As in so many conditions, there are crossovers that help us cope with our own caregiving. Gary Joseph LeBlanc, a columnist for a Tampa Tribune pubication, was the sole caregiver for his father for more than ten years. He has written a remarkable book called, “Staying Afloat in a Sea of Forgetfulness.” Yes, his Dad suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, but because it is a disease of the brain, there are similarities in how vets’ caregivers can understand and handle one who has had a stroke, suffered brain damage, developed ALS or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“Staying Afloat in a Sea of Forgetfulness” serves as a complete and dependable guide towards providing total care and strong commitment to those you love who have suffered brain damage. It discusses the role and characteristics of a successful caregiver; the do’s and don’ts in taking care of loved ones with impaired brain function; and the needs, challenges and hardships of caregiving over extended time periods. This book is more meaningful because the author was his father’s caregiver and he has experienced the frustration and despair that flag every caregiver at some point and is the crucial reason for caregiver burnout. As a caregiver of a husband with Parkinson’s disease, the neurologist warned us that often the caregiver dies before the patient, so the caregiver must learn the difference between being effective and exhausting your own health trying to make up for everything your loved one has lost.
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