03 Mar 2017
in Alzheimer's, Caregiving, Dementia, family issues, home health care, Lewy Body Dementia, looping, mental illness, nursing, schizophrenia, stroke, understanding dementia, women's issues
Tags: Alzheimer's disease, Bobbi Carducci, Caregiver Support, Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver, Dr. Phil Foundation, Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson's Disease, Senior Health, sundowning
When we hold our infants in our arms we are filled with awe and hope for the future. We envision a life of promises fulfilled. We never picture them feeding us, holding our hand to keep us from falling, or changing our underthings. I couldn’t type the word diapers. The thought of losing my dignity to such a degree is truly fearsome. In my mind I hear the words, “It’s enough to scare the pants off me.” The irony makes me shudder and chuckle at the same time.
The caregiver and the cared for locked in a fearsome intimacy. I don’t know where the quote above came from. If I did I would give credit here. What I do know is those five simple words speak a devastating truth.
26 Aug 2015
in Alzheimer's, care giving, caregiver, Caregiving, Dementia, Dementia, family issues, Lewy Body Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, mental illness, nursing, sandwich generation, schizophrenia, stroke, Uncategorized, understanding dementia, women's issues
Tags: Caregifted, Dr. Phil Challenge, Heather McHugh, respite care
Heather McHugh creates beauty beyond words.
In 2009, Seattle poet Heather McHugh was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship that came with a $500,000 prize. She had no idea what to do with the prize money:
“Nobody deserves that kind of money, and I think something in me was chastened by being awarded such a big amount of money,” she said.Then, her godson and his wife had a baby with severe disabilities, and McHugh says she kept thinking about how stressful that would be for them raising a daughter who would never walk, talk or be able to feed herself.
“It was obvious to me when that baby was born that in 10 years, they were going to need a break,” she said.
And with the realization that people who are full-time caregivers truly need a break (up to 70% suffer from depression caused by their round-the-clock duties), she created Caregifted:
CAREGIFTED grants respite to long-term family caregivers, and works to greaten public recognition of their gifts to society, as well as of their historically unprecedented numbers.Full-time caregivers of the most severely disabled have sacrificed their own leisure, resources and ambitions to serve those unable to serve themselves. Such acts of love go largely unnoticed because these caregivers are generally confined to their homes, mired in unpaid labors.
CAREGIFTED offers weeks away in inspiring locations—scenic vacation spots where caregivers can refresh their perspectives and record their views in words and images, returning home better rested and represented.
A wonderful idea and big heart are all it took to get the idea off the ground. Recipients say it’s the little things during their getaways that mean the most. From caregiver Trisha Elson, a single mom who takes care of two disabled sons:
She did some whale watching and kayaking, had a massage and made herself a smoothie every morning to enjoy on her deck overlooking the harbor. In the evening, she watched the Food Network to her heart’s content.“It was the first time in many, many years that I only had to worry about myself,” she said. “I didn’t have to worry about getting anybody their meds, if anybody was going to tantrum and set anybody off. It was just unbelievable.
Dear Followers of The Imperfect Caregiver: I was amazed to learn of this generous gift for caregivers and of course I had to share it with you. I hope one or more of you can benefit from this gift that is nothing short of a miracle. Please let me know if you are able to finally get the rest you deserve.
Dr. Phil – This is an amazing gift for caregivers but it isn’t anywhere near enough to help all those who need it. Please use your resources and that of the Dr. Phil Foundation to help the caregivers crying out for help.
12 Aug 2015
in Alzheimer's, care giving, caregiver, caregiver anger, caregiver humor, Caregiving, Dementia, Dementia, family issues, home health care, Lewy Body Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, looping, mental illness, nursing, sandwich generation, schizophrenia, stroke, Uncategorized, understanding dementia
Tags: Alzheimer's, Bobbi Carducci, caregiver advice, Caregiver Support, Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver, Dr. Phil, Dr. Phil Challenge, Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson's Disease, sandwich generation, sundowning
Free to Followers of The Imperfect Caregiver
(US Residents Only)
Caregivers need all the support they can get. One way to increase awareness is to show the world how many of us there are, including caregivers, those who have been caregivers, and those who may become caregivers. Our numbers grow every day and will continue to increase until cures for Alzheimer’s, all the other forms of dementia, and traumatic brain disease are found. One way to do that is to display our support for all to see.
To receive a free Caregivers Are Heroes bracelet: Follow The Imperfect Caregiver blog and send a request in the comment section below. Include your name and complete mailing address. Address will not be published on this site. Requests may also be sent to me directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org No mailing costs or hidden fees apply. This is my gift to individual caregivers. Current followers are eligible for this free gift.
Dr. Phil, we need your help! Please use your resources and that of the Dr. Phil Foundation to create a grant to help caregivers most in need receive the help and support they so desperately need.
To add your voice to mine contact Dr. Phil at www.DrPhil.com
26 Jul 2015
in Alzheimer's, care giving, caregiver, caregiver anger, caregiver humor, Caregiving, Dementia, Dementia, family issues, home health care, Lewy Body Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, mental illness, nursing, sandwich generation, schizophrenia, stroke, Uncategorized, understanding dementia, women's issues
Tags: Alzheimer's disease, Bobbi Carducci, Caregiver Support, Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver, dementia, Dysphagia, family stories, paranoid schizophrenia, Parkinson's Disease, sandwich generation, sundowning
July 26, 1926 – July 26, 2009
A year ago today I celebrated with family friends the release of Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver. The day was one of joy mixed with sadness as were so many of the days I spent writing it. We chose to release the book on Rodger’s birthday to honor him and his life. I knew when I decided to share our story I would experience again all the emotions of living it. I told Mike to be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster. He knew all too well what that meant. He lived it too and would have his own moments of joy and regret. However, we agreed it was important to speak the truth about what it’s really like to be a caregiver.
I was determined to be brutally honest. I included the good days, the days of precious moment of clarity and remembrance he chose to share with us. However, I also share the many moments of anger and doubt. I cry and pray and vent the frustration that comes with doing the best you can in an impossible situation for someone who sometimes loves you but far more often resents you for trying to save them from themselves.
Caregivers often asked, “Why doesn’t someone write a book that shows what it’s really like?” Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver does that. Caregivers, you know what it’s like. You live it every day. It is now my wish is to get into the hands of your friends and family members in the hope that, in reading our story, they will better understand your situation and offer to help in any way they can.
Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver is for caregivers, those who may become caregivers, those who have been caregivers and those who may one day need care. I hope our story helps everyone understand that you don’t have to get it right every time in order to succeed and sometimes being a little bit crazy is exactly what is needed. Available via Amazon and Barnes&Noble. To purchase a signed copy you are invited to contact Second Chapter Books in Middleburg, VA (540-687-7016) or via email: email@example.com
22 Jul 2015
in Alzheimer's, caregiver, Caregiving, Dementia, Dementia, family issues, home health care, Lewy Body Dementia, nursing, sandwich generation, schizophrenia, stroke, understanding dementia, women's issues
Tags: Bobbi Carducci, Caregiver Support, Dr. Phil Challenge, Dr. Phil Foundation, respite care, sandwich generation
Someone posted the picture above on Facebook and I had to copy it and share it with you. Each night before I go to sleep I end my prayers by saying, “Show me the path you want me to take.” The road I end up on is often a lot longer and more difficult to travel than I would have hoped but I always end up exactly where I need to be. I have learned to pay attention to the messages I receive in response. Many, like this one, pop up in the most unexpected places.
On May 26, 2015 I watched a segment on the Dr. Phil Show where he featured young woman caring for her father who has had a devastating stroke. I was thrilled to see a caregiver being recognized. However, soon that feeling was replaced be deep disappointment and frustration when, instead of doing anything help her in any way, he offered her only the same trite advice caregivers know they should follow but have no means to do so.
Take care of yourself first. Get enough rest. Eat right. Exercise. Don’t feel guilty about taking time with friends.
I took a few days to cool down so I could respond without anger and on May 30, 2015 I issued a challenge to Dr. Phil to use his resources and the Dr. Phil Foundation to set up a grant program for caregivers most in need of help. You can the full text of that post here:
Dr. Phil- You Let Caregivers Down and I Challenge You to Do Better
Since then I have been contacting him regularly via his website and adding a few words to my nightly prayer,“Dear God, show me the path you want me to take. Show me the way to reach Dr. Phil.”
And what did I get on my Facebook page but a clear image of a path captioned with this message: “Change will happen because you MAKE IT HAPPEN.” #DRPHIL
I am now more determined than ever to continue contacting Dr. Phil and do everything I can to convince him to get started on the path to establishing that grant.
In order to amp up the volume I ask that you add your voice to my efforts. Let him know I am not alone in asking for help. Please go to www.DRPHIL.com and encourage him to accept the Dr. Phil Challenge. Feel free to include a link to this post.