Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Founder of The Empowered Caregiver Network

I have the honor to serve as primary caregiver for my wife, Susan, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1980.
The first 12 years after Sue’s diagnosis sailed along smoothly. Both of us were largely able to ignore the disease, with the rare exception of a week or two here and there when she would experience a flare-up. Only in 1992 did I truly make the conscious choice to become (and to remain) a caregiver. That’s when MS began to affect Sue in ways that, frankly, I never associated with MS. At that time, neither did most of the medical community. These effects include memory loss, difficulty finding words, and a loss of multitasking abilities and mental processing speed.
My choice in 1992 to become a caregiver was the easiest decision I ever made. It also proved to be the most difficult in the years that followed until I became an Empowered Caregiver. By my estimate, even though I’ve been a caregiver for 20 years, I have another 30 years or more to go, God willing. So, even though I’m a far better caregiver today than I was as a rookie, I had better keep learning from others. And perhaps I can teach others something, too.
To make that possible, I've created my own blog on caregiving, The Empowered Caregiver Network. To help others and myself further, we hold "virtual support groups" monthly. All that any caregiver needs to join us for support is a telephone and an hour. We meet the last Sunday of every month by phone.  You'll find the details here.

Written by Jay Kraker, Caregiver

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