I know it’s Christmas Eve and it’s late to be sending a Christmas wish list. And, I know I’m a little — strike that…way — too old to even be writing. But, if you haven’t loaded up your sleigh with mounds of gifts for the 65.7 million family caregivers (that’s a WHOPPING 29% of the U.S. population*) can you work your magic. The list is short.
- To hear the simple words Thank You for all you do!
- A copy of the #1 New York Times best seller, “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant” from Roz Chast. To laugh, cry and know you are not alone is a gift.
- I know this is a big one, but you can work on it throughout the year, government policies to help family caregivers financially and emotionally.
P.S. Since you and Mrs. Claus are getting a little older, you have a vested interest in taking care of the caregivers. I guess that means the elves in your case.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
*Source: Family Caregiver Alliance
Just wanted you to know…I’m taking off the next few weeks. Like many of you, I’ve been juggling caring for my dad, writing this blog, working at trying to find work (a.k.a. my next dream job) — in addition to all the daily things that need to get done.
So I’m going to take a lesson from my brilliant dog — who could write a book on living the good life — and chill. And, if I’m lucky during my staycation, someone will: give me cookies throughout the day, prepare all my meals and let me nap in the morning sun. Told you she was brilliant!
Happy 4th of July.
There are thousands of great books, blogs and websites — all loaded with tons of valuable information — to help adult children navigate the unchartered and choppy waters of caregiving.
But, if you are like me, when I found myself thrust into the role of caregiver, I was overwhelmed by the situation, the speed at which everything was happening and the severity of the decisions that needed to be made. I was in act and react mode. I just wanted the CliffsNotes version of how to care for a parent. The fewer words the better.
So to help other new caregivers, here’s a short list of essential resources to start with:
- Assisted living checklist:
- Assisted living template to compare communities:
Documents Prepared Families Cannot Ignore
A memoir told in drawings, cartoons, photos and writings by Roz Chast, New Yorker cartoonist. This book is wonderful! It makes you feel less alone in the caregiving process. It makes you laugh. It makes you sad and cringe. And, it paints a realistic picture of caregiving.
This week Queen Latifah and Swoosie Kurtz are talking about the job of caregiving — something that doesn’t usually get a lot of media coverage. And, by talking about the challenges they face — juggling careers, personal lives, and caregiving — they shine a spotlight on the difficulties all caregivers (famous or not) face.
In the new issue of People on newsstand today, Queen Latifah shares her mother’s battle with Scleroderma and what she’s doing to help care for her: from enlisting friends and family to help while she’s at work, to talking with her mother’s doctors, to asking her mother to live with her. You can read an excerpt on people.com at Queen Latifah on Her Mother’s Battle with Scleroderma
Swoosie Kurtz, actress from Mike & Molly, Sisters and Pushing Daisies, published a memoir titled, Part Swan, Part Goose. In the book, Swoosie shares stories about: her famous father, her career choices, and the challenges and joys of caring for her 98-year-old mother (who lives with her). I just downloaded the book and can’t wait to read it. I’ve got to thank Claire — who is also a caregiving daughter — for telling me know about the book.
Photo Source: People cover from people.com and Part Swan, Part Goose from amazon.com