The Artistry of Caregiving: A Book Review

The Artistry of Caregiving: Letters to Inspire Your Caregiving Journey

- A Book Review -

Written by Kirsty Porter  16 May 2017

~ Nurse and Aged Care Enthusiast ~

Share

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Dear Carole Brecht,

 

I was so inspired by your book and the style in which you delivered it, I decided to write this book review to you personally, using the same unique style you wrote ‘The Artistry of Caregiving: Letters to Inspire Your Caregivers Journey”.

 

Carole, your new award-winning book undoubtedly exemplifies the art of caregiving. Not because you have perfected it, but because you laid bare you’re imperfect and heart-wrenching caregivers journey. A 5 year journey that not only saw you care for your mom living with Alzheimer’s Disease, but also doing it while still having your own children depended on you.

 

Carole, I salute you. I salute all that you have achieved and have endured to give us this book. You dutifully gave up everything to care for your mom, and feeling sandwiched between two generations who needed you, you unwittingly became a poster child for the Sandwich Generation.

 

Undoubtedly, this newly coined term 'Sandwich Generation' is fast becoming a massive global cohort of people caught between dependent parents and dependent children, a group that needs all the support it can get.  And your book becomes an important part of this support.

 

The Artistry of Caregiving is definitely not a self-help book. Instead, I found this book almost talks to you, calms you, is sensitive, truly makes you believe you can survives the caregivers roles and finally, it purports to give the reader strength to carry on.

 

 

The Artistry of Caregiving openly addresses issues of caregiver’s guilt, responsibility, frustration, anger and micro-management. Carole, not only do you sensitively address these complex feelings in the form of 33 personalised letters to co-caregivers, but you also courageously share your inner most struggles between chapters, sharing your extraordinary stories of how you yourself coped, or didn’t cope, during those intensely difficult times caring for your mom.

 

Each of the 33 personalised letters and chapter narratives are designed to give hope, clarity, comfort and even joy to those navigating their own caregiver’s journey. Dear Champion, Dear Protector, Dear Peace Giver and Dear Pillar are examples of these letters, with each letter weaving your own personal caregiving experiences.   I completely adore how you’ve successful written them (especially “Dear Friend”), and how each letter is signed off with a voice of confidence, sincerity and love.

 

It is obvious too, each letter has its own purpose. The letter titled ‘Dear Giver’ validates the readers caregiving efforts, while the letter ‘Dear Defender,’ encourages the reader to fight the fight advocating for their parents needs when dealing with busy health care professionals.

 

As a health care professional myself, I know nurses and health professionals alike will offer luck, condolence and support after every new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. Some will refer you to a community support group, others will act as an advocate, and some will ‘see you next time.’ But, in the end, the actual support for couples or individuals embarking on this care-giving journey comes from their family and community.

 

I call these guys the ‘in-between’ supporters. These are the people who support you in-between seeing the specialists, the doctors and the nurses.

 

Of the people I’ve meet living with a dementia disease such as Alzheimer’s, I continuously hope they are receiving ‘in-between’ support. Support from their extended family, their lifelong friends, from their local social club (a club they’ve always gone to), and even from that nosey neighbour - who might just know how to help. Anyone who might offer a shoulder to cry on, have a laugh with or offers the occasional listening ear.

 

This is why your book is so important to me.

 

This is why I am recommending this book on my website and social media pages. This is why your book features at my dementia café.

 

Because your book acts as the ‘in-between’ support person!

 

Your book will support the caregiver at night when their loved one wont sleep, when the doctor wont listen, when feeling isolated at home, when you can’t stop crying from exhaustion. Your book knows what is happening and sends encouragement hope, laughter, joy, courage, connecting ideas and, hilariously, even your contact detail in case of emergency!

 

Quite remarkable, Carole.

 

Cheers to you Carole, for believing in yourself.

 

Cheers to your own ‘in-between’ people.

 

Cheers for having the courage to write The Artistry of Caregiving and complimenting it with your beautiful and unique artwork, Zentangle.

 

Finally, thank you for refused to accept what you could not change, and turning the journey of caregiving into a personal masterpiece.

 

Indeed, you and your book are truly remarkable.

 

Sincerely,

Kirsty Porter x

Zentangle illustration by Carole Brecht
A Zentangle illustration by author Carole Brecht

The Age of Senescence is proud to be an Amazon Associate.

Click the on the book cover to go straight to Amazon and own Carol's book for yourself or for a friend.

Kirsty is the Founder of the new blogging site The Age of Senescence that explores new innovation in global ageing and aged care.  Kirsty is also the creator of The Umbrella Dementia Cafe in Blackburn, Melbourne.  After successfully hosting multiply sessions in 2016 & 2017, there is now some considerable excitement surrounding its sustainability.  The cafe is in its creative development phase - see how she is progressing on her Dementia Cafe webpage and Facebook page.

Check out The Age Of Senescence website or popular social media sites;
YouTubeTwitter, Instagram and Facebook

Literature resources for helping children understand dementia.

 

I’m a massive advocate for keeping children in the conversation about dementia.  I’ve researched and found some excellent books helping children understand dementia and Alzheimers;

 

1. ‘Weeds in Nans’s Garden.’  By Kathryn Harrison (recommended)

 

2‘What happened to Grandpa.’  By Maria Shiver (inspirational change agent)

 

3. ‘Still my Grandma.’  By Veronique Van Den Abeele & Claude K. Dubois (award winning book)

 

4. ‘Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge.’  By Mem Fox  (an oldie but a goodie - I have this one for my own children)

 

5. "Why did Grandma put her Underwear in the refrigerator?”  by Max Wallack and Carolyn Given.  (Written from a 7 year old's perspective)

 

Literature resources for helping children understand dementia.

 

I’m a massive advocate for keeping children in the conversation about dementia.  I’ve researched and found some excellent books helping children understand dementia and Alzheimers;

  1. ‘Weeds in Nans’s Garden.’  By Kathryn Harrison (recommended)
  2. ‘What happened to Grandpa.’  By Maria Shiver (inspirational change agent)
  3. ‘Still my Grandma.’  By Veronique Van Den Abeele & Claude K. Dubois (award winning book)
  4. ‘Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge.’  By Mem Fox  (an oldie but a goodie - I have this one for my own children)
  5. "Why Did Grandma Put her Underwear in the Refrigerator” by Max Wallack and Carolyn Given. (Written from a 7 year old's perspective)

 

Subscribe and be a part of

The Age of Senescence community.

 

Receive emails about what I’m currently working on and notifications when articles are published. 

AGEING BETTER TOGETHER©

AGEING BETTER TOGETHER

 

Or click social media icon to follow me

Facebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutubeinstagram

1 Comment on “The Artistry of Caregiving: A Book Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *