Story Excerpts

Story Lead-ins 6

Our 5 New Rules for Dementia Caregiving

November 29, 2019 ~ Kathryn Harrison, Guest Author

One afternoon while visiting Twitter, I was excited to find another Canadian author, Kathryn Harrison, who just happened to be living in Ontario, who was an artist and creative director for AlzAuthors.

With an interest in caregivers for those with dementia, I was intrigued by her beautiful book, Weeds in Nana’s Garden, written with a focus on the relationship between children and a grandmother with memory loss.

In Support of Caregivers

November 23, 2019 ~ jas

There is no normal for how long one is a caregiver. But actually saying that makes me realize how much My Love and I have been through since our journey began nearly eight years ago.

The word caregiver was foreign to me; the idea of dementia in our family never crossed my mind. We were newly retired, ready to tour the world; well, at least we had purchased our comfy touring vehicle to see Canada, coast-to-coast.

Ice Cream Connection

November 23, 2019 ~ jas

In talking to many caregivers about “Is There Any Ice Cream?” I discovered they felt the stories reflected love begging to fill in the emptiness that the pain can create.

I had just met this ‘young’ man. He was new to the reception desk at the senior centre.

My friend, standing beside me, had explained, by way of introduction, that I was a caregiver.

Caregiver Crossroads

November 3, 2019 ~ jas

Someone you love is growing older. Acting strange. Losing their way. Forgetting things.

You accept that seniors begin to forget as they age. But dementia was never on your radar. You have Barbados, Cancun and Canary Islands catalogs on your coffee table. Your biggest decision ahead is to pick where this year’s winter hiatus will be. You need to hire a snow plow company so the snow will be removed from your drive while you’re away. You arrange for your neighbor to spot check the heat inside your home periodically so no pipes freeze. . . .

Caregiver Résumé

November 23, 2019 ~ jas

Caregivers, caretakers or carers are designated as those who care for another, who help with daily activities of those who otherwise would not be able to care for themselves. More aptly, caretakers usually take care of the inanimate properties and caregivers care for the individual person. But overall, humans are caring for one another, in whatever capacity they can.

More than likely, each of us will be a caregiver sometime in our life. Frequently, the role of caregiver is shared among the family, with each one having a specific role to play. Others must lift the weight of the responsibilities alone.

Gramma’s Friends

November 23, 2019 ~ jas

In 1997, long before dementia was a familiar word in our life, more than ten years before we would retire, my first grandchild was born.

I lived in Canada and his family lived in the U.S., a four day drive for me, a prefer-not-to-fly person.

We did visit. We did drive and we did take the plane. I was in love with him and when I left after each visit, I couldn’t stop that wonderful feeling a brand new baby generates in me. So, to release my feelings, I wrote, as I do in emotional times.

Plan ‘C’ Caregiver Care

November 23, 2019 ~ jas

Wizards! Miracle workers! Enlightened geniuses! Vessels of kindness! Treasures of the Universe!

Caregivers are amazing. They endure long days and longer nights, sometimes without a break or a nap. They hold the family together and hold their loved one close. I am honored to walk among such awe-inspiring individuals. Male or female, spouse or child, friend or service worker, I have come to recognize that anyone who gives care is one of the most extraordinary human beings on the planet.