THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: DIANE’S STORY

I am so pleased to share a personal caregiver story from Diane today. Diane’s husband Bob had a devastating stroke and sadly passed away in 2015. Diane shares her wisdom with us today. I’m grateful for stories of stroke caregiving because my Dad had three strokes and after living for two years with paralysis and ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: HELP FOR ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVERS

I am pleased to host this guest post by Lydia Chan, whose Mom suffers from Alzheimer’s. Lydia writes for Alzheimerscaregiver.net. The data is in, and there’s no doubt that Alzheimer’s caregivers are exhausted. The University of Michigan and AARP recently teamed up to survey the people who are providing full time care to loved ones with this crippling ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: TV Stars are Caregivers Too – Meet Leeza Gibbons

November is National Caregivers Month and to kick off, I’ve interviewed TV personality and caregiver activist, Leeza Gibbons.  Leeza Gibbons is an Emmy Award winner TV personality who has become an important voice for family caregivers. Recognized as a social entrepreneur, Leeza has become one of the leading voices for issues facing family caregivers. When ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: A NEW SHORT FILM ABOUT DEMENTIA – SNEAK PEAK!

I always get excited when I hear about a new film about caregiving concerns. Today, I’d like to suggest that we all mark our calendars on November 6 with a reminder to watch the release of J. Costello, a touching eight-minute film about a charming man falling into the wilderness of dementia. J. Costello is ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Advice You’ve Never Thought Of! Tips for Travelling with an Older Parent

My Mom grew up summering in Kennebunk Port in Maine – all her best memories are of playing in the sand and surf with her brothers and sister there. Now at 95, she has a powerful wish to return, but I am nervous about travelling with her. This guest post by writer Gary Simmons gives ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: I CAN’T EXPLAIN WHAT’S WRONG DOC, BUT HERE, LOOK AT MY PHONE

Trying to describe our son Nick’s seizures to his neurologist was really difficult until we realized we could film them and use our appointment time to watch the real thing. Nothing captures what really happens during a seizure like recording the event on video. The same goes for unusual or difficult episodes of behaviour in ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Mama Peaches’ Wisdom – Book Review for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Fans of caregiver advocate and author Christopher-Charles Chaney’s ‘MamaPeaches and Me: Wit and Wisdom for Worn-Out Caregivers’ will be thrilled that Chaney has penned a new volume for caregivers of loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s. ‘Mama Peaches’ Hot Slices of Wisdom: Mama’s Timeless Truths and MyTimely Caregiving Knowledge’ is the title of Chaney’s new ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: LOSING YOUR IDENTITY AND BEING A CAREGIVER

Guest Post by Caregiver Melanie Anderson – thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience, Melanie!Being my husband’s primary caregiver, for much of the time, his only caregiver, has taken it’s toll on me. One of my biggest challenges was losing a sense of self. As Eric’s care got more intense and technical, it consumed ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Eclipse, The Future and the EQ of Caring

Something about this week’s solar eclipse has me thinking about the future of humanity. The sun strangely disappearing on Monday reminds us all that anything can happen. We are, after all, at the mercy of the natural world. The eclipse seems like a good reason to imagine future societies and the role of caregivers in ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: “Just Let Go” Doesn’t Work When a Loved One is Medically Complex

Jessica McLean is a writer who cares for her Mom. I asked Jess to write about the challenges of letting go and trusting others with her Mom’s care. “Just letting go” doesn’t work when a loved one is medically complex, as Jess learned. A few years ago, my mother ended up in the ICU with ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: WHAT HAPPENED NEXT: WHEN A CAREGIVER GOT CANCER

Paid or unpaid, caregivers are never supposed to get sick, right? But sometimes we do. Sue Robins owns a health care communications company and she also happens to be the mother of a young man with Down Syndrome. Robins used to blog about caring for her son and his encounters with the health care system.  But that ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: HOW TO TALK ABOUT CAREGIVING AT WORK

Talking about caregiving at work can be difficult and stressful. And that’s important because 35% of ALL employed Canadians have caring responsibilities at home.  Dr.Zachary White is an expert in the barriers that natural caregivers face in explaining their responsibilities at home to others, including employers. Dr. White is an Associate Professor at Queen’s University in ...

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 ...