68 - New York, NY
“Knowing that I can help someone avoid the isolation, depression, and burnout I faced while caring for my late mother drives me to do this work.
I truly believe in the Share The Care model - which is a lifesaver not only for the caregiver, and the care recipient, but also for the individual
group caregivers who want to help. It is my passion and life purpose to continue teaching this model not only for myself, but for Susan, Cappy and
all those loved ones we've all cared for and lost along the way.”
In 1995, Sheila's caregiving experiences led her to co-author Share The Care, a blueprint for replicating and maintaining the systems that her group pioneered in the late 1980s while caring for Susan, a mutual friend with terminal cancer. Sheila recognized how much more manageable and healthy it was to share the responsibilities with a group, rather than taking on all the responsibilities like she had with her mother. In 2002, when her close friend and co-author, Cappy, was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Sheila organized 33 of Cappy's friends to care for her until she died. Realizing the need to get their successful grassroots model to a wider audience, Sheila abandoned her advertising career in 2003 to launch ShareTheCaregiving, Inc. She had no start-up funds or nonprofit experience. Her passion, determination and belief in the life-changing model helped her transform the caregiving paradigm in 45 states and 8 countries.
Sheila recognizes the emerging caregiving crisis in this country. Our medical establishment is overwhelmed. Doctors have limited time, and health
insurance, medication and home healthcare costs are soaring. In addition, the number of trained healthcare workers is at an all-time low, requiring
focused attention on building and maintaining a diverse and qualified work force for the 21st century. It's a problem exacerbated by 77 million aging
Baby Boomers (a population due to double by 2030) and the shrinking number of younger generations who might serve as future caregivers.
Currently, 65 million people, 29 percent the US population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any
given year and they’re burning out fast. Sheila's work empowers ordinary people to "take charge" of their own caregiving needs by offering a
cost-effective, heartfelt plan on how we can support each other through difficult and sometimes tragic life circumstances. That's why Sheila is a 2011 Woman of Worth!