The Caregiver’s Journey


by Joy Loverde


No one leaves the caregiving experience the same as when they started, nor do they look at life, and The caregiver journey book coverdeath the way they did before.


These words originate from the Introduction to my book, The Complete Eldercare Planner, and were written in the hopes that family members will continuously find ways to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Never knowing what may happen
from one day to the next comes with the territory of taking on the role of family caregiving.


There’s a practical, almost business side to caregiving that many of us rely on as a way to manage the challenges and stresses -- checklists and to-do lists among other tools help calm our nerves. While The Complete Eldercare Planner is positioned as the practical how-to eldercare guide, everyone knows there’s much more that meets the eye when it comes to caring for Mom and Dad.


I was recently offered the opportunity to read and review a book in the marketplace -- The Caregiver’s Journey: Compassionate and Informed Care for a Loved One written by Todd F. Cope, RN. In his twelve plus years as Director of Nursing at a 163-bed assisted-living community, he was approached on a daily basis by family members who sought his guidance and wisdom. As a busy caregiver for his own parents, he completely understood the need for caregivers to seek the company of other caregivers. Todd has lived through those long and sleepless nights, and knows how it feels to juggle work and family. And so the book was born.


The Caregiver’s Journey is intentionally brief and not designed to have all the answers -- unlike The Complete Eldercare Planner which is comprehensive and extensive. The book carries readers to safe emotional safe ground when they find themselves in a “deer-in-the-headlights” eldercare moment. The author accomplishes this by offering real-life stories that relate to the content that follows. Truth has a way of reaching our inner emotions and this format engages caregivers while simultaneously giving them time and space to breathe deeply.


The author’s stories are composed in such a way that readers will likely recognize something similar that has happened to them or recognize the possibility that it could. He also tactfully introduces humor into the stories to help drive points home. Lord knows we all need a good laugh and ways to escape from time to time.


Guilt, love, joy, anger, frustration and of course, loss -- this precious book is a reminder that the caregiver’s journey is made up of many experiences, all of which should be remembered rather than allowing those that are less desirable to overpower the good that is inherently in the caregiving process. In Todd’s own words, “Though manifested in a variety of forms, love is the binding force in the foundation of caregiving.”


As I consider the intent of The Caregiver’s Journey and The Complete Eldercare Planner, while both books can stand alone, together they complement each other as useful tools for any caregiver.


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Until next time, I wish you well.