Adrienne Gruberg, founder and president, and Schatzie

Please forgive me for repeating myself, if and when I do, but it is clear that when you’re a hard-wired caregiver, like me, there are recurring behavior patterns in your life and although you know you don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past, or live through painful experiences again, you are hard pressed to shy away from the challenge when it is presented.

Creating The Caregiver’s Survival Network is truly the realization of a dream for me; it’s also a far more emotionally challenging task than I ever would have dreamed, but for very different reasons than I might have thought. Certainly, the website in and of itself is an exercise in extended caregiving. I have a need to make life better and easier for others going through versions of what I went through as a caregiver for my husband and his mother. There is a devil sitting on my shoulder asking me “Why are you putting yourself through this? Why aren’t you just travelling the world and having a high old time? Why do you have this need to be needed? Don’t you deserve to enjoy yourself?” In fairness to the devil, I have asked myself the same questions and rest assured I am no saint.

What I am, is grateful for the gifts that I have been given, mental, physical and material, and I recognize my need to be of service, not the need to be needed. I am a childless nurturer. I never really wanted to be a parent. But I am a great mentor. I never perceived myself as someone looking to fix anyone else; rather, I am looking to teach by example when I am equipped to and guide people to reach their own potential, whether or not I have reached my own. I believe The Caregiver’s Survival Network will provide me with the wealth of experiences to finally accomplish all the things I am capable of achieving.

How many times have we all heard “Do what you love and the money will follow?” Following your heart doesn’t come easy. I would never tell anyone not to try to attain their dream, but there are so many obstacles in the way that many people can’t even see their way clear to having a clear picture of what that dream is. Until very recently, I was so busy with other people’s well being that I didn’t realize that “Hey! That’s what I want to be doing.” I thrive on making other people’s lives better. Easier. I just hadn’t envisioned being able to do it on this scale.

I don’t care who invented it, the internet is a marvel; and as long as I have young, bright, energetic people around me to show me how to best utilize the wonder at my fingertips, I will be doing all that I can think of to make other lives the better for my having been here. I’m not ashamed to say that I love doing good for others. If there’s money in that, it will go back into continuing the good it can do. That is my dream.

About Adrienne Gruberg

Adrienne Gruberg is a former family caregiver and founder of The Caregiver Space. After six years of caring for her late husband and mother-in-law she conceived of an online support space all caregivers could come to. Adrienne holds a BFA from Boston University. She founded AYA Creative in 1982, an award winning graphic design, marketing and advertising company. Her design training has helped shape the website and her personal and professional experience continues to inform and influence the caregiver centric support experience she has created at The Caregiver Space.