Are you one of the 40 million?
Forty million! That is the estimated number of unpaid family caregivers in the United States today and the number is growing!
You are not alone. With our aging population and longer life spans many more of us will be finding ourselves caring for either an aging spouse or elderly parent at some time. And although there are a lot of family caregivers we are not at all the same. Some of you provide daily hands on care while others, like me, waiting in the wings knowing you will be one day. And millions of others of you are somewhere in between.
Some caregivers finds themselves suddenly thrust into this role at a hospital bedside due to a sudden illness or injury. But many grow into this role slowly over time as our loved one starts to slow down and needs more help. This slow road is my caregiving journey but more about that later.
Regardless of how we become caregivers we all greatly underestimate the enormity of the task ahead. We start out knowing that the job will require some added time and extra responsibilities. Taking care of our family comes naturally, it is time consuming and a juggling act, requiring only a good calendar or organizing system not any special skills. And then reality strikes and we search for information and answers – but where do family caregivers go for answers?
The Sojourner Project is here to help
For the past sixteen years I have been helping family caregivers who are in the midst of this journey. Through my work in home health, hospice, counseling residents of nursing homes or in my private practice I have met caregivers at every stage of this process. At my workshops and seminars I’ve met so many caregivers who are in desperate need of information and answers. Many are unaware of the resources and support that is available to them or where to turn when they need answers. But my frustration was that there were so many more caregivers that I could not reach and therefore could not help.
I created The Sojourner Project as a place for caregivers to go to find the answers they need right in their own home and on their schedule. Information that is accessible at any time and from any computer, tablet or smart phone.
Through my blog, Caregiver School audio series, e-book, and workbook I hope to give you the education, tools and resources that you need – available when you need it.
When you subscribe to my newsletter I’ll send you a monthly email with a preview of my upcoming blog, a tip for caring for the caregiver and a connection to a helpful resource or practical tool.
And I hope to hear from you – to hear your story and answer your questions and concerns. So please send me your questions and comments by using the comment box below.
I come from a very large family and like most we are scattered across various parts of the country. My six siblings and I are caregivers in waiting. Our mother is a vibrant, energetic 91-year-old woman who lives alone, volunteers daily at her church and works part time at a local clothing store. Five of my siblings and I are long distance caregivers and check in with her regularly. But we all rely on our sister who lives nearby. She is our “eyes in the field” and our “boots on the ground” and lets us know of any changes or problems. It would be so much harder for the rest of us if she were not so close.
Over the years we have had episodes of illness and injuries where we have had to step in and do more, but for right – now all is well. So as you will learn how to do, our Plan A is in place and working just fine, but we already have Plan B ready when needed and hopefully we won’t ever need Plan C. But we know, as all family caregivers should know, that one day things will change.
… and they did
On December 21, 2016 when my Mother had become too weak to be alone and began a month of my siblings and I taking turns providing full time care.
January 20, 2016 when my Mother passed away peacefully in her sleep while we all slept.
She is and forever will be missed!
Are you ready?
Thank you to those who have walked with me on my caregiving journey and I look forward to walking with you.
So until next time – take care of yourself and know there is
…help for the journey