I have been a follower of blogs for years. My favourites tend to explore topics related to disability, caregiving, faith, and theology, with a few miscellaneous ones thrown in to keep things interesting. I have found my favourite blogs tend to have a loose structure that allow a topic of interest to be explored in a variety of different ways. An example of that structure that comes to mind is Gail Vaz Oxlade’s personal finance blog found at http://www.gailvazoxlade.com. Gail’s blog largely addresses financial issues through a blend of posting styles. Some posts directly discuss an issue, like RRSPs. On thursdays she discusses topics with an engaging question and answer format where she tackles questions and scenarios forwarded by readers. To keep things interesting, on wednesdays she throws in a post completely unrelated to personal finance. That post might talk about good reads, or a favourite recipe. She often extols the healing powers of a good murder mystery and a hot cup of tea – something I can relate to. I find I try to visit her blog several times a week because I know I am likely to learn something. She also posts daily so the content of the blog is rarely stale.
Why am I talking about a personal finance blog on a caregiving blog? Because I am going to borrow her strategy for posting. I like the idea of a loose structure that explores a topic via different avenues. So on Mondays I propose to tackle mundane topics in caregiving. Mundane mondays. Cute, eh? One of the challenges for caregivers is that most of the work they do is performed in private. A significant chunk of caregiving is invisible to the larger world. It is difficult to help, or advocate for change, when one doesn’t fully understand the scope of the issue. Mundane mondays will be an attempt to make the daily nitty gritty of caregiving visible to those who don’t provide ongoing, extreme care. It is not meant to be a pity party where caregiving is portrayed as this overwhelming task, though it can be. Rather, mondays will attempt to paint the picture of extreme care with a very realistic paintbrush. Scheduling, respite, personal care, medical care, travelling – all these might be topics to explore.
On Tuesdays I will “talk about it”. Talk About It Tuesdays will explore a range of contemporary issues in care. How does the assisted dying debate speak to extreme caregivers? Does it? What do funding cutbacks mean, in real terms, to caregivers? And so on. What issues in the news speak to caregivers and how?
Wednesdays will explore “what do you want to know”. Over the years I have been asked many questions, and I hope to be asked many more. How has your extreme caregiving impacted your other children? Your marriage? Your sanity? What costs are associated with caring for someone with significant needs? How on earth do you pay for it all? These are all fair questions that I will tackle!
Thursdays will explore “This and That”. Your guess is as good as mine as to what topics might find their way on to a thursday post.
And finally fridays will be Funny. Caregiving is often a daunting journey. If we don’t stop and laugh about something, perhaps even ourselves, we caregivers are toast.
And finally a disclaimer. This blog will primarily approach caregiving as seen through my eyes. I read a fair bit, so I will probably throw a bunch of research in to keep things interesting. But it is important to remember that my experiences are not, and never will be, universal. I do not speak for all caregivers, but rather hope to add another voice to the ongoing conversation.