Life is funny sometimes.
When I started caring for Robert seven years ago – and believe me, it does not seem seven years has gone by since then – I had no idea what the future had in store for me or him. I did not know what I was doing and certainly did not realize I was one of 65 million people providing care for someone.
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While I did not feel alone, I felt I needed to share some of the problems I was experiencing to see if others had gone through the same thing. My first blog post was about trying to change Robert’s address for his Social Security and Medi-Cal benefits. What a nightmare!
Eventually, I stumbled across the caregiver support website, CareGiving.com and asked Denise Brown if she was accepting submissions and if I could write for her site. (I am always looking for ways to make money by writing.) I did not fully grasp the supportive network Denise had created and she encouraged me to post on her site and connect with others.
The people I connected with on that site remain my friends today. We have been through a lot of caregiving and caregiving changes through the years and we have shared laughs, tears and frustrations through it all.
Four of these dear friends (one of whom is my husband) decided to create a series of books to help other caregivers. We have several years of experience between us and have learned “on the job” so wanted to share what we have learned with other caregivers.
Some of our tips have been shared on our own websites, some on CareGiving.com or other websites such as Assisted Living Directory (a terrific website with caregiving resources). Life is funny: I connected with David Besnette who created Assisted Living Directory and he offered to pay me to write for his site. Getting paid to write is certainly a dream come true but I love what he is creating with the website so much that I would probably write for it for free (shh! Don’t tell David).
Pegi Foulkrod, Gincy Heins, Richard Kreis, Kathy Lowrey and I have accumulated so many caregiving tips through the years and are now sharing our tips in our first of (hopefully) many books designed to help the caregiver. 365 Caregiving Tips: Practical Tips from Everyday Caregivers is an easy to read, short reference book covering a variety of caregiving topics. From advocacy, meal time, incontinence to travel (and even incontinence while traveling), no topic is too sensitive!
Life is funny. You never know where life will lead you. When I first met Pegi, Kathy and Gincy, I had no idea we would be lifelong friends creating a book for other caregivers. This book means so much to me because it was created with people I love and respect and admire.
While creating this book, life continued: caregiving did not stop; life did not stop. Between us, we were involved in fundraising for organizations we are passionate about, one of us sat bedside by her husband as death was knocking on his door (he is now at home, on hospice), we were working, caring, enjoying the news of an engagement (!) and laughing, sharing and loving.
These people inspire me every day to be a better caregiver. To be a better person.
If there is one thing I have learned from these people it is never to lose hope and that miracles do happen.
Pegi is the artist of the group and created a stunning cover for the book. In fact, her artwork is so beautiful it must be shared! We are finishing up a calendar to do just that so please watch this space for more information on the 2016 Caregiving Calendar.
Please consider purchasing the paperback or PDF version of the book for yourself or for a caregiver you know. The book will soon be available for e-readers as well! Please also share the information about this book because you may not know if there is a caregiver in your circle of friends.
Thank you so much for your support!