By doing something she loves, using her talents to connect to others and honoring her faith, she is taking care of herself, she said - something she didn’t always do. But today she says practicing self-care is something she does consciously and tries to advocates for with her audiences, especially in the Latino community.
“You have to move, be physical, laugh, be happy,” said Carr, who turns 78 this month. “There’s so much life to live, you have to.”
Carr will be speaking at the UnidosUS annual conference in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, July 7th, during UnitedHealthcare’s “Hay Más Adelante” workshop geared for seniors. Among the program’s offerings is support for caregivers, she said, adding it has lightened the load for her.
“The most important person to take care of is yourself,” said Carr, who is caring for her husband of 25 years. He is dealing with a long term illness.
During most of her career Carr – born Florencia Bisenta de Casillas Martinez Cardona – was looking out for her public and her shows, she says. She was told to save her voice for performances and asked in so many ways, by so many industry folks, to be quiet, to shut up.
But after finding love with her husband and settling into life in San Antonio, Carr also found deeper connections to her Catholic faith and to God, she said. Secure in her beliefs, she no longer stays quiet.
“Now I reached a point that I have found my voice,” Carr said. “I’m opening my mouth more because I feel things need to be said.”
She still tells families education is critical. She has a scholarship fund that has sent some 300 Latino youth often from migrant families to universities like Harvard, Yale and UCLA to become an astronaut, doctors and judges.
Born in El Paso, she says the separation of families at the border is tragic, but adds everyone needs to work together if anything is going to get fixed: “This country needs us all to work together, not against each other.”
And raised in an era when your father, mother, husband or manager took care of your business, Carr said she’s become savvy in handling her own affairs, and tells other women to also count on themselves first.
But most of all Carr talks about loving and taking care of yourself no matter your age – sleep, eat well, keep moving, count on your faith.
And talk about what matters to you with no apologies. In her case, how her faith has always been there for her – guiding her to make her own decisions that got her hits when no one else believed in her choices, and with her from her performance days in lonely hotel rooms to caring for the love of her life now.
“My father told me you are an American of Mexican descent. Be the best human being you can be. I’ve tried to be the best that I can,” Carr said. “And if I talked too much about God, well, I’m not sorry.”
UnitedHealthcare’s “Hay Más Adelante” event where Latino seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries will learn about Medicare and celebrate their culture, supported by the AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans.
Saturday, July 7
2:00 p.m. and a meet-and-greet scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Room 207B; (Booth at Exhibit Hall D & E,) as part of the UnidosUS Conference
801 Mt Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001
Vikki Carr, UnitedHealthcare speakers. Supported by the AARP® Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company
The event is open to the public, and there is no cost to attend. For more information or to confirm attendance, call 1-800-983-6998 or visit http://www.haymasadelante.com.