In 2015 life changed for Debra Hallisey. She became responsible for her disabled mother after her father’s death. As she took on the roles of financial adviser, caregiver, social director—as well as her continuing role as daughter—she found herself asking “what do I do?” and “where do I start?” She brought her 25 years of experience as a consultant building and enhancing corporate training programs for Fortune 500 companies in the United States and Canada to the problem and, in the process, learned how many other people are in a similar situation caring for a parent, a sibling, a spouse, or significant other.
She has used the knowledge she has gained to develop AdvocateforMomandDad.com. The site offers practical advice for caregivers and lessons learned from others on how they handle challenges on issues such as legal, financial, insurance, and caregiving.
A caregiver knowledge expert and an advocate for older adults and their families, Debra is a Certified Caregiving Consultant™ and Certified Dementia Practitioner®. She holds an M.A. in Leadership and Supervision and is currently taking additional training to become certified as a Certified Caregiving Educator (CCE) and a Certified Caregiving Facilitator (CCF).
Why I wrote Your Caregiver Relationship Contract
“You’ve learned so much, you should find a way to share it with people.”
My mother, with this simple statement started me down a path I never expected to take and one that has profoundly changed my life.
During the last five years as my mother’s caregiver, I have learned lessons I want to share with you. The most important one being that becoming mom’s caregiver changed our mother/daughter relationship, our ‘contract’ if you will. This idea of a relationship contract resounded with my clients and readers of my blog. Because it helps us to recognize there IS an unspoken contract, while inviting caregivers to do the hard-intentional work to co-create a new one.
As caregivers we face the same issues. How do you have the hard conversations? How do you deal with all the emotions that surface? What is the best way to deal with the expectations of other people and set needed boundaries? How do I say yes to help, ask for help and get my loved one to buy into help? How can I build a support system that is just for me, the caregiver?
This book is written to help you face these issues. There are worksheets and example conversations starters at the end of every chapter that will help you to co-create a caregiver relationship contract, even if the person you are caring for is a spouse, child, other family member or friend. This book and the tools in it are designed to help you in your caregiver role, whether you live near or far, and it will help you if your role is to support someone who is a caregiver.