A Caregiver's Journey

Welcome to my Journey

These are my personal stories, lessons, and learnings that guided me through my father’s end-of-life journey.

10_Hourglass

The Fear of Being Wrong

By Candice Smith | December 31, 2018

The fear of being wrong, or not doing something right, can be debilitating.  Especially when the decision impacts life and death. In my opinion, this explains why so many people desire to be told what to do.  It also leads…

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Sweets

Share More, Share Deeper

By Candice Smith | December 24, 2018

In my previous blog, I ended with the suggestion that through transparency you and your loved ones will be empowered to share more and to share deeply. By this I mean that when you realize the value of making something…

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Woman Reflecting

Transparency

By Candice Smith | December 17, 2018

Overwhelm, lack of control, and an unfamiliarity with the subject matter and “language” of end-of-life care breeds insecurity and mistrust. How can I possibly do what’s right when I don’t have a clue what’s happening? How do I know that’s…

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Cooperation

The Care Team

By Candice Smith | December 10, 2018

In her book Eldercare 101, my friend Mary Jo Saavedra encourages families to create an “Aging Life Care Team”.  This team consists of an assortment of individuals with the skills often called on when caring for a senior.  Not surprising,…

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Illuminated Book

Does It Have a Happy Ending?

By Candice Smith | December 3, 2018

People mean well, they really do.  Even thoughtless people and those who can’t relate to your situation.  I’ve only recognized this in hindsight. For me, there were too many times when it was difficult to give people the benefit of…

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Friends

Others Are Going Through This with You

By Candice Smith | November 26, 2018

So far most of what I’ve written to you about has been focused on the emotional and psychological responses that you may encounter as a family caregiver.  Those visceral, internal struggles to be that “ideal” caregiver or at least respond…

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Sky

Remain True to Yourself

By Candice Smith | November 19, 2018

For a time, a long time, during my Dad’s illness I felt this immense pressure to be his savior. Perhaps I couldn’t save his life, but I could protect him from the “horrible” realities of the end-of-life journey.  It became…

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Birds Flying

Fight or Flight

By Candice Smith | November 12, 2018

“Dad had just shared with us his diagnosis. I clearly remember looking around the kitchen table where we were assembled.  At Mom, my brother, his wife and then my own. If my face was a reflection of theirs, then we…

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Focus

You Can’t Control What is Happening

By Candice Smith | November 5, 2018

Until I was faced with the news that my father was dying, I’d not given much thought to the process or how, as a caregiver, I could support him. Naively I assumed that since death was as much a part…

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Heart-shaped Hands

If You Care, You Are a Caregiver

By Candice Smith | October 29, 2018

It wasn’t until I was on the phone with my Dad’s chosen hospice provider that I realized that I was a “caregiver”.  Fifteen months after diagnosis and it never occurred to me that this was my role. Only when I…

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