Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An Excerpt From My New Book!

"As caregivers, we are daily bombarded with these proclamations of coping and faith and the best way to get through the dark times.  These illnesses can seem so arbitrary, so senseless and random in who they strike, and more punitive than anything else, that people seem to need to find meaning, a purpose, behind dementia - but how can we? 

These people seem to feel they have an opinion on what meanings we should create from the burden of caregiving; on whether there is a message we should take away from our experiences, and what it might be; about exactly how we should endure and carry on; and that we should believe this hardship to be a great gift.  We are told that we are doing 'the right thing', when we step up to take care of a family member, but who defines what is right?

The people around us project their own fears, resentments, and other belief systems on caregivers and potential caregivers.  Frequently, I had friends of my family, as well as perfect strangers, inform me what a good thing I was doing - what a good daughter I was to my father.  A friend who has recently moved her mother in with her has had people react with foreboding and disbelief about how she will cope with the extra burden; that she will be overwhelmed by her mother's needs or by past emotional family dynamics.  And they praise her for being a good daughter.  These people are reacting out of their own fears of being in a similar situation, and are projection how they would feel about it onto my friend.  It

It is human nature to project fears, expectations, and past experiences on others, but caregivers seem to be the recipients more than many other groups - possibly because of the nature caregiving and the fact that it encompasses such uncomfortable realities as aging, illness, death, and loss of bodily, financial, and personal control."


  1. Joy, you are right... People say stuff because they are uncomfortable with the thought of caring for a terminally ill individual. Folks who have not walked in the care givers shoes will never understand that what we need is their time and willingness to share the burden.

    For me, now that my mom has passed, I do feel my time caring for her was a gift... My heart is full and I feel peace.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Susan, and I'm so glad you're feeling so well after your Mom's passing. Take care of yourself! Joy

  3. tracy.rose@healthline.comMarch 7, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Hi Joy,

    We appreciate your participation in our annual Best Health Blog Contest. As a token of our appreciate we're awarding you with a badge, 'Voted One of the Top Health Blogs of 2012.' You can find the badge at: http://www.healthline.com/health/26055

    Also, if you haven't seen it, we recommend reading about this year's winner: http://www.healthline.com/health-news/breast-cancer-blog-wins-Healthline-contest-022013. She is an inspiration for many.

    Please let me know if you have any questions. And, we hope to see you next year! In the meantime, please stay in touch by connecting with us on Twitter @healthline or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/healthlinenetworks.

    Warm Regards,


  4. Thank you so much, Tracy! As always, its a great honor to be included and noticed by you guys at Healthline. You may not know, but we had quite a battle going on Facebook trying to keep the breast cancer blog in first place and a dementia blog in the top three. Unfortunately, we didn't get that, but I'm glad we kept the other one in first. I love the badge; please keep checking back on my site for new info and my new book, which I'm working on right now. Take care, Joy