An individual doesn't get cancer, a family does. Terry Tempest Williams
As the U.S. population
ages, many adults find themselves taking care of their own families and elderly parents at the same
time, often referred to as The Sandwich Generation; or, caring for an ill spouse while employed outside the home. The Long Goodbye is for people in the primary caregiver
role, or those faced with the agony of watching a loved one die slowly from chronic illness.
On a personal note...
As a registered nurse, I took care of people for a living. I have been a family caregiver twice and
there is no comparison to professional nursing. It was harder for me to care for someone I love. My husband was disabled and unable to work for two years. I was his primary caregiver. My father was
ill at home for three years before he died. During the last months of his life, I made the 260-mile round trip once a week
to give respite to my mother and sister.
of these periods of care giving, I was exhausted and distracted. In retrospect, I realized two things: 1) It was difficult
to attend to my own emotional well-being and be a family caregiver at the same time, and 2) I thought I was alone. And so, Support
for the Caregiver was born. We teach best what we need to know. I hope the information helps you. I wish you peace.
Summer 2012: My husband fell down a flight
of stairs and shattered his ankle. Following surgery with placement of pins, plates and screws, there was a long recovery
/ rehab process. I found myself caregiver once more. From the lessons learned earlier, I knew that I could not care for
him unless I took care of me. Care giving still had its challenges, but at least this time around, I was doing things
differently. I continue to believe that we teach best what we ourselves need to know.
Go to next page: Caregiver Resources