Through the stories of Rosie and Lisa, this book will take you on a journey of the various stages of caregiving for their parents, aunts and uncles. You will experience their fears, joys, frustrations, and creativity on the rollercoaster ride of caregiving.
Purpose of this book
If you are already a caregiver
The Purpose is to help you feel less alone, more understood, and help equip you for the challenges you may be experiencing.
Your Friend in Solitude
Your Guide for the Journey
Your Coach for Planning
If you are not already a caregiver
The purpose is to help you get mentally prepared for what you may experience someday and plan for it.
Letter from the Author
I decided to write this book for four reasons.
First, this is my therapy for healing as a primary caregiver, now that my loving family members for whom I cared for have all passed away.
Second, I heard someone once say, “Life’s tough experiences are wasted unless you tell your story to help others.” These words touched my heart and are a catalyst for this book of stories.
The third reason comes from over 10 years of professional experience with non-profits serving seniors. As a society, we are just not prepared for the aging of baby boomers.
According to the PEW Research Center (Baby Boomers Retire – December 29, 2010), “Roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 today, and about 10,000 more will cross that threshold every day for the next 19 years.”
From an article in AARP magazine (You Take Care of Mom, But Who Will Take Care of You? – August 26, 2013), “Ratio of potential family caregivers to elders needing care will plummet from today’s seven caregivers for each person over age 80 to fewer than three caregivers per elderly person in 2050.”
So, the third reason is to help raise awareness for the challenges we are facing as a society with our aging population.
The final reason was a coincidence that happened just a few weeks after my mom died. I met a neighbor at a local event and we decided to get together for coffee. She had been a caregiver for her mom who lived in another state. In the first two hours of our conversation, I let my guards down all the way for the first time. I laughed hysterically and cried violently. It was easy for me to relate to her experiences and vice versa. We could see the humor in our interactions with our dear moms and families. She knew my pain all too well, and I was feeling hers.
Meeting this perfect stranger, with whom a two-hour sharing of experiences conversation resulted in a huge sense of relief from grief, convinced me of the importance of writing this book.
I have chosen to write this book as a fictional biography, so I can freely share the stories inspired by my experiences and of others while protecting everyone’s identities.
So, let me introduce you to Rosie and Lisa. They will be your story tellers in this book about their Journeys as caregivers.
Yasmin Zahra Shah
Chapters in the book
As mentioned in the book, please also see our Resources.