer feels blessed to have been a caregiver for her mother-in-law who died of cancer, and most recently, for her live-in father-in-law who died of cancer. Her real life experiences fuel her passionate mission to help the world's caregivers.
Through her work, she connects with caregivers to deliver help and hope. You can find out more about the Jennifer Cares mission and join Jennifer's free White Feather Club.

I’ll Take Time for Me: Resolutions for Caregivers

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Were you too overwhelmed, or did you make some New Year’s Resolutions this year? If you did, how are you doing so far with keeping them? If you didn’t, I have some suggestions! (We say we don’t like it, but […]

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Penguins and Daffodils

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

I love living in Pittsburgh, PA…love our champion sports teams! Tonight, the Pittsburgh Penguins are in the international spotlight, playing in the Winter Classic. Our Heinz Field, home of the Pittsrbugh Steelers, has been turned into a skating rink for […]

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Embrace the Positive Force of New Beginnings

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

“Your success and happiness lies in you.Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”                                                                  —Helen Keller    Happy New Year! I’ve always loved this holiday…so many possibilities…so much hopefor this fresh new […]

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Finish, and Start Strong!

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Just a short post for now–wanted to share a video clip with you.  I came across it while organizing some of my caregiver notes. With the daily challenges caregivers faces, sometimes it’s hard to believe we’ll ever be able to lift ourselves back […]

Holiday Celebrations, Minus One: Coping with Caregiver Grief

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

If you’ve lost or are caring for a critically ill loved one, you know that moving through the holidays just isn’t the same. Psychologists say it doesn’t seem to matter much if the person you were close with died ten days, or ten […]

End of Year Time for You

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

I have a tradition for this last week of the year that I’d like to share with you. This always feels like the perfect time to focus and reflect on what’s happened, and on what’s to come. To say our house is quiet […]

Caring Questions: Summertime Daydreams

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

The 4th of July has come and gone, the heat is on all around the country…sure signs that we are firmly into the summer season. Spending time during these sunny days with those we care for gives us a nice […]

Hope: New Beginnings

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Whether it’s a new job, a new relationship, or a new lifestyle (as brought about by caregiving)…change can be scary and overwhelming.  But, did you ever think about how change can bring hope?  It’s all in the way we choose […]

Hope: Be Your Own BFF

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Who can support you when you’re starting to feel like nobody else does?  YOU! Too many times, I see caregivers become very critical of themselves.  Self-doubt feeds on itself, and can easily lead to lack of confidence, low self-esteem, even […]

Video Friday: Summer Care Tips

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

As we move firmly into the lazy, hazy days of summer, there are some things we can be thinking about that will help to make our lives as caregivers a little easier. I shared some information and tips this week […]

Creating Hope: Retrain that Brain

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Here’s some good news to start your week:  research done at the University of Pennsylvania shows that people have the ability to train themselves to be happier no matter how they were raised or what is involved in their current […]

Video Friday: The Scoop on Sleep

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

I know from comments to past posts that the issue of sleep…being able to get enough good quality sleep…is important to many of you. That makes me very happy, because caregivers typically are lacking in the quality sleep department. Common sense […]

Caring Questions: Talk with Dad

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Coming off of Father’s Day weekend seems to be a perfect time to focus on creating a stronger bond with dad.  Think of how the role of “father” in familes has changed over the years.  The medical community talks a […]

Take Care Tip Tuesday: Drink Up!

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Feeling tired? Crampy? Cranky? Those are all common feelings among caregivers…but guess what?  They’re all common symptoms of dehydration! Other people who have been diagnosed with dehydration report feeling aches and pains (including chronic headache), constant stress, even depressed, and anxious.  […]

Hope and Sunshine

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

It’s the first day of summer! The summer solstice began at 7:28 am (EST).  History teaches us that this change can bring us much happy hope for the week ahead. Traditionally, the summer solstice signifies a time of celebration.  People felt […]

Caring Questions: Feelings

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Exposing your true feelings may be uncomfortable sometimes, but it’s worth it! Dig deep.  Think about your feelings and get them out.  Take a nice, deep, calmiing breath…be honest and gentle.  Sharing in this way will definitely help you to […]

Take Care Tip Tuesday: Good Mornin’ Sunshine!

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Boost your mood, get rid of slugishness, and decrease stress with a little dose of morning sunshine. The sleep hormone melatonin can trigger a daytime grogginess that leaves you feeling frustrated and less than productive. The good news is, research […]

Hope in Music

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

When you’re open to it, hope can come into your life anywhere, anytime.  When was the last time took some time to listen to and enjoy music? It can absolutely help to inspire you to create hope in your life! […]

Take Care Tip Tuesday: Quality Sleep

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Experiencing quality sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.  In fact, experts I’ve interviewed tell me we need to think about the elements of overall health and wellness in terms of a triangle with Nutrition, Exercise, and Sleep as […]

Hope from Sacrifice

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

As we all enjoy a “free” day from work and school to spend time with our families and friends, let’s take a moment to remember and be grateful for the sacrifice that brought us to where we are now. Memorial […]

Video Friday: Helpful Hobbies

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

How long has it been since you’ve done something just for you?  You know, something you really wanted to do…not something you had to do?  I’m willing to bet it’s been a while. In the midst of handling caregiver duties, […]

Caring Question: School Days

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

As the school year comes to an end, it’s a fun time to think about your own school days, and to find out more about how your loved ones experienced life at that time. Here are some caring questions that […]

Take Care Tip Tuesday: Balance Your Brain

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

End of school, graduations, confirmations, weddings…May is a busy month! If rolling extra things into your “regular life” has you feeling frazzled, here’s a ten minute tip that can help to bring balance and control back into your life: (This […]

Hope: Dare to Dream…a NEW Dream

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

The life of a caregiver is filled with emotional ups and downs, as well as complete changes of course! It’s a challenging, yet beautiful path to be on.  When life as you know it changes because of an accident, a […]

Wake Up to Hope

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

To create more hopeful feelings in our lives this week, let’s focus on taking a few minutes as soon as we wake up to set our frame of mind.  Before you even get out of bed, take a deep breath,  […]

Hope: Moms and Hope

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

We’re coming off a Mother’s Day weekend, and I hope that all of you moms had a wonderful time with family and friends.  Being someone who no longer has a mom here on earth, I’m passionate about making sure the […]

Video Friday: Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

A few months ago a woman contacted me asking if I would be willing to help with a charity event that would benefit caregivers.  “Of course!” I said.  Luanne O’Brien is a dance instructor who organizes a local version of Dancing […]

Caregiver Coaching: Mental Fitness

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

I was so happy to be honored recently with the 2010 Innovations Award for Prevention from Mental Health America for the work I do educating caregivers about how to care for themselves while they’re taking care of others.  May is Mental Health Awareness […]

Caring Question: Exploring Relationships

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

The people you spend time with have a big impact on how you move through life.  How well do you really know your loved ones? Making time to get to know each other (again) will help you to deepen your […]

Take Care Tip Tuesday: Fuel Up

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Not eating properly is one of the common fallouts from caregiving, and it’s also one of the big reasons family caregivers are becoming patients themselves. Way too many family caregivers have poor dietary habits. I’m sure you know that food […]

Strategy for Hope

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

We’ve talked before about how we all have the power to create hope in our lives.  With a goal of moving through life with a higher level of hope, this week instead of wishing—or hoping—to feel more hopeful, let’s create a […]

Caring Question: Things That Matter

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Wednesday’s Caring Questions posts are geared toward helping you break through barriers to meaningful communication—even if difficult times—and strengthening your bonds with those you love.  This week I’m offering you conversation starters that will get you talking about things that […]

Take Care Tip Tuesday: Take Yourself Off Hold

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Caregiving can be consuming. Putting your life goals on hold while you care for a loved one can be extremely frustrating. It’s important to get a grip (and then keep a firm grip) on your priorities.  Taking care of yourself needs […]

How Does Hope Feel?

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Don’t feel happy all the time? Afraid that means you don’t have much hope? “Discontent and disorder are signs of energy and hope, not of dispair.”                                                                     —English historian Dame Cicely Wedgwood Love this quote.  Let’s think about this for a […]

Video Friday: Men and Caregiving

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Statistics show, and I notice myself when I speak to caregiver groups, more and more men are becoming caregivers for loved ones. We know that men and women are wired differently, and that wiring means men cope with caregiving responsibilities […]

Caregiver Coaching: Move it or Lose it

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

When I was caring for my mother-in-law during her end-of-life journey with cancer, getting any kind of physical activity wasn’t even on my radar. Between the running from our house to theirs, working as a TV news anchor, breastfeeding a newborn daughter, and taking […]

Caring Questions: Strength from Above

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Caregiving situations can make us struggle to find a way to communicate with someone we love.  I’ve learned that when you’re able to push through awkward silence and connect with your loved one, the rewards are many. (You can read […]

Take Care Tip Tuesday: Get to Bed

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

The National Sleep Foundation reports that more than half of all adults in the United States experience sleep problems more than once a week. In fact, about 40-million people have diagnosed sleep disorders, and–get this–fewer than 3-percent of those people […]

Survivors of Hopelessness

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

I was so honored to share my experiences as a family caregiver, along with make life easier strategies for caregivers at an American Cancer Society Survivor’s Conference over the weekend. 350 or so cancer survivors and their caregivers were there.  Their faces…their […]

Manage Your Triggers with Faith

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

As we continue to move through our first year of “firsts” without my father-in-law, who died of cancer last summer, I find that I’ve become much more aware of “triggers”—little things that happen to happen that can turn very deep […]

Caregiver Coaching: Keeping Love Alive

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

As your Caregiver Coach here at Beliefnet.com, it is my passionate mission to reach out and help you and other volunteer family caregivers. Each Thursday, I’ll identify a major challenge caregivers face, and offer research, tips, and motivation to coach you through it.  […]

Caring Question: Maximize Your Minutes

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

For all of you who struggleto find just the right wordsfor those you care about:My hope is that you realizethat your presence, your smile,and your kind touch speak volumes. That’s the dedication I wrote for my book, Caring Questions:  Sensitive […]

Take Care Tip Tuesday: Settle Yourself Down

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Caregiving and stress go hand in hand.  Stress can have so much negative impact in the body and brain, it’s important for us to learn how to manage the stress in our lives so we can relax.  Hang onto that […]

Caring Question: Maximize Your Minutes

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

For all of you who struggleto find just the right wordsfor those you care about:My hope is that you realizethat your presence, your smile,and your kind touch speak volumes. That’s the dedication I wrote for my book, Caring Questions:  Sensitive […]

Dream Big or Go Home

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Hi and welcome to the first full week of our new Blog. I am thrilled to be working with Beliefnet.com to share inspirational, motivational messages that will help make life easier for caregivers. Every Monday, I’ll share a thought or idea […]

How to Create Internal, Eternal Hope

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Hope you had a great week! I’ve really enjoyed my first days with you here at Beliefnet.  Every Friday I’ll post a new video for you.  It might be an interview I do with an expert who can help us […]

Do Something You Love To Do (Simple Pleasures)

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

How long has it been since you’ve done anything for yourself?  I’m willing to bet it’s been way too long. I want to help you.  I know you may not feel you have time to spend on yourself because you […]

So Happy to Meet You!

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Hello, and welcome to our new Blog!  My name is Jennifer Antkowiak (pronounced ant-CO-vee-ack) and I am thrilled to be here at Beliefnet.com to bring you tips you can use to erase the guilt, and find the time you need to take care […]

Help for Caregivers: Maximize Your Minutes

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Available Now! Having a tough time finding the right words when caring for a sick or elderly relative? We can help! —Maximize your minutes with your loved one —Strengthen your relationships —Capture thoughts your family will treasure for lifetimes Caring […]

Finding Peace

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

In doing some research, I came across a study out of Duke University that was conducted with the purpose of trying to identify the qualities that best help us to acheive feelings of calm…comfort…peace of mind. While reading the findings, […]

Obesity and Cancer

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Weight gain and obesity is common among caregivers…part of the fallout from a demanding lifestyle, where people struggle to find the time to care for themselves. We all know that getting our weight under control is important for many reasons. […]

Caregivers and the ER

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Came across yet another study that should serve as a red flag for caregivers to make self-care a priority. Research shows caregivers of those who have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia are more like to visit the ER or to […]

Care Strong with a Little Exercise

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

When you were little, you didn’t worry about creating an exercise program to stay fit! When you weren’t in school, you woke up with the sunshine, ate breakfast, and then ran outside to play. You were doing what came naturally. […]

You Need a Take Care Tips Talk

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

We are busier than ever taking care of our responsibilities. All too often we let our own needs take a back seat. When we don’t take care of ourselves, we increase our risk of heart disease, depression, certain cancers, and […]

A Different Kind of Grief

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

When you care for someone who has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, caregiving and grieving happen at the same time. A study out of the University of Indianapolis shows that grieving starts during caregiving for caregivers of dementia patients […]

Exercise and Caregiving: Force It!

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Women in their 40’s – 60’s are the most inactive groups of adults in the United States! Recent research shows that only about nine percent of women in this age group get at least three 20-to-30-minute sessions of moderate exercise […]

Coming Soon! National Release

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

I’m thrilled to announce the national release of my new book for caregivers. It’s called Caring Questions and from my own experiences, I know using it will help you strengthen your relationships. I’ve tapped into my background as a news […]

Hello, again

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

It’s been a long time…way too long since I’ve last written. My last post was right before my final deadline to turn in a complete manuscript for Take Care Tips. I got everything in on time, the pros, my friends […]

Caregiving Issues from a Broadway Star

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

The other night I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I walked away from writing, and housework, and “go thorough stacks of paper night” to go to a show. Anthony Rapp chose Pittsburgh’s City Theater to launch […]

Online Support for Caregivers

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

When you’re going through a caregiving situation, it’s easy to feel isolated and alone. The truth is, of course you are not alone. More than 50-million people in the US are volunteer family caregivers. Many are going through the same […]

Good Night!

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Caregiving and sleep deprivation can go hand in hand. Our bodies desprately need sleep though, and it’s important to try to find ways to increase the length and better the quality of sleep. The Take Care Tips chapter on Sleep […]

Medical Advice

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Seems that everywhere I go lately I run into someone who has a caregiving story.We were out doing a TV shoot for a show on Health Care Careers that will air in September, and during some down time, Physician Assistant […]

A Caregiving Family

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

I got to meet some strong, beautiful people at the Camp Variety for Children recently. The summer program is part of Variety the Children’s Charity of Pittsburgh, which is the oldest children’s charity of southwestern Pennsylvania.What is now a global […]

A Beautiful Caregiving Beginning

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

I’d like you to meet someone: My new nephew, Owen Michael! He came into the world yesterday morning. My sister is now mom to two boys. It’s really been something to see her go from my little sister to mom. […]

Break Free

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

I had the pleasure of being reminded how nice it is to take a break from routine this past weekend. My family took care of the caregiver by taking me to visit friends who have a beautiful home at Deep […]

First Deadlines Down!

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

This week I had to stop everything for a little while; get out of my usual writing look (little-to-no makeup, hair in a ponytail on top of my head, big, gray, comfy t-shirt, khaki stretchy ankle pants) and clean myself […]

Progress

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Hello again!The real digging in with the final writing and editing process has clicked in for Take Care! It has really been incredible to work with not one, but TWO fantastic editors—a mother and daughter dynamic duo. The mom, Cathy, […]

Here We Go

posted by Jennifer Antkowiak

Hello and welcome to my Take Care Tips blog. My publisher (Paul at St. Lynn’s Press) tells me that each year, somewhere around 250,000 new books are vying for shelf space in book stores. Each of those book s has […]

Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Jennifer Cares page. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Inspiration Report Beyond Gorgeous Happy Reading!!! ...

posted 5:23:06pm Jun. 15, 2012 | read full post »

I'll Take Time for Me: Resolutions for Caregivers
Were you too overwhelmed, or did you make some New Year's Resolutions this year? If you did, how are you doing so far with keeping them? If you didn't, I have some suggestions! (We say we don't like it, but sometimes it is nice to be told ...

posted 6:44:45pm Jan. 10, 2011 | read full post »

Penguins and Daffodils
I love living in Pittsburgh, PA...love our champion sports teams! Tonight, the Pittsburgh Penguins are in the international spotlight, playing in the Winter Classic. Our Heinz Field, home of the Pittsrbugh Steelers, has been turned into a ...

posted 8:44:47pm Jan. 01, 2011 | read full post »

Embrace the Positive Force of New Beginnings
"Your success and happiness lies in you.Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against ...

posted 8:13:54pm Jan. 01, 2011 | read full post »

Finish, and Start Strong!
Just a short post for now--wanted to share a video clip with you.  I came across it while organizing some of my caregiver notes. With the daily challenges caregivers faces, sometimes it's hard to believe we'll ever be able to ...

posted 1:28:54pm Dec. 30, 2010 | read full post »

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