I have just turned 79 but not in mind–that’s around 39–healthy, pretty strong, maybe a little on the stubborn side, I have a pretty good sense of humor (much needed). I live in Cape Town, South Africa in a retirement village, which bugs me a bit because I can’t have anymore dogs.
Besides “caregiver,” what other identities do you have?
I do a bit of painting when I get the chance, love gardening, and an avid animal and nature lover. Trying to get over having to put my little Maltese down in August she was very special.
Who had the biggest impact on shaping who you are today?
I really don’t think that anyone did.
What’s a personality trait you have that you really value?
I have a great deal of compassion.
What’s your mantra?
Who are you caring for? What is your caregiving story?
My partner of 42 years….far too long to put down here!
What was your greatest caregiving lesson?
It becomes more and more difficult with time.
What do you wish you were told before you became a caregiver?
I don’t think it would have made any difference.
What advice would you give to other caregivers?
Make quality time for yourself.
What’s your best piece of advice for life in general?
Make sure you have a sense of humor.
What’s been the hardest part of caregiving for you?
Not being able to get away for a break.
What’s the most rewarding part of caregiving?
Knowing that I am being of help.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
I kiss my dog good morning, used to be two dogs.
What’s the last thing you do at night?
I say a prayer of thanks for getting thru the day.
What keeps you up at night?
A mind like an F1 race track.
What motivates you?
A lovely day rain or shine.
What’s the best tool or strategy you’ve found to help you with caregiving?
Having good music always playing (usually classical).
In ten words or less, what has caregiving taught you?
What’s your best habit?
I’m never grumpy in the mornings.
What do you do when you have 15 minutes of free time?
Sit outside in the garden under a tree.
What do you think makes a life well lived?
Thinking of others and not always about yourself.
What question do you hope an interviewer would ask?
“Would you like to have a Fairy Godmother!?”