NOTE: I wrote this article in 2006 when I was quite new at blogging. It occurred to me that many loyal readers won't have read this article, and actually nothing about caregiving has significantly changed. We are still in this together. Since the client for whom I wrote this post is still one of my major clients (they are now called HealthCentral/Alzheimers), and they pulled the post up to feature it again, I decided to follow suit. I hope you enjoy it. Carol
"Torn between love and exhaustion; dedication and guilt."
These words, from the prologue of my caregiving support book, Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories, sum up the emotions that rage through caregivers, daily. We’re on alert – 24/7. We dread the calls that summon us to emergency rooms or worse. There never seems to be a moment when we aren’t worried about someone or something. We love the people we are caring for, but we sometimes lose ourselves.
Over the course of two decades, I cared for seven elders. I was raising my own children, one of whom has chronic health issues. I was a freelance writer. I wrote Minding Our Elders.
During my first go ‘round with agents, I’d been told, by many, that they loved the book. They loved the concept. But who was I? They couldn’t sell the book to a publisher, because I wasn’t known.