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I have somehow deleted three previous comments which were close to completion. I am happy now that these comments are gone. I read more about the intent of this challenge and understand enough to be concise in my comment.
I am a full-time caregiver to my husband who has frontotemporal dementia or degeneration. This is considered a rare form of dementia. Caregivers are met with an appalling lack of knowledge in the medical community and in facilities who care for memory patients. The challenges are multi-faceted and exhausting.
I found caregiving.com while surfing on the web. As I worked my way through the many links, conversations, blogs, webinars, podcasts and chat rooms, I became curious about the source of a site providing so much information from such a wide range of people.
I registered and began attending chats. This is where I felt like the proverbial pilgrim who happens upon an oasis in the desert when there was no oasis on the map.
I blog here. I post comments, respond to other blogs, offer my experience, strength, and hope and learn anecdotally how to handle situations from doctors to bed sores. It is breathtaking in scope and made more so because it is manned by volunteers. We all work to respond to a community of caregivers who are often isolated, exhausted, thirsting for information and guidance and needing to hear they are valued and they are us. We are not unique in our experiences. We are isolated.
Why should compensation be a part of this growing army of volunteers who have a passion to give one another a hand? Quite simply put, caregiving robs us of the time, opportunity and spirit to make the living that we would otherwise be earning in other ways. No one pretends that a caregiver will get rich here at caregiving.com. They may be able to save towards the next annual caregiving conference, be able to contribute to each other's immediate needs, go out to dinner once in awhile using the money they earned doing what comes naturally to caregivers in the first place. Remuneration is empowering for people who are left with little reward for their daily tasks. We are offered numerous ways to educate ourselves to be able to reach out to other caregivers, educate and inform professionals and fill in the void that is sharply defined when help for caregivers is the topic.
There are many ways to gain income for a site. The difference in compensating individuals for their work and in supporting a site is the difference between a business transaction and providing a source of pride and ownership in a venture that is growing by leaps and bounds.
This site has literally given me all that I truly understand about myself and caregiving, techniques in working with my husband's dementia, understanding the similarities in what I experience and other caregivers experience and to be able to share myself. The selflessness is the many members of caregiving.com is a powerful testament to the passion we have and that Denise Brown has in meeting the needs of caregivers standing in the gap left by the awfulness of dementia.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my heart and to be a part of a challenge as worthy as the one you set for us.