About me

I have been writing poetry and stories since I was a child, and a love of reading was instilled in me from an early age. I am passionate about writing, and hope you enjoy the books I have written. Whilst most of you sleep soundly in your beds, like many Parkinson’s patients, insomnia dictates, so during those hours that sleep eludes me, the house is tranquil and quiet, an atmosphere perfect to immerse myself in writing. My life has been a series of strange events, which have without doubt contributed to my creativity. To publish anything is to bear one’s soul to the world. It is to stand naked and let everyone see who you really are. I have poured my heart and soul out on paper and I hope to share this journey, immersing you in a story, capturing your attention and firing the imagination. Through my writing and public speaking I hope to bring greater awareness to the general public about living with chronic disease.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Caregiver burnout

Unlike some diseases, a Parkinson's patient can live a long life, therefore the prospect of the caregiver taking care of a loved one for many years to come may be overwhelming. It is therefore vital that the long term caregiver doesn't neglect his/her own health, avoiding regular medical appointments or tests. Having a hobby or physical activity is a great outlet for the caregiver. Family and friends can help by thinking of inviting the caregiver to events or social gatherings. Just because a person with Parkinson's may not be able to partake in a particular activity, don't forget about the needs of the caregiver who is able and may enjoy participating. Chronic illness can cause the relationship in a marriage to change considerably, and instead of being an equal partnership - the balance unquestionably shifts. The one who takes on the role of caregiver has increased responsibilities than the spouse who is ill, and is often left feeling guilty and inadequate; more like a "patient" than one half of a team/couple. Keeping family and friends living long distance in the picture is important too, and they can help in various ways despite being far away. Even a telephone call once a week to ask how the caregiver is holding up, sending a card, e-mail or parcel filled with the caregiver's favourite "goodies" can brighten his/her day, thereby letting them know they are thought about and appreciated. Lightening the load of the caregiver to avoid "burnout" just requires a little imagination and thought from family and friends. Small gestures can bring great comfort to a caregiver who may look like they are holding it together on the outside, but underneath that cool "got it under control" exterior, there could be a drained individual in distress. Pay attention and do what you can to help. Don't wait to be asked, or leave it until it's too late.

Take a look at my latest article that appears on The Huffington Post.

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