Kathryn R. Burke
Caregiving Articles & Book Excerpts
CAREGIVING for someone you love (or maybe don’t even like…) can be an arduous journey—or a very special one filled with love if you open your heart. As you go down that difficult road with the person (or persons, perhaps aging parent) you are caring for, you walk beside them, help them when they stumble or fall, hug them and hold their hands through grief, mental, and physical pain. You are a companion and caregiver, medical assistant and social director, cook and housekeeper, and above all, keeper of the faith. Having been down that road myself, and later written and spoken about it, I know first hand what that journey is like.
I hope some of these article will help you find your way and give you comfort, hope, and help as you travel the caregiver’s path.
Is it Lewy Body?
Getting on and Beyond Column
[January 2021 | Montrose Daily Press] Lewy Body dementia (LBD or DLB) is the second most common type of dementia and the most often mis-diagnosed. The progressive disease has no cure and is characterized by changes in behavior or cognition (dementia), movement (Parkinson’s disease or PD), and autonomic functions). Both forms may include (or even begin with) neuropsychiatric symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and behavioral problems. [story]
Tech on the Farm
Senior farmers learn new-fangled ways.
[May 2020 | San Juan Silver Stage] So, what does Farmer John do with a cell phone? And why does he need a tablet? Well, he can count his chickens or head of cattle, photograph his flock or his herd, and keep track without having to carry pencil and paper or run back to the barn and hope he remembers what he forgot to write down. [Story]
Seniors and Technology
Seniors are adept at adapting
[May 2020 | San Juan Silver Stage] Are “seniors” tech-challenged? Maybe some, but certainly not all. The current Covid Crisis calls for a ‘new normal’ way of thinking, interacting, and living life… and that’s not age-dependent. Before Corona, many 50+ folks were already using technology to livestream movies and sports events, bank, pay bills, book vacations, and shop Amazon. They have smart phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. According to reports in Pew Research regarding older adults, “roughly three-quarters of internet-using seniors say they go online on a daily basis – and nearly one in 10 go online almost constantly”. [Story]
Senior Pets for Senior People
[January 2020 | Montrose Daily Press] For many seniors, having a furry friend provides wonderful companionship. Yet, some who long for a pet may be afraid to get one lest they outlive it. Fostering or adopting offers a perfect solution. You can age together. Senior canines and cats share calm camaraderie with us—a blessed gift as we age. They offer unconditional love and alleviate loneliness. [Story]
Food & Cargiver Companionship
(Excerpt from the Caregiver’s Cookbook)
[May 2018 | Montrose Daily Press] I grew up in a family where we all ate supper together. No cell phones, iPads, and iPods; we actually talked with one another—face-to-face. Imagine that! And, we looked forward to that time of the day when we could come together as a family and share the day’s experiences. That tradition continued as I raised children of my own. Later, when faced with the increasing demands of a spousal caregiver, I was grateful to be able to continue making food a wonderful source of coping and companionship. [Story]
The Caregiver’s Journey
Navigating the Path – Preface
Caregiver? Who, me? Caregiver’s Journey? What’s that? Sounds like a trip I’d rather skip. My kids are grown, my life is finally my own. Why would I want to be somebody’s life preserver when their boat starts sinking?
Caregiving—it’s certainly not a journey most of us would anticipate, much less prepare for. We’ve been too busy living to think about dying. But you’re already on the path, and it stretches ahead, twisting and turning and winding out of sight. You must learn how to navigate it, sometimes rather quickly. This book is your road map.
The Caregiver’s Journey
Building Your Care Team – preface
This is the second book of Burke’s Caregiver’s Journey series.“This book is about life,” Burke says, “what happens as you live it and how to help someone (including yourself) live it in the best possible way when you are a Caregiver—and even more so, once you can see the end of the road. It’s about healing and people helping people who need help, and it’s based on 20+ years of Caregiving experience, augmented with the stories of so many other Caregivers I’ve met going down the road. Building Your Care Team shows you how to find and work with people who can help. [Story]