I realize not all of my readers are caregivers or are provided care by another, but you have chosen to be on this journey with Angie and me as you read each of our blogs. Continuing our discussion during Indiana Disability Awareness Month, I want to share a book that has had an impact on me as a caregiver.
I was gifted a book recently that really helped me put words to my role as my wife’s caregiver with her Multiple Sclerosis. It was wonderful to read a book that understood the life of a long-term caregiver, the challenges as well as the joys, and provided encouragement. That book is Caregiver Defined: Words that honor the work of the caregiver by Michael Fortuna.
“Think of this book as a casserole for caregivers, an awkward but sincere gift left on the doorstep that will make them feel more understood and validated.”
The humble casserole holds a special place in the world of empathy – when you don’t know exactly what to say to someone going through trying times, a casserole perfectly articulates your concern. It is in that spirit that Michael Fortuna wrote Caregiver Defined, a beautifully illustrated book that honors caregivers by defining them through a vocabulary of words that are associated with the care they provide, and the wide range of emotions connected to it.
Inspired by his own caregiving experience, but also aware that every caregiving encounter is unique and deeply personal, he devotes a single paragraph to each word, finding a meaningful way to relate it to the caregiver. The text is simple, thought-provoking and inspirational, and the illustrations by professional illustrator, Peg Lee, add a richness to the overall content.
You know whom the caregiver cares for, but who cares for the caregiver? Caregiver Defined will leave caregivers feeling honored for their work, and leave you with a sense of comfort, knowing you found a simple and sincere way to express your care.
Do you know someone who is a caregiver? I encourage you to read this book yourself, to better understand that person and their role. Then, gift the book to the caregiver for encouragement as well.
If you are a fellow caregiver, have you found a book that really speaks to you as a caregiver? If so, I would appreciate hearing about other encouraging books.