THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The ‘C’ in Canada Stands For Caring. Happy 150th Birthday, Canada!

by Vickie Cammack, my friend and co-writer who contributes often and especially recently because my son is in the hospital and I am with him. July 1st is Canada Day and this year is our country’s 150th birthday.  There is much to celebrate with the arrival of Canada’s 150thbirthday. Our country’s natural beauty and abundant ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Are There Limits To What We Will Do For Love in Caregiving?

A couple of days ago, I saw a play that made me ask the question, “Are there limits to what we will do for love in caregiving? If so, what are they for me? Are there limits to love in care receiving?” The play was Kill Me Now by Brad Fraser. Billed as a black ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Unfairness of Caregiving

I’ve been trying to remember the first time I felt the outrage of injustice. I recall that in about grade four, I was playing outside my school when the bell rang to announce the end of recess. It was winter and the snow was piled up high beside the school. Unbeknownst to me, there were ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: MESSAGE FOR NATIONAL CAREGIVER DAY: I SEE YOU, I SALUTE YOU

The first Tuesday in April is National Caregiver Day. It’s a day to stand up and pay special attention to YOU who care for someone you love. Or YOU whose job it is to care for others with kindness and compassion. I SEE YOU.I salute you for waking early to prepare a special diet breakfast. ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Drawing Personal Boundaries in Caregiving

There’s a ton of messaging out there for caregivers that sounds like this: Make time for yourself! Plan respite! When it’s all too much, just say no! Doesn’t it all sound so easy? And if we feel exhausted and happen to mention that to friends or family, those messages echo around in the conversation berating ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Drawing Personal Boundaries in Caregiving

There’s a ton of messaging out there for caregivers that sounds like this: Make time for yourself! Plan respite! When it’s all too much, just say no! Doesn’t it all sound so easy? And if we feel exhausted and happen to mention that to friends or family, those messages echo around in the conversation berating ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Happy Intl. Women’s Day All You Caregivers Out There!

Caregiving isn’t only women’s work, but it’s largely women’s work. So today, March 8th 2017, I wish you all a very happy Intl. Women’s Day. My message to you is: I SEE YOU. I FEEL YOUR WORRY AND YOUR FATIGUE. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER, SO LET’S SPEAK UP ABOUT OUR WORK. IT IS WORK.

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Happy Intl. Women’s Day All You Caregivers Out There!

Caregiving isn’t only women’s work, but it’s largely women’s work. So today, March 8th 2017, I wish you all a very happy Intl. Women’s Day. My message to you is: I SEE YOU. I FEEL YOUR WORRY AND YOUR FATIGUE. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER, SO LET’S SPEAK UP ABOUT OUR WORK. IT IS WORK.

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: WINTER CAREGIVER ACHES AND PAINS

I live where the temperature can sometimes dip down to sub-zero numbers. Snow and slush make pushing our son in his wheelchair difficult and my Mom needs support to navigate icy pavement with her walker. Winter is hard on caregivers, that’s for sure. If your back is aching these days, read on to feel better!  ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: WINTER CAREGIVER ACHES AND PAINS

I live where the temperature can sometimes dip down to sub-zero numbers. Snow and slush make pushing our son in his wheelchair difficult and my Mom needs support to navigate icy pavement with her walker. Winter is hard on caregivers, that’s for sure. If your back is aching these days, read on to feel better!  ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: CAREGIVER’S FRIEND: Menu and Recipes

I love food and I love to cook. When caregiving at home gets crazy busy though, my favorite recipes are just too time consuming to prepare. That’s when I go to my ‘under 5 minutes preparation time but delicious’ collection. Here’s a sample menu that’s very quick to make and so delicious that even the ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: CAREGIVER’S FRIEND: Menu and Recipes

I love food and I love to cook. When caregiving at home gets crazy busy though, my favorite recipes are just too time consuming to prepare. That’s when I go to my ‘under 5 minutes preparation time but delicious’ collection. Here’s a sample menu that’s very quick to make and so delicious that even the ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Caregiver’s Christmas Carol

On the First Day of Christmas on my list of things to do: I cooked dinner for my fa-mi-ly. On the Second Day of Christmas on my list of things to do: I shopped for my Mom and cooked dinner for my fa-mi-ly. On the Third Day of Christmas on my list of things to ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Caregiver’s Christmas Carol

On the First Day of Christmas on my list of things to do: I cooked dinner for my fa-mi-ly. On the Second Day of Christmas on my list of things to do: I shopped for my Mom and cooked dinner for my fa-mi-ly. On the Third Day of Christmas on my list of things to ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Remembering My Father Today

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, Veteran’s Day in the United States.  Today I remember my father, James Edward Thomson, who fought in Europe with the Royal Montreal Regiment and won an award for bravery from King George and was mentioned in dispatches. Near Antwerp, my Dad was off-duty and walking back to barracks when ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: National Caregivers Month: The Third Pillar is Patience

Patience. We learn it the hard way in caregiving. In this break-neck-speed society, caregivers are like student drivers, always trying to put our foot on the gas, but with ‘fate’, the driving instructor, firmly putting his foot on the metaphorical brake.  Caring for young children, an elderly parent, a loved one with disabilities, or someone ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Wisdom Comes From Living

Last week, I spoke about the resilience of caregivers.  This week, I’d like to say a few words about wisdom. What exactly is the wisdom of caregivers?  The Oxford Dictionary defines wisdom as the quality of having knowledge, experience and good judgement.  Let’s start with knowledge. What do caregivers know?  Well, we know our loved ones and they ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Lessons I’ve Learned From a Life of Caregiving

Here’s a short video of me reflecting on lessons I’ve learned from a life caregiving. Share the lessons you’ve learned in the comments below – I would love to listen and learn! Thank you to my talented brother in law Frank Opolko for producing this video!

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: When Long-Term Caregivers Tell Their Stories, Outcomes Improve

Arthur Kleinman understands families like mine.  I know he does, because he wrote this: The chronically ill (and their caregivers) often are like those trapped at a frontier, wandering confused in a poorly known border area, waiting desperately to return to their native land.  Chronicity for many is the dangerous crossing of the borders, the interminable ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The ER Caregiver Effect

There’s a tourist attraction in my city of Ottawa (Canada) called The Crazy Kitchen. It’s a room in the National Museum of Science of Technology that’s designed to demonstrate the effects of optical illusion on the mind and body. Entering the Crazy Kitchen is like walking through the doors of a house of mirrors at ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: When Caregiving Feels Like War: Learn From the Military

The other day, I was listening to a banker talking about the volatility of financial markets.  She used a term I hadn’t heard before – VUCA.  It’s a military term used by forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and it stands for ‘Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous’.  “Wow”, I thought, “that sure sounds like my life!” So, ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: FREE WEBINAR – Managing Caregiver Emotions When the Going Gets Tough

Join me this Wednesday evening the 29th at 7pm EST for a FREE WEBINAR at The Caregiver Network – details below. Managing Emotions When The Going Gets Tough June 29, 2016 @ 7:00–8:30 pm (EST) REGISTER HERE + Google Calendar + iCal Export This session is intended for Caregivers How can uncomfortable emotions be managed when caregiving ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: FREE WEBINAR – Managing Caregiver Emotions When the Going Gets Tough

Join me this Wednesday evening the 29th at 7pm EST for a FREE WEBINAR at The Caregiver Network – details below. Managing Emotions When The Going Gets Tough June 29, 2016 @ 7:00–8:30 pm (EST) REGISTER HERE + Google Calendar + iCal Export This session is intended for Caregivers How can uncomfortable emotions be managed when caregiving ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Divine Spark Inside Me

For the past couple of weeks, we haven’t used our front door.  We enter and exit through the garage so we don’t disturb the temporary home of a young family of purple finches nesting in our porch light. We don’t turn on the light on either, because there’s a Mama sitting on her eggs directly ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: My Caregiver Worst Fear

Every caregiver has a worst fear – a nightmare scenario that unfolds like an unwanted, sinister guest in the imagination.  It might be triggered by the sound of an unusual thud upstairs, a front door slamming, or the smell of burning toast.  In my case, it’s the telephone.  When Nicholas was very young, the treatment ...