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Allan A.

Caregiver & Family

A little over five years ago, my wife, Deloris, suffered a stroke. Three years earlier, we moved to an island community outside Seattle, where we had lived for decades. For the first two and a half years there, we cared for my wife's elderly aunt until she passed away.  She died after a massive stroke three months before my wife stroked. Luckily, Deloris's stroke was less severe. The resultant cognitive and physical deficiencies left her dependent on me, or others, to help with normal daily activities. I became her primary caregiver.  

The changes in our lives and relationship were dramatic and difficult. My wife was unable to continue her career as a professional award-winning writer. I was able to continue teaching the graduate school courses online which was my primary professional activity, while having to give up the volunteer work I had been doing. 

As I look back on my early experiences as a caregiver, I realize it gifted me with opportunities to learn major life lessons that have made me a more caring and compassionate person. At the same time, I encountered depths of anger and loss I never knew I possessed. And, we developed a much deeper love and commitment to each other as a result. In emails and ultimately a book length memoir, Learning to Float, I documented my wife's progress throughout, as well as the lessons I learned as her caregiver. I believe the guidelines for floating, and the lessons I learned, can help anyone who becomes a caregiver.

» Read more about Recovery for Caregivers & Families.


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