With an open heart and a sharp sense of humor, award-winning writer Joy Johnston chronicles both the reward and the heartache of caring for her parents in their last days in The Reluctant Caregiver.
Suffering through back to back hardship, Johnston’s father passed first from Alzheimer’s, and not long afterward, her mother developed colon cancer. Johnston lived with her mother for lengthy periods in the early stages of her cancer, coming back when death was imminent. Seeing these two strong people endure their final days was inspiring, harrowing and poignant, and Johnston eloquently expresses their strength of character, while also conveying the tremendous difficulty of taking care of a sick loved one.
As her mother’s health deteriorated, Johnston learned more about colostomy bags and vomit than she ever wanted to; she also learned to advocate for her parents, often expressing her frustration that more could not be done for them. Her book, while spiked with sardonic humor, exudes her sincere determination to offer her parents her unselfish attention, even losing career opportunities and going into debt to do so, and provides valuable information about what caregiving entails.
The Reluctant Caregiver offers a realistic and humorous look at the challenges of dealing with a family health crisis, while inspiring readers to consider taking on the difficult but ultimately gratifying job of caregiver.