We lost local marketing legend, Earl Harvey, on Monday night. Publisher of Black Professionals News and the Atlantic City Times. Harvey died from a heart attack. He was just 65 years old.
Earl was a champion in supporting the Black-owned business community.
Dude was smooth. I always teased Earl about how he looks like Billy Dee Williams. Dapper, big smile. snappy dresser with a charming manner.
Harvey covered the Philadelphia & Atlantic City regions. He taught Black-owned business how to survive the state mandated lock-downs.
His list of business accomplishments is long. But Earl Harvey was more than just a publishing and marketing entrepreneur. Earl had one of the toughest, yet most rewarding jobs of all. He was a caregiver to his mother suffering from dementia.
Read this article By Hilary Appelman
More Men Embrace Role of Caregivers.
Earl Harvey moved into his 86-year-old mother’s Atlantic City home five years ago to help get her medical and financial situations in order.
He knew that while his mother, who has dementia, did not need to be institutionalized, she couldn’t live alone. So Harvey, 62, a Philadelphia-based publisher who works from home, and whose three children are grown, became her full-time caregiver.
“When my father died, he told me, ‘Take care of your mother,’ ” Harvey said. “I’m an only child, so my mother is my responsibility.”
Harvey is one of a growing number of men caring for family members. A 2015 national survey conducted by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving found that 40 percent of family caregivers of adults were men. More than half of those 16 million men were the primary caregiver.
Louis Colbert, who has run a support group for caregivers at Philadelphia’s Pinn Memorial Baptist Church for the past 12 years, said seven of the group’s roughly 30 members are men.
“One man with five kids told me he never changed a diaper until he had to change his wife’s diaper,” said Colbert, who is vice president of operations at the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, the largest of the state’s 52 Area Agencies on Aging. Along with his siblings, he took care of his mother until her death, three years ago.
Colbert has observed that caregivers tend to join the support group when “they’re stressed out and don’t know what to do, where to turn.”
Some issues are difficult. Harvey recalled helping his mother with personal tasks like bathing and grooming.
“The first time I bathed my mom, she said, ‘You’re not bathing me!’ ” he said, laughing. “I said, ‘I don’t want to do it, either!’ After a while you get used to it and just do it.”
Barry J. Jacobs, a clinical psychologist with Crozer-Keystone Health System in Springfield and author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers, said men are less likely to seek support, either in person or online. They may feel they are letting their loved one down by asking for help.
Jacobs said he tells caregivers, “Let’s figure out a way to do this in a smart and strategic way so you can do this as long as you can.”
The 2015 survey found that many male caregivers want more training in medical and nursing tasks, such as injections or wound care.
To find a local support group, caregivers can go to eldercare.gov and enter their zip code. AARP’s caregiving site ( aarp.org/caregivers) has information and resources, as does aarp.org/pa. Videos featuring male caregivers, including the support group in Philadelphia, can be found at aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/info-2017/celebrate-male-caregivers-studios.
The need for caregivers is enormous and growing, Jacobs said. “We need everyone stepping up, and that has to include men.”
Hilary Appelman is a writer living in State College, Pa.