Queen Latifah’s Role as Family Caregiver

By Stacy Lee, 9:00 am on
Ways Queen Latifah Manages Her Caregiving Duties in Burlington, VT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims 83 percent of the caregivers in the United States are unpaid family members caring for a loved one. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional non-medical in-home care. Burlington, VT, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Award-winning performer Queen Latifah became one of the many family caregivers in the country when her mother developed a serious health condition. Latifah is not the only celebrity providing care for a loved one. In commemoration of her celebrity friends assuming the role, she and her mother hosted a gala event to celebrate caregivers. 

Latifah’s Life-Changing Role

In 2005, high school teacher Rita Owens began her day like any other, but for unknown reasons, she suddenly lost consciousness and was rushed to a nearby New Jersey hospital. Upon hearing the news, Queen Latifah rushed to her mother’s side and learned that her mother had heart failure. Cardiothoracic surgeons inserted a defibrillator to ensure Owens’ heart continued beating. Along with her latest diagnosis, Owens also lived with scleroderma, which affected her respiratory system. Once well enough to leave the hospital, Owens returned to Los Angeles to live with her daughter, and Queen Latifah assumed her new role as caregiver. 

Latifah learned all she could about her mother’s diagnosis to provide her with proper home care and ensure she was receiving the best care possible from healthcare professionals. Eventually, Owens recovered and was able to return to her New Jersey home. However, other family members and friends continually monitored her health and wellbeing. Despite the miles between mother and daughter, Latifah made frequent trips to see her mother and monitor her progress. 

The distance between the two women does not prevent Latifah from being directly involved in her mother’s care. Loved ones call her “the General” for the active role she takes in caring for Owens. Queen Latifah finds the nickname amusing but admits the experience of caregiving made her a stronger person. Her mother’s illness also made Latifah more conscientious of her own health. Both Latifah and Owens are now determined to educate others about heart disease. 

Aging adults with heart disease may be at greater risk for cognitive decline that can cause dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Burlington seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Heart Failure Risk Factors and Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 5.7 million adults living in the United States have heart failure. Heart failure is considered a contributing factor in more than 10 percent of deaths in the country. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all medical conditions that damage the heart to the extent heart failure may occur. 

Reducing risk factors decreases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Common risk factors include:

  • Regularly consuming a diet high in saturated and trans fats
  • High sodium intake
  • Being overweight
  • Maintaining a sedentary or inactive lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption 

Common symptoms of heart failure include: 

  • Difficulty breathing during physical activity
  • Breathing difficulty when in a lying position
  • Fluid retention exhibited as swelling in the stomach, lower legs, ankles, and feet
  • Generalized fatigue or weakness

Recovering from heart disease or another serious health condition can make it difficult for an aging adult to continue living at home without a caregiver. For many seniors in Burlington, Vermont, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. For more information on our high-quality senior care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (802) 231-0415 today.

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