Those of you who have known me for some time know something of the journey I went through with my elderly parents in the last years of their lives. We had always been a very close family (I have no siblings, which likely drew my parents and I even closer). When both parents fell within five days of each other, and ended up in nursing homes (separate ones), it was difficult for all of us. I talk about how reading helped us, particularly Mum and me, in my blog post. A blog like Joyous Paradox would have helped enormously as well.
Joyous Paradox is written by a woman who is a health care professional working in the field of eldercare. This is a personal blog, not a professional one, but it brings a wealth of experience as well as compassion and understanding to every post. In her own words, Mary Ann writes “about health, healing and caregiving for elders, their family members, and their paid and volunteer care partners.”
Mary Ann knows the challenges that elders and their families face. She also knows how to deal with those challenges and struggles in a way that honors the person. She says, “My colleagues and I emphasize wellness, supporting our clients in activities that bring them joy and satisfaction.” She recognizes the value of things such as reading, poetry, music, the arts — the clinical care of aging people is of great importance, but so is care for the mind, heart, and inner spirit. Joyous Paradox is filled with heart and spirit.
I am grateful that Mary Ann discovered my blog post on reading aloud to the elderly, because that connected me with her, her blog and her work. I am joyous as I share this resource with you.
As Rosalynn Carter says of caregiving, “there are only four kinds of people in the world – those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” Mary Ann’s blog will help us in all those stages.