Over the last decade, I have seen my grandfather’s role of loving husband gradually transform into that of caregiver, as my grandmother progresses through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease. It has been immensely difficult for him, my mother, and our entire family. Such a transformation is not unique to those whose lives have been affected by Alzheimer’s, or other forms of dementia. Stroke, Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, depression, Parkinson’s… the list of conditions that may require a loved one to assume the role of caregiver, at any point in life, is almost endless. As a result, were my grandfather more adept with what he calls: “That Blasted Computer,” he would have found an almost bottomless pit of information and support from those in a similar situation – as well as organizations and charities – in the form of blogs. Here are 20 such blogs that, while diverse in their origin, all are bound by their common link of caregiving, and thus offer potentially valuable information, insight, and support to those in a situation similar to my grandfather’s.
Alzheimer’s Reading Room
Bob DeMarco founded Alzheimer’s Reading Room having cared for his mother, Dotty, while she lived with the condition. It has grown into a veritable library of information, wisdom, and support. While the website is naturally focused on Alzheimer’s, its vast resources can be of use to each and every caregiver.
ArtsieSteph’s Junior Caregiver’s Guide
Stephanie has been blogging for nearly a year, having become a “junior caregiver” for her father, who has stomach cancer. Her blog posts, covering day-to-day progress in their journey, are adorned with Stephanie’s wonderful and meaningful cartoons.
Caregiver warrior Susanne White, set up her website having cared for both of her parents. Along with guest bloggers, Susanne shares her tips to help caregivers take care of themselves, in order to be better prepared to care for their loved ones.
The CareGiving blog is one of the most comprehensive you will find, and also offers a forum for users to interact with and support one another. Whether caring for a partner, parent, child, or any other loved one, the blog’s diverse range of authors are able to provide extensive advice and information.
Caregiving Made Easy
Kathy Macaraeg, of Caregiving Made Easy, has a dual perspective on caregiving. While her job means she helps family caregivers on a daily basis, she too lives with a chronic condition and is, at times, on the receiving end of care. Kathy’s experiences shape her blog, which covers everything from transportation to food and drink advice.
Early Onset Alzheimer’s Blog
Linda Fisher cared for her husband late, Jim, for a decade after he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at just 49 years of age. She continues to be a committed advocate for Alzheimer’s awareness, and her blog is littered with insight from her experience in caring for Jim.
Folia Health: Caregiver Chronicles
Folia Health is the brainchild of Nell Meosky Luo, who observed her mom’s experience as a caregiver to her brother, Paul. The Caregiver Chronicles blog features a range of stories from Superhero Caregivers, all of whom offer their own experiences of caring for their children.
Frances Kakugawa is a distinguished author and poet, whose experience in caring for her late mother, Matsue – who lived with Alzheimer’s – influences much of her work. 16 years after her mother passed away, Frances remains an active voice in caregiving, and has published four books on the subject – including one for children. She writes a Dear Frances advice column for caregivers in the Hawaii Herald, and her long-standing blog has a vast amount of posts about caregiving, ranging from practical advice to profound poetry.
Garden of Eagan
Leah Spring’s blog documents her life with 11 children – biological and adopted – six of whom live with Down Syndrome. Leah’s photo-laden blog, which she has faithfully written since 2005, is a quite remarkable account of her family as it has developed and grown over the years. A fascinating aspect of Leah’s blog is the insight into international adoption, and the significant obstacles she has had to overcome to bring some of her children home.
Journey with Dementia
A Journey with Dementia is exactly what the name suggests, written by Cassandra Jones, whose mother, Deana, was diagnosed with semantic dementia in 2012. Semantic dementia is a rare form of dementia, the onset of which is often midlife, before the age of 65. Cassandra’s mother sadly passed away in July last year. Cassandra has continued her blog, writing with an openness and emotion that anyone in a similar situation will be able to relate to.
Other posts you may be interested in on the MyTherapy blog:
Losing a Puzzle Piece
Jessica and Shane are two of five sisters, the eldest of whom, Colleen, was lost to cancer in 2015 at the age of 39. While many resources online address caregiving and end-of-life care for parents and elderly people, Losing a Puzzle Piece is specifically aimed at young adults and sibling, helping those in a similar situation to Jessica and Shane’s.
Rick Smith is, as you may have guessed, father of Noah – a now seven-year-old lad who was unexpectedly born with Down syndrome. Rick’s blog dates back to Noah’s very first year, during which time he has developed a library of material for anyone seeking information about raising a child with Down syndrome.
Gabriana Marks, herself living with a chronic condition that needs daily management, is also caregiver to her mother, who lives with a rare brain cancer. Like many of the blogs here, Gabriana’s is as much a lifestyle blog as anything else, but one that is shaped by her experiences in caring for her mother. Remarkably, she has posted every single day for over two years, using the hashtag #OneGoodThing.
Pauletta Hansel was named Cincinnati’s first Poet Laureate in 2016, and her latest collection of work, Palindrome, is shaped by her experiences in caring for her late mother, who lived with Alzheimer’s. On her blog, Pauletta shares poems from the collection, and explains her process behind writing about a deeply personal topic. Her work is as beautiful as it is heartfelt.
Rx for Caregivers
Caregiving is, by nature, an emotional and often difficult topic to write about. Sometimes, a dose of humor and whimsy can help provide a level of comic relief, which is where Rx for Caregivers steps in. Whilst still very much in its infancy, the daily posts have thus far suggested that the blog, scribed by auntdeev, whose mother lives with Alzheimer’s, is one to bookmark in 2018.
Sally Abrahms’ writing on caregiving appears in many national publications and online. For two years, she wrote a weekly AARP blog for family caregivers and, in an AARP Bulletin cover story, describes her experience of taking care of her mother (two strokes) and mother-in-law (cancer) at the same time in two different states for several years. She wrote the content for the Family Caregiving Council blog website and contributes regularly to PBS’ Next Avenue site. The portfolio page of her website features the diverse work she has published on baby boomers and aging in addition to her own blog.
The Caregiver Network
The Caregiver Network of Canada offers free educational events to help caregivers, and their blog features a melting pot of authors, sharing their personal experiences and tips for others within the community. One of the prominent authors on the site is…
The Caregivers’ Living Room
…Donna Thomson, who also writes her own blog called The Caregivers’ Living Room. Donna has cared for both her son, Nicholas – born with severe disabilities – and her now-96-year-old mother. Donna is a prolific writer and activist in caregiving and disability, calling on her own experiences to support others.
The Jesson Press
Francey Jesson cares for her mother, who lives with dementia, while working from home. Francey has been blogging since November about day-to-day life, recounting stories that anyone whose life has been touched by dementia will be able to relate to.
Transition Aging Parents
Dale Carter calls on her own experience in caring for both her late mother and her husband, Bill, who lives with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body dementia, as well as the help of guest authors for her blog, Transition Aging Parents. Together, they help provide support and information for all caregivers.
Take a look at some of the other posts on the MyTherapy blog: