7 Famous Celebrity Caregivers

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Caregiving does not discriminate. No matter what your background or socio-economic status may be, the chances are extremely high that caregiving will touch your life at some point. Rosalynn Carter famously said, “There are only four kinds of people in the world—those that have been caregivers, those that are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”

As evidence of Ms. Carter’s statement, I decided to assemble a list of seven famous celebrity caregivers. You may or may not know that these famous people have personal experience as family caregivers, so I thought I’d mention a little bit about their caregiving journey and what they had to say about it. This list is in alphabetical order.

  1. Colin Farrell. The Irish actor has a son who suffers from Angelman Syndrome, which is an intellectual-developmental disability. Farrell has been involved in supporting the work of Angelman Syndrome Foundation. “The struggles of a child with special needs can be so brutal that they can tear at the very fabric of your heart, but the love shared and the pure strength and heroism observed is the needle and thread that mends all tears,” he observed.
  2. Demi Moore. Since her ex-husband, Bruce Willis, was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, actress Demi Moore has shared in caregiving responsibilities with other family members. When a reporter asked her about the experience, Moore stated: “What I’ll say is…it’s important to just meet them where they’re at and not hold onto what isn’t, because there’s great beauty and sweetness and loving and joy out of that.”
  3. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He may act like a tough guy, but the wrestler-actor tenderly cared for his mother, first as she battled cancer and later as she recovered from a subsequent car accident. He took his mother for cancer treatments and spoke openly about his love for her. “Y’all take care of each other and your families,” he wrote on Instagram. “Remember it’s often the littlest things we do in life that can make the BIGGEST difference.
  4. Nile Rodgers. The Grammy-award winning musician has extensive caregiving experience as a result of his mother and other family members struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. “My mom lives in the moment,” Rodgers said, “What I’m trying to do is look at it through my mother’s eyes.” He and CHIC recorded a special cover of the Beatles song “Hey Jude,” which he used to sing to his aunt when she had dementia. (NOTE: If you haven’t heard this track, you need to listen—it’s amazing.)
  5. Queen Latifah. A highly acclaimed rapper, actress, and singer, Queen Latifah cared for her mother, who had scleroderma and interstitial lung disease. After her mother passed away, Queen Latifah recommended self-care for caregivers: “Do something that takes you away and makes you happy — something that gives your mind a break and your spirit a break, and allows you to refresh yourself so that you can come back to this real situation with a fresh mind and a positive attitude.”
  6. Sharon Osbourne. The reality TV star has been married more than 40 years to hard rock musician Ozzy Osbourne, who is living with Parkinson’s Disease. She recently cut short her appearance on “Celebrity Big Brother” to return home to care for her husband. Noting her husband’s condition, Osbourne explained, “I don’t want to stay away from Ozzy too long. We’re so close as a family.”
  7. Sylvester Stallone. The second muscular guy on this list, Sylvester Stallone has raised a son with autism. The famous actor offered these words of wisdom that could apply to so many parents raising children with autism: “Listen, God and nature made him different. We have to accept Seargeoh the way he is and understand that his way is just more quiet and reserved.”

As I did some research to develop this article, I decided to highlight these particular celebrities because of their diversity—not only as individuals but also within the context of caregiving. You’ll notice the array of health conditions that have affected their families: it illustrates the fact that nobody is immune from the challenges of disability, aging, illness, and death. Even the most prominent among us must confront the realities of caregiving at some point in life.

I also believe that the words from these celebrities reflect insights that can only be acquired after walking down a time-trodden path of caregiver development.

As I wrap up this post, I simply have to tell all the music lovers out there that if you have not heard the Nile Rodgers & CHIC version of “Hey Jude,” then you gotta hear it. It is (dare I say this?) as good or better than the original recording from the Beatles. You can access the track, and a video with Nile Rodgers telling his story behind it, on this page.


If you’d like to invite Dr. Blight to speak to your group of family or professional caregivers, please contact us.

Posted in Caregiving