July Speakers – “Love at Sunset”
Authors Janet Dunnett and Carolyne Hayes joined forces to explain issues of significance to seniors today. Both shared their experiences of dealing with parents getting older and the challenges of caregiving and sunset romance.
Janet shared the caregiving experiences of her father through her book “The Dwindling”. As parents age health and mental issues can appear and their condition deteriorates. Caregivers must learn what works as their condition dwindles.
Carolynne, in her book “A Matter of Issue”, found family issues with brothers and sisters were looking for recovery and ups news and not news of downward trends. Unequal support from brothers and sisters and females getting the bulk of the caregiving duties is a challenge. Her mantra became “best day possible, for as long as possible”. Learn to share what matters and how we really feel. Caregivers can become co-dependent, love misdirected and emotional cripples. Burnout (compassion fatigue) can be reduced with frequent respite. The light at the end of the tunnel can be beautiful. Siblings can learn to love, despite all the challenges. They find it is the hardest job, I love, and I ever had. Throughout all of the health challenges, sunset love can appear and threaten family members, especially in blended families. Getting legal and financial advice before the parents move in together or get married can put everyone more at ease.
What did they learn from their experiences?
- There is grit but also bliss in the caregiver role
- Caregivers are the invisible army (1 in 4 in BC support a senior) and they do not get compensated. The cost to the country is huge if they were not there.
- To get the message out Caregivers should share their story and advocate for change in their support in Canada
You can purchase a copy of their book at Mulbury’s Book store in Qualicum or on Amazon.ca