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Carol D. O'Dell


Carol D. O’Dell’s passion is to tell stories, and through stories to teach, offer insights, comfort and guide.

She is a national speaker, teacher and author, and her gripping memoir MOTHERING MOTHER is for anyone who finds themselves “in the middle” of caring for loved ones while sustaining their own sense of self. MOTHERING MOTHER gets to the heart of the “sandwich” generation and overflows with humor, grace and much needed honesty. Her stories have been described as “full of magic and wonder” and moments of offered grace.”

Carol has been interviewed on numerous television and radio programs including PBS/WEDU special on the “Up Close with Cathy Unruh Show” which featured her book, MOTHERING MOTHER and focused on the current issues baby boomers face. She has been featured on WJXT, WSDK, WJCT, KSDK Internet Radio Voices, Authors on the Radio and as a guest speaker on bestselling author, Jacqueline Marcell’s radio program, Coping with Caregiving, aired worldwide. Carol’s fiction and nonfiction work has appeared in numerous publications including Voices of Alzheimer’s, Atlanta Magazine, Southern Revival, Mature Matters and AIM, America’s Interracial Magazine. She is the health editor for Hot Psychology Magazine and a graduate of Jacksonville University.

Carol D. O’Dell is a requested speaker at Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, caregiving, hospice, family dynamic, writing and women’s conferences around the country. Her southern flare and gift of surprising humor and poignant drama is refreshing. Audience members find Carol to be a passionate and captivating speaker with a compelling message.


Integrity is Pasteurized Milk—A Woman’s Guide to Professionalism

Will Caregiving Cost Me My Job? Strategies to Stay in the Game

Sandwich Generation? The Toll of Caregiving and Practical Ways to Reclaim Your Joy

We’re Not Connecting: Building a Bridge Between the Medical Community, Caregivers, and their Families

Stay Focused—Taking Care of Yourself and Your Career in Three Easy Steps

If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother: Finding Your Hidden Path from Mom’s Example


I was adopted at age four to Southern, fundamentalist parents in their mid-fifties—what more could a writer want?

Carol D. O’Dell has a passion–to communicate. There’s nothing more fulfilling to Carol than to capture a room full of people—and for them to go on a journey with her and forget to breathe. She loves to write, speak and teach, and that passion began in her childhood as the daughter of a southern woman preacher. Carol grew up under a grand piano on stage at a prominent Atlanta church. She watched her mother command a room and bring people to the point of laughter, praise and tears. And from that day, she knew what she longed to do.

Carol is a relaxed, personal style speaker who talks to each person in the room as if they’re her dear, dear friend. She takes you by surprise with her candor and striking humor, and yet she has the ability to hold your hand and take you to the scary places you don’t want to go alone. Her enthusiasm is contagious. People line up after her presentations—to connect, hug, and be listened to. Carol knows that listening and spending time with those have come to her hear her is as important as standing “on stage.”

Whether Carol is addressing a medical conference, on a television or radio interview, or an intimate support group, her warmth and professionalism shines through. Her motto is, “When I finish speaking or teaching, you should feel like the most important person in the world.”

Rave Reviews

[Mothering Mother] A beautiful rendering of a difficult but all-too-common situation, told with plenty of humor…and much love.
-MF Wilkens, Booklist Review

Carol’s prose is both stimulating and soothing, with humor and wit that adds a refreshing breeze to a subject often cloaked in whispers. A welcome new voice to the field of caregiving!
-Jacqueline Marcell, author of Elder Rage

Ms. O’Dell captivated her audience and speaks with the love, passion and wisdom. Carol is a competent and personable speaker with a wealth of knowledge.
-Stephania Sykes-Burns, Program Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association

Carol received rave reviews. Attendees commented on her practical advice, valuable information, her professionalism, and her friendly, but lively presentation style. She is knowledgeable, organized and prepared, warm and professional.
-Kathleen Clower, Director, Instructional Media, Florida Community College at Jacksonville

Her story [Mothering Mother] of that time is honest, poignant, even heart wrenching, and often, unexpectedly comic. To say that we were impressed with both her fortitude and her ability to write her story in real time is an understatement.
-Rosemary Daniell, Author, Speaker, Writing Coach

Mothering Mother documents the daily love, doubts, ambivalence, guilt, grief, and small triumphs that accompany caregiving. Those of us in the Baby-boomer generation will resonate with the emotional roller coaster that many of us have or are currently experiencing, or fear having to face with our own aging parents.
-Barry K. Baines, MD. Medical Director, Hospice Director and Author of Ethical Wills

Carol O’Dell is a wonderful storyteller, both in her written work and in engaging personal presentations. As a professional geriatric care manager, educator, and writer, I high recommend her.
-Shannon Martin, MSW, Director of Community Relations, Aging Wisely

Carol’s workshop was one of the best I have ever attended, anywhere, and that includes far more costly conferences and even academic venues. Carol obviously knows exactly what she is doing and is generous in sharing.
-Gerri Teran, President of Georgia Writers

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