Below is the guest post I wrote featuring my book
Keeping It Together: How to Cope as a Family Caregiver without Losing Your Sanity
The inspiration to write Keeping It Together: How to Cope as a Family Caregiver without Losing Your Sanity comes from the years I spent as a community outreach social worker in dementia care. It can go back even further to when I was providing care while witnessing my father’s decline, living his last four years with dementia. I observed then, having a strong grief background, that just as in my own experience, the family caregivers I was serving were grieving even though no one had physically died. Rather, they were grieving the loss of their family member to the illness.
The format of this book outlines three elements of a strength-enhancing regimen. Alongside responsible caregiving and self-care, the pivotal element of grief processing is what makes this book stand out. I observed that the grief that the caregivers experienced and the impact of it on their well-being and ability to provide care was being overlooked, disenfranchised, and buried under the care demands. To raise awareness and address the losses and grief, I developed the innovative 3-A Approach components of Acknowledge, Assess, Assist. The 3-A Approach was academically published, presented at workshops, is being taught to healthcare professionals as an intervention tool, and brought directly to the family caregiver, as featured in this book. It has been further developed since and is now referred to as the 3-A Coping Framework.
I introduce you in this guidebook to a new perspective for coping with the situational loss you face as a family caregiver. My intention was to offer a practical companion and guide in a cocoon-like manner so you may unmask any shame due to stigma or painful feelings. Like butterflies in their transformation who must break free from the cocoon by their own efforts so that they may fly, this book’s content provides you with refuge, insight, direction, and tools to tackle common but often unspoken challenges. It offers an opportunity to transform, to come out of the reading experience personally enriched with enhanced inner strength and ability to cope.
To help readers grasp the content, there are 12 K.I.T. (Keeping It Together) practice exercises that allow you to participate in a hands-on way throughout. So that you do not feel so alone and stigmatized in the experience, there are several potentially relatable accounts provided by various family caregivers. Here is what Joan, a devoted family caregiver for her husband wrote about the caregiver accounts and the exercises.
“The incorporation of the voices of actual caregivers throughout the book provided a point of connection and companionship for me. The K.I.T. exercises are a gentle invitation to claim the book’s content in light of my own challenging journey.”
You can work through this easy reading cocoon-in-the-form-of-a-book at your own pace and refer back as needed. A must-read if you do not want to lose yourself in the caregiving world or if you are losing yourself and need to find your way to move forward with more resilience to ‘keep it together’.
Click Here to view the guest post on the AlzAuthors website
Also featured there was the front cover image of
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