Today’s program, Rising from the Ashes – Life After Caregiving is based on the mythical Greek bird with fiery plumage called a phoenix. Near the end of its life, the phoenix settles into its nest, which suddenly ignites with intense, raging flames. When the nest and bird are reduced to ashes, a fledgling phoenix arises – renewed and reborn.
The experience of caring for someone who is aging, chronically ill, or disabled over an extended period of time can be compared to the life of a phoenix. Each person’s journey through caregiving is unique. However, one thing all caregivers have in common is the fact that you come through the experience forever changed. When it’s over, you emerge as a different person.
Some people are so relieved to get through it, that all they want to do is move forward and never look back. Others feel a loss of identity and purpose. And some feel compelled to share what they have learned. Former caregivers become authors and speakers. Some develop products or services they wish they’d had access to when they were in the middle of their caregiving experience, and some get involved in companies or nonprofit organizations that provide support to other caregivers.
Join us today as we speak with Caroline Tapp McDougal, publisher of Caregiver Solutions Magazine, author of the Complete Canadian Eldercare Guide and founder of Canada Cares, a not-for-profit organization that supports, celebrates, and says thank you to family and professional caregivers.
We also talk with Janice Wolcott, who organizes and leads “A Gift of Time”, a weekend respite retreat in Salem, Oregon that offers self-renewal, supportive friendships, education and relaxation for unpaid/informal family caregivers, grandparents who are parenting again and other relatives-as-parents.
Caregiver Help Storytime features a couple of entries from the journal of Dorothy Tucker, a nurse who worked in nursing homes and on Alzheimer’s units for 30 years. And Elaine will tell her own “rising from the ashes” story of how she went from being a sales manager for network television affiliates to becoming a caregiver speaker, radio show host, and co-founder of CaregiverHelp.com, an online video-based caregiver support program.