Monday, 24 June 2019


Hi Everyone Here in the Caregivers' Living Room!

Zachary White and I have been very busy recently promoting our new book, The Unexpected Journey of Caring: The Transformation From Loved One to Caregiver

After a couple of years working hard on writing, we are laying the ground for a meaningful conversation about our ideas. It feels to me like some things we experience privately, we've never really talked about publicly before. Zachary and I have relied on our own caregiving experience as well as on research to reveal these truths.

So far on Amazon, we have five reader reviews (all 5* - yay!) - here they are:

June 8, 2019
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I found this book to be extremely informative and a great resource for caregivers. This is
 likely to impact all of us at one time or another, and the guidelines found here really
 articulate the experience and emotions shared by those put in the caregiving position.
 I'm grateful for the insights this book provides and highly recommend it. I'd give it a
 sixth star if Amazon would allow it!

2 people found this helpful

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June 21, 2019
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I am the caregiver for my elderly grandmother with Parkinson’s and this book has helped
 me so much already. It touches parts of caregiving not seen by the public eye... the hard
 truths and long nights, fear and frustrations, the way it changes your life continuously
 day by day . Very much recommended
review imagereview image
June 10, 2019
Format: Hardcover
This book tells the truth. Donna and Zachary do a great job with making this book
 so personal. Being someone who is constantly sick who has had family members
 become caregivers, really hits home. The authors provide real life examples of what
 caregivers and family members go through every day. The situations and examples
 they provide are not just "made up", but instead people's reality. What caregivers
 and their loved one's go through can be challenging by all means. But, Zachary
 and Donna make it easier for families to have a better understanding of their own
 lived experiences. Not only that, but they provide a sense of that we
 (caregivers/ill ones) are not alone.

One person found this helpful

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June 12, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is thought provoking. I used it as a jumping off point for a discussion
 with my husband. I am the caregiver. He is the one I am caring for. Ideas in this
 book presented us with an opportunity for a fruitful discussion on the role of
 the caregiver as well as the mindset of the one being cared for. So many of
 the ideas presented hit so close to home- like these authors were inside my
 head. Highly recommended.

One person found this helpful

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June 8, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is an amazing resource for anyone dealing with becoming a caregiver for a
 loved one. It is so insightful and helpful in dealing with the difficult process of caregiving.
 This book made me feel like I wasn't alone in this process. I would highly recommend
 this book to everyone!!

2 people found this helpful

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And in an email from a reader/caregiver: "I have
 often tried to explain to people why/how we do what 
we do. To the outside world and sometimes even the
 medical community it can look like over involvement or
 not seeing another way. Do firemen leave people in 
burning buildings? Do architects design buildings that are 
not safe? Do parents leave infants alone for a day? You are 
giving  value and definition to what we do. This speaks to 
us and those around us. Nothing short of a masterpiece." 
- Diane S.

Zachary White and I would love for you to buy our book and 
tell us what you think. Please do leave your comments on 
Amazon or on Goodreads. They make a difference. We 
hope to ignite a public conversation that will illuminate 
our experience and give value to it. Together, we are better
 and stronger. 

Sunday, 16 June 2019

A Wonderful Father - It's About Love and Security

This is my father, James "Babe" Thomson.  I miss him so much - he passed away after a series of strokes in 1975.  From my Dad, I learned to feel secure.  I learned kindness and the benefits of a quiet mind.  I learned how to control my temper and how to stick handle a hockey puck.  From my father, I learned that dignity is central to a good life.

Jim is my husband and our children's Dad.  Like my Dad, Jim gave our children a sense of trust and security.   He gave them a strong moral compass.  He taught Nicholas and Natalie how to budget (Nick's still working on this one!).  Our children know that their Dad adores them!

Happy Father's Day to all the loving Dads out there!  You are appreciated every day, but today, we want to tell you just how much.  It's a lot. Thank you for all you do - you anchor all of us.

Thursday, 13 June 2019


Grief is part of the caregiving experience and when a loved one passes away, unbearable sadness and loneliness can overwhelm. Today, I am happy to host this guest post by writer and widow, Sara Bailey who offers some strategies to help you sleep if you are grieving. 

If you are dealing with the death of a loved one, you know that grief can touch every aspect of your life. Grief can rob you of hunger, leave you feeling numb, and even steal away sleep at night. While there’s no quick cure for grief, there are some ways to at least improve your sleep.

Add Touches of Comfort to Your Bedroom

Loss can have so many effects on your body and mind. The death of a spouse can be especially impactful, and your grief may wash over you in waves throughout the day and night. You may feel less comfortable in your bedroom, where you once shared your lives, and this is completely normal. If it helps you to get rest, sleep elsewhere for a while but work your way back into feeling relaxed in your bedroom. Soothing wall colors like blues and greens can help ease the transition and improve your sleep, so reflect on whether painting your room in earthy colors will help. Aromatherapy can also aid relaxation and help you process your emotions. Several essential oils have been shown to have a calming influence on your body and ease the feeling of stress in your mind. Add hints of lavender, jasmine, or ylang-ylang to soothe yourself into a restful slumber.

Find Support for Your Grief and Your Sleep

When you lose someone you love, you need support to work through your grief, and you definitely need support to get some healing sleep. You should also consider whether you are sleeping on a mattress that provides that support, especially if you are experiencing any unexplained aches or pains. The right mattress for you will depend on several core factors, such as your age and preferred sleep positions.

Another method for supporting better sleep habits is to add some sleep technology that will truly help you, such as light therapy alarms and sleep monitors. For times when emotional support is really what you need, look to loved ones, family members, and support groups for relief. Pets can ease pain as well, so spend more time with your furry family member or, if you do not already have one, think about adopting or fostering a homeless animal.

Find Gentle Ways to Keep Your Body Moving

What you do during the day can impact your sleeping habits as well. For example, if you are not getting any physical activity throughout the day, you are less likely to get a good night’s sleep. A sedentary routine is one of the leading causes of insomnia and poor sleep hygiene among adults. You need regular exercise in order to prepare your body for sleep, but exercise can also help you feel better. When you work out, your brain produces chemicals that improve your mood, such as serotonin. These feel-good chemicals cannot help you completely overcome your grief, but they can prevent your grief from shifting into a more permanent depression. Look for effective mood-boosting workouts that are gentle on your body, such as swimming or yoga.

Take Care of Yourself in Other Ways Too

Exercise alone will not remedy your lack of quality sleep. You need to build a routine around other sleep-improving habits as well. No matter how busy your day gets, schedule enough hours at night to get the sleep you need. Most people need between seven to eight hours to feel truly rested and refreshed, but your needs can be very different. Your diet can have a major role in your sleep habits as well. Maintaining a balanced diet of whole foods, lean proteins, and essential fats can help you overcome the mental fog that is keeping you from feeling relaxed. Also, take care with what you eat before bed. Spicy meals and snacks, or those that contain a lot of fat and grease, may help you feel more comforted as you eat them. However, these foods can cause discomfort as your body digests them, and can make it difficult to fall asleep.

You need to rest in order to properly process your grief, so take steps to provide yourself with more comfort, extra care, and better quality sleep at night. Your mind, body, and soul deserve it.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Before you go... check out The Unexpected Journey of Caring: The Transformation From Loved One to Caregiver by Dr. Zachary and ME, Donna Thomson! 5* on Amazon and available now from all major online booksellers.