5 Thoughtful & Last-Minute Gifts for Caregivers

Do you have a caregiver on your Christmas list? Have the holidays gotten the best of you, and you’ve only got a few more days to finish shopping? Don’t let the culture of buying unnecessary gifts get to you. You can show your love to the caregiver on your list by choosing one of the thoughtful gifts below.
1) Give the gift of “a break”
Offer to visit or sit with your friend’s loved one. Even an hour or two can make a caregiver’s day. When my mother was alive, a friend of mine visited her at her nursing home during the holidays. I was so touched and deeply grateful. My days were busier than usual because I was trying to balance the demands of the season and create some sweet memories for my young daughter. Just knowing that Mom had the company of my friend lifted my heart.
2) Offer your company
If your friend is caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, go to them. He or she probably can’t get away, but would love some company. I remember one Christmas, another friend of mine brought me tea, and we sat together by the fire and enjoyed an hour of conversation. I probably vented, cried and laughed. By the end of her visit, I felt better and knew I was loved.
3) Run an errand
If you are stressing over the holidays, imagine what it’s like for those who can’t leave their loved one. Offer to run an errand, pick up gifts, buy food, deliver a prescription. When I was caring for my mother, a dear friend of mine would often call and tell me what stores she was going to and if I needed anything. She gave me the compassionate gift of making it sound like it was easy for her to do this favor for me. And the bonus was that I got to see her for a few minutes when she delivered what I needed.
4) Make a meal or a dessert
When my mother had Alzheimer’s, the holidays could be overwhelming. Thoughtful friends would sometimes call and tell me they were bringing over a meal. As a non-cook, it was such a gift to not have to think about that part of the holiday celebration. Instead, I could spend more time simply being with my mom, which made her happy.
5) Share an inspiring book
Let’s face it, the holidays can be depressing, especially when you feel like you’re the only one bearing the burden of caring for someone. I love reading. But I didn’t want fluffy reading material. I wanted a book about someone else who was going through a difficult trial. A real-life story that would encourage me to keep going each day. A book that showed there was light at the end of a long tunnel.
AlzAuthors.com has a selection of memoirs and novels written for caregivers. Visit our bookstore here. The eBook of my memoir, Motherhood: Lost and Found, tells the story of my mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s when I was 33 years old. It’s on sale for $2.99 during the holidays. Pick up a copy here.
Thoughtful Gifts Show You Care
Any of these thoughtful gifts will show the caregiver in your life that you truly care. Loving and compassionate friends, who understand your circumstances, and want to help, are the truest gifts of the season.

Stock Up on Great Books During the AlzAuthors Book Sale & Giveaway in Honor of National Caregivers’ Month

November is National Caregiver Appreciation Month and a wonderful time to recognize the long hours, sacrifice, and love all caregivers bring to the task of caring for a loved one with dementia or any long-term illness. In honor of their efforts, AlzAuthors.com is hosting a Book Sale & Giveaway from November 7th – 13th. This is a terrific way for caregivers who are looking for knowledge, guidance, and support to build a library of carefully vetted books to help guide and inspire them everyday.

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National Caregivers’ Month: Finding Community in Caregiving

November is a week and a half away, and I’m already feeling the undertow of a huge wave that is getting ready to break. For those of you who don’t know me, November is the month that my mother passed away. It will be 11 years this November 17th.

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The Heart of AlzAuthors: Spreading the Love

As I bask in the glow of a very full week last week, my mind circles in an effort to capture the resonance of what felt like a deeply significant time. In the simplest of terms, on behalf of AlzAuthors, Jean Lee and I attended and spoke at an Alzheimer’s conference, collected and gave away a number of books and invited a group of authors to share in this experience. But it was so much more. Read the rest of this entry »

Caregiver Connections: Bringing AlzAuthor Jean Lee to Charlotte

Ever since my trip to Naples last November (which I wrote about here), I’ve been wondering what it would be like to bring members of my AlzAuthors Management Team home. I’ve grown close to these women, who I’ve been working side by side with in a virtual office for about a year now. We are scattered around the country and beyond (our art director lives in Canada), yet we share an intimacy that’s hard to imagine, if you haven’t been an Alzheimer’s caregiver.

I met Jean and Vicki for the first time in Naples, Florida, last November.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jean Lee and Vicki Tapia once in person. I only know Marianne Sciucco, Kathryn Harrison and Irene Olson through social media and Google Hangouts. But I feel as if I know their hearts. I’ve read their books. I know their stories, and I know the passion they bring to the work they do at AlzAuthors. After all, who would think that a handful of volunteers would have collected and collated 170+ resources from around the world about Alzheimer’s and dementia? And that’s just a fraction of what they do. Read the rest of this entry »

Christmas in July! More Book Donations for Caregivers!

After spending two weeks at Lake George, my mother’s family home, where I had the incredible blessing of sharing my caregiving journey in a lakeside setting, I returned to a towering stack of packages. As my mother would say, “My cup runneth over!”

Alzheimer’s Books Donated!

These packages were filled with book donations for the upcoming Alzheimer’s Association conference in Charlotte! Each book was written by an AlzAuthor, a writer who has experienced the challenges, demands and heartbreak of living with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia. There are novels, memoirs, caregiving guides and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Book Donations for Caregivers Pour In

Book donations for caregivers…more arrive every day!

Not much makes me happier than seeing brand new beautiful books. But when the books are sent by generous authors, most of whom have experienced the challenges of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, my heart overflows.

About a month ago, I put out a call to AlzAuthors.com, a site of over 160 authors who write books and blogs about Alzheimer’s and dementia. I asked our authors for books that could be given away in a raffle to caregivers at the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Education Conference in Charlotte in August. Since that time, my mailbox has been overflowing with books. Read the rest of this entry »