Conversations with… Marjorie


Marjorie Richards was one of Owen’s caregivers. She worked with our family for several years off and on and was probably the most experienced of the group. What I remember most was that she was unflappable – nothing fazed her, she was always on time, she was always energetic and ready to go. She also wasn’t intrusive or irritating; she seemed to have figured out how to be helpful and blend into the household while maintaining personal boundaries. In other words, she knew what her role was and what she was in our house for. Her confidence was reassuring to me.

I interviewed Marjorie last week about being a professional caregiver/respite provider, and what it’s like working with families. I edited together 3 videos – you should watch them all, but the one embedded here offers important insights about family life that could only be made by someone with her level of experience.

One of the other videos discusses how she runs her business, Running with the Kidz – if you hire staff or have workers in your home, you might find it interesting to hear an insider’s view on running an agency.

The final video is about Marjorie’s experience growing up with a brother with severe (acquired) disabilities, and his death in young adulthood due to caregiver negligence. This part of Marjorie’s life was of course formative, but what’s remarkable to me is that it’s not a straight line between the past and the present. How Marjorie absorbed this experience and integrates it into her life is nuanced and mature. As she says, “My brother inspires me… but he inspires me in the world. It’s not about what I do necessarily.”

Watch all 3 of Marjorie’s videos here

Observations on family dynamics, parenting and navigating relationships

00:06 describes the types of families she works with
01:00 describes her working relationship with parents
03:04 shares the challenges of navigating couples’ relationships
05:31 discusses how she coaches her staff to manage family interactions
06:43 describes being an experienced caregiver to inexperienced families
08:12 reflects on the differences between being a respite provider and being a parent
12:13 recognizes the emotional and physical toll of chronic caregiving for parents
14:23 offers a perspective on life for parents to consider

(If you’re receiving this post via email and do not see a video embedded, click here to see this post.)



  1. Love this! Have to go to work now not being able to listen to it all. Amazing to hear Marjorie speak given the breadth and depth of her experience with so many families. Marjorie, you blow me away!

  2. Oh my word—-what a class act! With but one exception in 33 years, I have always very, very
    much taken care of our caregivers, trained them, and catered to their needs and interests
    because I wanted the work to keep deepening and stay engaging and creative — and some of
    these were really talented people, I hasten to add. The payoffs for my daughter were significant,
    and so was the amount of energy I expended. I’ve only watched a few minutes of this so
    far, but I’m so impressed with Marjorie’s gracious, nuanced understanding. Now if she could
    expand her business to California…..

    • Thanks for watching! Marjorie is indeed a class act – I was so pleased to feature her work.

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