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THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Divine Spark Inside Me

For the past couple of weeks, we haven’t used our front door.  We enter and exit through the garage so we don’t disturb the temporary home of a young family of purple finches nesting in our porch light. We don’t turn on the light on either, becaus… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Divine Spark Inside Me

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: A Bit About Me and My Caregiving

Recently, I joined the blogging team at The Caregiver Network, a terrific site that’s chock full of opinion, information and video links for caregivers of all types and ages.   By way of introducing me to their site, their communications director asked me about my background.  I thought readers here in The Caregivers’ Living Room . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: A Bit About Me and My Caregiving

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Celebrating Royalty and Nobility in Ordinary Caregiving

“So Brother Matthew locked the gate behind me, and I was enclosed in the four walls of my new freedom.”

Thomas Merton Caregivers like me know how the four walls of home can sometimes close in and feel like a prison.  How to find freedom, satisfaction, meaning and joy within those walls was the . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Celebrating Royalty and Nobility in Ordinary Caregiving

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Perfect Caregiver

Let me tell you about a perfect caregiver I know.  Her name is Glenna and she looks after my Mom for a couple of hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Mom’s home care agencies are littered with support workers she’s thrown out – my mother resents needing help and quite often, she takes it out on . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Perfect Caregiver

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Why I’m Not Ready For Christmas – A Personal Update

The lead-up to this Christmas has been out of the ordinary for our family.  Some traditions have been kept: our Christmas tree is up and my freezer is full of baked treats.  Like all seasoned caregivers, I’m used to planning.  I begin my holiday baking on quiet weekends in late October.

But I haven’t . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Why I’m Not Ready For Christmas – A Personal Update

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: My Guest Post on LOVE THAT MAX: 5 Secrets of Special Needs Parent Happiness

This is my guest post on the wonderful blog “LOVE THAT MAX” the inspiring and informative blog by Ellen Seidman.  I am so grateful to Ellen for hosting my family story of caregiving.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2014 5 secrets of special needs parent happiness

This guest post is from Donna Thomson, author of the new . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: My Guest Post on LOVE THAT MAX: 5 Secrets of Special Needs Parent Happiness

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Great News Today!

The new paperback edition of my book, “The Four Walls of My Freedom: Lessons I’ve Learned From a Life of Caregiving” (The House of Anansi Press, 2014) is available as of today in the USA at all major booksellers!

Here’s a short interview that aired a few months ago on a national morning TV show . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Great News Today!

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Making Friends With Solitude

I used to hate being alone.  I remember as a teenager, aching for the phone to ring, rifling through my closet for something ‘cool’ to wear, wandering the halls of my university residence listening for signs of music and laughter.  I was restless and bored being by myself.

But not anymore.  My searching spirit was . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Making Friends With Solitude

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Coming to Terms with Disability in My Family, Across Generations

After my Dad passed away in 1975 following his third stroke, I was angry.  Really, really angry.  I would sit in church, look at Christ on the cross and fume, “why does everyone go on and on about YOUR suffering?!  That was NOTHING compared to what my Dad endured!”  All these years later, the anger . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Coming to Terms with Disability in My Family, Across Generations

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: An Interview With Me About Caregiving and Writing About Family Life & Ideas

Recently, I gave an interview to Kris Bone, a writer with the Puritan Magazine (a Canadian literary journal).  Here’s his article about my book, “The Four Walls of My Freedom: Lessons I’ve Learned From a Life of Caregiving” (House of Anansi Press, 2014).  My book is available everywhere in Canada and for pre-order in . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: An Interview With Me About Caregiving and Writing About Family Life & Ideas

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Lessons I’ve Learned From a Life of Caregiving

The Four Walls of My Freedom: Lessons I’ve Learned From a Life of Caregiving (House of Anansi Press, 2014) is available everywhere in Canada and for pre-order in the USA.  The US release date is August 12, 2014.

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: An Early Morning TV Interview About My Book

Yesterday morning, I got up really early and travelled to the studios of CanadaAM in Toronto.  Here’s the interview about the new paperback edition of my book, “The Four Walls of My Freedom: Lessons I’ve Learned from a Life of Caregiving” (House of Anansi Press, 2014).  Available everywhere in Canada now and for pre-order online . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: An Early Morning TV Interview About My Book

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Four Walls of My Freedom – Why I Wrote This Book

“The trick to helping communities find their own answers to caring for their citizens is not in locating charismatic leaders, but in forming “leader-full” alliances of of elected officials, bureaucrats, members of the medical community, caregivers and care receivers.”  

From the updated paperback edition of my book, “The Four Walls of My Freedom: Lessons . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Four Walls of My Freedom – Why I Wrote This Book

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Not Social Networking, CARE NETWORKING

In my life of caregiving, I have learned two absolute truths.  1) That my love, my will and my intellect cannot cure the effects of ageing or disability in the people I love and 2) that caregiving is a job to be shared.  It cannot and should not be done alone, if it is to . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: Not Social Networking, CARE NETWORKING

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Please Look At Me

When I am in any kind of pain, I want people around me to look me in the eye.

Here’s what got me thinking about eye contact:  a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in a dermatology clinic chatting with the resident and a young medical student.  It was all very jolly until . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM – A Blog by Donna Thomson: Please Look At Me

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Idea of Personal Choice – A Tough One for Caregivers

The idea of personal choice is not something that we think of every day, but it’s a little like fresh air – try  living without it.  As the needs of a loved one escalate, opportunities for caregivers to exercise personal choice diminish.  Of course, the effects of disability or aging negatively affect peoples’ ability . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM – A Blog by Donna Thomson: The Idea of Personal Choice – A Tough One for Caregivers

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Five Tips for Surviving Caregiving

A few weeks ago, I travelled to Vancouver to address a family association and also to give a talk about how we use Tyze Personal Networks to coordinate Nick’s care.  I’ve written extensively on Tyze before, but for the uninitiated, Tyze is a softw… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM – A Blog by Donna Thomson: Five Tips for Surviving Caregiving

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Fairness in Policymaking for Family Caregivers – Part 2

Continued…. this is Part 2 of a reflection on fairness in policymaking for family caregivers.    So, what are the roles of families and governments in supporting society’s most vulnerable citizens?  What kinds of policies can facilitate true partnership between governments and families who seek to care for someone needing help?  One such policy . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM – A Blog by Donna Thomson: Fairness in Policymaking for Family Caregivers – Part 2

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: New Blog Look and Book Review

Hi There! I’m working on making my blog better and easier to read.  I hope that anyone who likes a particular post will share it!

Also, I got an exciting email today from Terri Mauro, another Mum and author of the special needs parents portal on About.com – I had sent her a copy of . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM – A Blog by Donna Thomson: New Blog Look and Book Review

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Medicare in the 21st Century – Change is Afoot!

On May 23, I was lucky enough to hear Andre Picard speak.  He’s the health and social policy writer for the Globe and Mail newspaper, but he’s much more than just a good journalist.  Picard is the 2012  CIBC Scholar-in-Residence Chair at the Conference Board of Canada.  Picard chose to speak on “The Path to . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM – A Blog by Donna Thomson: Medicare in the 21st Century – Change is Afoot!