You are Stronger than you know

Our mission is to support caregivers in caring for their mental, physical and spiritual well being and to create greater awareness for family and friends to the daily challenges all caregivers and their Loved Ones face.

There is very little that is easy about being a caregiver for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s disease. However, at the center of any challenge is opportunity. Support the Caregiver was created to illuminate the opportunities within each of us and to turn this time of hardship into one of profound growth.

The Buddhist philosopher Pema Chödrön said:

“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.”

Being a caregiver can destroy us, or it can resurrect us into a life of wisdom and compassion. When my wife Linda was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease at age 51, both of us embarked on a journey that would reshape our destinies. To search the depths of my pain and thus discover empathy, patience, understanding and love is the path to my healing. It is my strong desire for those who share this journey with me, to experience hope and inspiration, in a community of love and support that by our choice,
can be Positively Transforming.

Dr. David Davis

HOW SUPPORT THE CAREGIVER CAME INTO EXISTENCE

Joko Gilbert

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David is a thoughtful, kind, big bloke with a unique sense of humor. Our group of friends spent many wonderful times together, laughing, eating, reminiscing about the past and dreaming up our futures. Then Linda, at the age of 51, was diagnosed with Young Onset Alzheimer’s. All our lives forever changed. David became his sweet wife’s primary caregiver. As Linda’s illness progressed David became more stressed and his health declined. A good night’s sleep was a rarity. He experienced bouts of anxiety, anger, irritability and depression. Sound familiar? I found myself more worried about David than I was about Linda. Linda was so well taken care of and I realized I needed to support David as well as Linda.

David and I talked numerous times daily, collaborated and went to support group meetings, read a lot, scoured the Internet for answers and found that although there is a wealth of support out there, it wasn’t quite what we were looking for. We wanted more. We felt the primary caregiver needs more! More encouragement. More help. More support. Much more support! With broken hearts, sometimes in total frustration and often with tears streaming down our faces, we learned and grew and now are ready to share, which strategies and perspectives worked for us. And which didn’t! And so Support the Caregiver was born.

Dr. David Davis

It was Joko who held me aloft with hope. Her strength and determination would not let me drown in sorrow. I am a caregiver; Joko is the Caregiver's Caregiver with the perfect blend of empathy, strength, wisdom and love.

I fought her tooth and nail as she softly yet authoritatively shared with me the ways to lessen the stresses involved. My stubbornness yielded to acceptance and surrender as her ideas continued to prove effective and invaluable.

Caring for Linda is a daily challenge, for Linda and for me. I am determined that it will not diminish me but teach me how to manage our days and learn how to take better care of my health and mental well being while caring for my sweet wife.

If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.

Jack Kornfield

FACTS:

  • Nearly 60% of caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; about 40% suffer from depression, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
  • Caregivers are at a 63% higher risk of mortality than non-caregivers in the same age group, according to a study by University of Pittsburgh researchers Richard Schulz and Scott Beach reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 1999.

OUR RESPONSE TO ABOVE FACTS:

We strongly encourage you to reject the "inevitability" of these facts. Instead, we ask you to broaden your perspective that caregiving is an insurmountable obstacle that will lead to exhaustion, illness and death.

Let’s begin to look at the caregiving path as an opportunity for

  • Growth
  • Possibility
  • Healing

Let’s examine perceived limitations of what you think you are capable of and have your caregiving journey be an opportunity to discover and create the very best version of yourself.

Welcome to Support the Caregiver!

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS, THEY KNOW THE WAY!

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Primary CaregiverOccasional CaregiverFamilyFriendHealthcare professional

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