Beliefnet
Jennifer Cares

Thanks so much for your time and interest in finding out about information that can help caregivers keep themselves and those they love happy and healthy!

I know about caregiving.  I’m a wife, mother of five, and step-mother to one.  I also know how long-term illness can affect a family. My mom had post-partum depression, and died of a heart attack at age 50. I feel blessed to have been a caregiver for my mother-in-law who died of cancer, and most recently for my father-in-law who died of cancer. He moved in with us after his wife died, and lived with us for seven years. “Pap” and I shared many caring conversations during doctor visits, hospital stays, treatments, and finally, at home throughout his end of life journey.

CaregiverLiving through a variety of caregiving experiences has opened my eyes to the daily challenges caregivers face.  These personal experiences have fueled my heart-felt mission to help the world’s caregivers. Although we tend to think of caregivers as people who care for sick or elderly family members (and there are 50-million volunteer family caregivers in this country now), I know that new mothers, friends, employees, spouses, and parents of healthy people can also fall into a cycle of caring for others so much that they struggle to care for themselves.

Medical research supports the fact that caregivers are putting themselves at greater health risks, and becoming patients as a result of neglecting their own needs.  I want to teach caregivers that making time for themselves is not a luxury, but a necessity. I want to teach them that self-care doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money.

My first book, Take Care Tips (St. Lynn’s Press) offers 101 easy, affordable ten minute self-care strategies, covering areas of life important to caregivers. My second book, Caring Questions (St. Lynn’s Press) will be in stores October 2009 and  will teach caregivers how to maximize their minutes with their loved one through providing information that will improve their communication skills and  more than  200 questions that are guaranteed to strengthen relationships.