Honoring my vow

I made a vow to love my husband in sickness and health and I'm doing my best to honor that vow. It's taking everything I have out of me. Every day I get up and do all the things that need to be done. Including taking care of my husband. I expected the burden of...

What do you wish you had time for?

It's rare for caregivers to have a free moment. The time consuming nature of caregiving means that few of us have the opportunity to get around to the things that are important to us. So, what do you wish you had time for? My husband. I am soul caregiver for my mother...

When our world turned upside down again

My son Trammell was paralyzed from the waist down at age of 14. Only a year and 5 weeks after his Dad developed server brain damage from being dead for an hour and twenty minutes due to Cardiac Arrest at the young age of 49. We were just beginning to get a grip on our...

The cancer stories no one wants to hear

During the 11 months when my husband, Ahmad, was dying of bladder cancer, few people wanted to hear how he was truly doing. They wanted to hear about hope, courage, and positivity, not about how Ahmad was unlikely to survive or his ruminations on how to live well...

More Than “Just Keep Swimming”

Wisdom From Dory and Hank About Caregiving Although I lost myself when I was caregiving, I also found myself in caregiving. I might have fought it when things were difficult or devastating, but I also learned to embrace the beauty of caregiving and to recognize the...

The Caregiver

You used to see him quite often at the social club events. He'd usually sit at the end of the table, listening to the conversation but rarely making a comment, he looked tired and there was always an aura of sadness about him. You glance his way and wonder why he's...

What’s keeping you up at night?

As caregivers, we frequently suffer from insomnia as all the things about caregiving float through our minds. Here's what's keeping our community members up at night: I just had surgery & I haven't been able to take care if my elderly housebound mother so I feel...

A day in the life of a spousal caregiver

Caregiving is physically exhausting and my priorities are not yours: Don't judge my sloppy housekeeping, delayed responses to phone / texts, declining to socialize, dirty car, un-styled hair, simple dressing, or yard that needs attention: my spouse who needs care...

Unnecessary trouble

How do you care for someone who refuses to let you help them? My mother refuses to have outside help. It needs to be me, her daughter, who helps her. But she really wants a servant. She raised me to be a woman who's practical. Who thinks about what people might need...

What we’re overthinking

As caregivers, we find ourselves simultaneously impossibly busy and spending lots of time waiting around. We're exhausted, but then we're up all night staring at the ceiling. What's keeping you up these days? All the work that needs to be done to the house. I'm in...

“Did You Have a Good Summer?”

Maybe it’s a Midwestern custom, but friends keep asking me if I had a good summer. Every time I’m asked this question I want to groan. I’m my disabled husband’s primary caregiver and, for us, summer is like any other season of the year. There are no changes from our...

How has caregiving changed you?

How do you know you're a caregiver? It's tricky to decide -- how many hours? What sorts of tasks? What about the relationship? My answer is that you're a caregiver when it's changed you forever. So, how has caregiving changed who you are and how you view the world? I...

I see you

A few weeks ago, I was at the beach and I saw a young woman walking with her two little boys and her husband.  Her husband was disabled, walking with a cane and appearing to have lost some muscle function in his arms and legs.  I keep thinking about the woman and what...

What do caregivers need to know?

Family caregivers find themselves needing to know everything from the finer details of drug interactions to how to empty storage units. Here's what our members wish they'd gotten training and information about: What are the rights of patients and caregivers? I would...

My loved one isn’t a burden

The most common term for discussing the difficulties that come with supporting a loved one through a health crisis, long-term illness, or disability is "caregiver burden." While it's a succinct way to sum up the challenges of caregiving, of which there are many, it...

Caregiver’s Lament: Rescue Me

Rescue me, for an afternoon or an hour, or a few minutes. I no longer want someone to come into my life and take over all my problems and become my hero and the owner of my life. I don't want that. I just need someone to rescue me for a few minutes so that I remember...

What’s your best caregiving trick?

Caregivers are an incredibly innovative bunch. We come up with all sorts of unique solutions to problems. A few members of our community shared their favorite tips and tricks to make caregiving easier. Have one to add? Put it in the comments below. Give them choices...

Medication management for seniors

If you help care for an aging loved one, or are advancing in age yourself, you are probably aware of the importance of medication management. As people age, they can develop multiple chronic conditions, which may require several long term prescriptions. In fact,...

When betrayal is freedom

For fifteen years I cared for him. His accident was days after our engagement. My mother pulled me aside and said I could still walk away if I wanted. I knew it would be a hard road of nursing him back to health. No one knew if he'd recover or what recovery would...

Alzheimers, Loss, and What You Can Do to Help

Impacting roughly 5 million senior Americans, Alzheimer's has made a name for itself in the elderly community. Little is understood about the cause of the disease and even less is known about the solution. What we do know is that it's effects are heart-breaking....

Mourning the Imagined

I can see my father in vibrant colors. He’s got snow white hair, earthy brown skin, and a speck of light reflecting off one of the lenses of his eyeglasses. Behind it is a tiny sparkle in his eye. Except that it's an artificial sparkle. Years ago, in his 40s, his...

What makes caregiving meaningful?

We know that an easy life doesn't necessarily make for a good life. People who feel that their life has meaning tend to be more fulfilled overall, even if their life is incredibly challenging. Different people are driven by different things. Here's a quick quiz you...