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Using Our Challenges to Help Others

Using Our Challenges to Help Others

I zealously guard my time. Time is the only thing we have that is precious and the only thing that cannot be bought. And when my father was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, time became even more of a priority for me because I realized that we never know how much time we have left. It’s tempting to think, and I’m sure that we all do think, that we will live a healthy 80 years. And we also think that once I complete X then life will be perfect. Once I stop working, for example, then I can retire on the beach. But some of us never get to retire. So we truly must enjoy the time we have now. And to enjoy our time, we must reduce stress.

Once my father was diagnosed, there were hundreds, and I mean hundreds of decisions to make over a three-year period. Where does he live? Who is going to take care of him? Do we take his keys away? Who should his doctor be? Should we apply for disability? How do we protect his assets? Making all of these decisions was my responsibility because dad could no longer have any input into the process. And my parents are divorced and I am an only child.

Beyond my grief, and there is and was a lot of grief over the situation, there was a resentment at having to make all these decisions and take time away from my work and my two young boys. And there was confusion. The intersection of resentment and confusion is not a fun place to be! I scoured the Internet for one source, one book or website that would tell me all the decisions that I need to make. I didn’t find one. Instead, I had to search through several sources for each hurdle.

My father always taught me to use pain to help others. In his honor, I’ve decided to write a series of books aimed at guiding caregivers through all the decisions that they need to make. Every book is full of checklists to make it easy for someone to ensure that they are covering all aspects of their loved one’s care. My first title focuses on how to keep your loved one safe.  Published by Silver Hills Press, you can find it here:

Chapter 3 cover