Dr. Aaron Blight knows caregiving. He never imagined he’d become a caregiving speaker, but the trajectory of his life led him here.
Aaron Blight’s transformation to caregiving expert began when he was a healthcare policy leader at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Despite the fact that he was writing national healthcare policy for the elderly and disabled populations, it was not until his mother-in-law’s brain tumor was discovered, and the corresponding call of family caregiving came, that he began to truly understand the scope and significance of caregiving on a personal level. Aaron and his wife, Jessica, spent more than five years caring for Jessica’s relatively young mother as she received cancer treatments and experienced steady cognitive and physical decline.
The years of family caregiving prompted Aaron to change the direction of his career, and he opened a home care company to help seniors and their families who were facing similar caregiving challenges. Over time, Aaron’s business grew to rank among the largest and most successful local home care companies, as measured by virtually any industry standard.
Although he started his home care company with a desire to help seniors and their families, interactions with employees led Aaron to care equally about his staff. The industry’s challenge of caregiver turnover motivated Aaron to discover how to recruit and retain highly motivated direct care aides. Developed in connection with his doctoral degree, Aaron’s research offers significant insights about how caregivers experience and embrace their roles.
Today Dr. Blight speaks to groups all over the world about caregivers and caregiving. He invites audiences to think deeply about the meaning and phenomenon of caregiving. He offers insights from writing national healthcare policy, serving as a family caregiver, owning a large home care company, and contributing original academic research to the field. Aaron's message applies to family caregivers as well as organizations employing direct care aides, direct support professionals, certified nursing assistants, and skilled care professionals. As a natural storyteller and group facilitator, he engages audiences in discussions about a cause close to his heart.