ow do you care for yourself when you feel you are taking care of the rest of the world? If you are experiencing the joys and sorrows and the ups and downs of caregiving, this book is for you. It is for parents for whom parenting may never end because a child is physically, emotionally or intellectually disabled; it is for parents with a child who has returned home because of a physical, mental or intellectual condition that prevents independent living; it is for spouses caring for loved ones because of some disabling condition; it is for adults who are caring for parents, often as part of the sandwich generation.

This book is intended to restore a new and right spirit in you. Our goal is to restore balance to your spirit—to replace sadness with laughter, fear with hope, exhaustion with vitality, mourning with gratitude, emptiness with joy and burnout with a rekindled passion.

Every caregiver is unique. Every care receiver is unique. Every caregiver/care receiver relationship is unique as are the stresses and successes, joys and sorrows, anxious and serene moments in each relationship. What is not unique is the basic necessity of each caregiver to maintain self—body and soul. Only by accomplishing this can you continue to care in optimal fashion for your loved one.

This book will help you to identify with women and men who give of body, mind and soul to care for the well-being of one or more persons. There are professional caregivers—doctors, nurses, clergy, physical therapists, etc.; and there are informal caregivers—usually family and friends who give brief or around-the-clock care of loved ones with:

  • Emotional or mental problems
  • Dilemmas associated with aging
  • Developmental disabilities (physical, emotional or intellectual)
  • Physical illness and related limitations

This book offers guidance for the basic necessities of sustaining both your body and your soul. It is full of life-living wisdom garnered from folks who have walked the walk, lived the life, suffered the defeats, felt the agonies and the boredom, extended the compassion with a gentle word or a tender touch, experienced anger and frustration, celebrated the joys and depths of meaning and purpose, relaxed with the laughter, felt mortality and immortality—the limitations of our mortal bodies and the boundless yearnings of our unquenchable spirits.

This book will give you permission to feel, to think and to express the wide range of emotions, yearnings, fears and desires that are yours as a caregiver.

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