Sub-title: A support group's sotries of slow loss, courage, and love
The title of this book grabbed me, as caregiving has been on my mind the past few years. It was a different viewpoint on the struggles and realities of caring for elderly, disabled or impaired family members. The book tells the story of a caregivers support group over the course of a few years. The most striking take a way I had was the concept of an "ambiguous loss" - one where there is not a definitive end to losing a loved one for months and months. Friends and family quckly adjust to the caregiver bearing the burden of the elder parent, spouse or child, while the caregiver's life is a seemingly endless slide into greater loss, anger, frustration, sadness and most of all exhaustion.
The group leader used a phrase "automatic negative thinking" to identify the despairing attitude that can become a new norm for the caregiver. The author quoted one professional as saying "the evaporation of a purpose is a sure sign that someone is at risk" when they were explaining the downward spiral of many elderly. There was no tidy conclusion to this book. Only a revealing, thought provolking glimpse of a future that may be there for many of us, both as receivers and givers.
Published: 2014 Read: March 2014 Genre: Nursing, caring for elderly