We Want Your Stories! A Callout for Narratives about Experiences with Loved Ones with Dementia & Alzheimer’s

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In collaboration with Caron Leid, an international speaker and advocate, we are embarking on an exciting opportunity to publish a book about the narratives of caregivers and families who have experienced struggles with managing their loved ones with Dementia or Alzheimer’s.  Our vision is to share and inspire individuals who are also going through this experience and provide validation and support from people who have developed resiliency and strength throughout the process.

So this is an official CALL OUT to those who want to contribute to this project.  We are looking for written entries for our book that can reflect on various aspects of caregiving.  This can include topics such as grief and loss, compassion fatigue, self-care and self-compassion, and aspects of these diseases that cannot be found in textbooks.  In other words, we are looking for lived experiences.

Additionally, our hope is to not only compensate those whose entries are chosen for the book, but also forward a percentage of the proceeds to an exciting foundation that is in development as we speak, which will focus on helping caregivers receive the support that they need during this journey.

For more information or to submit your entry, please feel free to contact me or Caron.

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The Stress of Being a Caregiver

Before I became a Social Worker, I wanted to be a teacher.  And before I wanted to be a teacher, I vaguely remember wanting to be a banker or a cashier.  When I was 12 years old, my father, who was a financial controller for a business firm, suffered a brain injury, called encephalitis, which was a swelling in the brain.  He lost his ability to speak and express himself in coherent words.  He lost his ability to recall how to do basic functions of self-care.  I watched my mother transition from a secondary provider to the primary provider, as well as, a caregiver.  I observed her stress levels increase and her physical health deteriorate because of it.  My father never really recovered.  I think we, as a family, just learned to adjust to the new language he spoke and the reminders that he needed on an everyday basis.  We observed him become progressively more irritable and frustrated because of his inability to communicate his thoughts effectively.  My mother’s hypertension and angina were often affected with the added stress that my father’s sudden change in presentation and needs brought to the family.

Continue reading “The Stress of Being a Caregiver”