We appreciate your testimonials and reviews.
I had occasion to attend an inspiring and informative meeting co-hosted by Dr. David Davis and Joko Gilbert on the topic of Caregiver Support. During these 90 minutes or so, we heard the experience of how David successfully coped with the rigorous task of caring for his wife Linda’s protracted final illness.
Joko and David present what is essentially organized as a handbook for coping skills, from the spiritual to the strategic, to meet the emotional and physical stress of family members who may be the primary caregiver for a permanently disabled loved one, now or in the future. Given the prevalence, this has become an import topic for discussion in our society. Joko and David have brought their holistic health background to this important work of speaking to and supporting ordinary people who currently may be in extraordinarily demanding circumstances. I applaud them both.
A genuinely moving seminar, spoken from the heart. Support for the caregiver is soooo necessary! I laughed and I cried, and not only felt a sense of camaraderie, but also came away with such vital and useful insight. Finally, hope and inspiration for the caregiver!”
I was very moved by the Support the Caregiver seminar I attended. I have known many people who have been impacted by this dreadful disease. I know how family members and friends, overwhelmed by loss and sadness, need help, encouragement and guidance. Losing hope and feeling alone can be crippling effects to a caregiver. I sat and listened to Joko’s calming voice as she explained how she can provide help and support to others in dire need. I could feel her warmth and genuine compassion for others. The world is a kinder, gentler place with her willingness to open her heart to care for others in this way. David’s story is one of true love. He devoted his life to lovingly care for his wife Linda. Witnessing someone you love disappear and waste away leaves a profound and lingering sense of depression and despair. It makes any mortal wonder how he was able to reach past such extreme blinding pain to become an inspiration for healing and growth. His powerful energy and openness were compelling as he told us about his fears, his struggles and his healing journey. He urged us all to look within our souls to find our inner strength. He is an amazing role model and mentor for anyone needing to find and embrace hope in the face of ultimate challenges and adversity. As I looked around the room, I saw people with tears of joy and relief knowing there is another way to look at their lives and the sadness in it.I left this seminar feeling uplifted, energized and grateful knowing thatthese two giving people exist. It isn’t just about Alzheimer’s… Any devastating situation begs for support. They are beautiful, giving, authentic people with a loving message. Amen.
I was in attendance at the May, 2016 Ridgefield, CT library seminar presented by Dr. David Davis and Ms. Joko Gilbert entitled “Healthy Caregiving for your Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias” and “The Caregiver’s Caregiver.”
Dr. Davis spoke about what life was like caring for his wife as she progressed through (the later stages of) early onset Alzheimer’s. A loving and passionate man, he spoke about the challenges faced, many of which I was unaware.
Dr. Davis credited his resilience and his survival to the love and support he received from his friend, Ms. Joko Gilbert. Ms. Gilbert encouraged participants to reach out to caregivers, who are in need, many of whom feel isolated, depressed, overwhelmed and at risk.
An inspirational discussion about a very difficult topic presented with love and care.
There are some things in life we have to go through alone. In fact, on some level we have to go through everything alone, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s what shapes us, defines us, and gives us the strength and courage to face each additional challenge. But alone doesn’t mean without help, support, guidance and love.
I don’t know that I could have survived the toughest parts of this journey without the support of my dear friend Joko. There were too many days to count when I was adrift in a sea of my own tears, the waves of sadness too big to see beyond. The daunting task of caring for my wife left me battered and bruised by the inertia of depression. The scope of witnessing the disappearance of my wife to the ravages of this cruel illness occupied the entirety of my field of vision. It was Joko, who held me aloft with hope. It was the love and support of this extraordinary friend whose strength and determination would not let me fall into the abyss. I am a caregiver, … she is a Caregiver’s Caregiver. What kind of compassion does it take to fully immerse yourself into every aspect of caregiving until you emerge with a new mission, a mission to support caregivers and help ease their burden?
Over the past few years, Joko has developed the strategies and perspective necessary to care for Loved Ones with dementia. I fought her tooth and nail as she softly, yet authoritatively shared with me the ways to lessen the effects of the stresses involved. My stubbornness yielded to acceptance and surrender as her ideas continued to prove effective and invaluable.
Letting go and asking for support is one of the most difficult challenges for a caregiver, but indeed we must. It was Joko, whose insistence on taking care of myself, physically and emotionally, that has brought me to a new level of understanding and acceptance. In reflection, I can say that so much of the peace I feel today has come from her loving support. She knows so well how to concoct the perfect blend of empathy, strength, wisdom and love. Literally, Joko saved my life and continues to illuminate my path of healing and growth.
MY THOUGHTS ON SUPPORT THE CAREGIVER BY DR. DAVID DAVIS AND JOKO GILBERT
I must admit that I approached this book with a bit of skepticism. I read it anyway because I believe the topic is an important one. So why my skepticism? I think it is rooted in my observation that so many caregivers are too eager to advise others as though their situations are like those of everyone else.
Having just finished the book, I am ready to admit that my skepticism was unjustified. I am very glad to have read it and am pleased to recommend it. I rank it among the best books I have read whose goal is to provide helpful advice to those caring for a person with dementia. Why my change of heart? The answer lies in the fact that the authors’ advice is sufficiently general that it is applicable to a wide range of caregivers living under different circumstances. I believe that all caregivers could benefit from their advice.
Support the Caregiver comes about through the experience that Davis had as a caregiver for his wife who had Early Onset Alzheimer’s. It is not a full account of those experiences. The focus is on what he learned as a caregiver with the expertise and assistance of Gilbert, his co-author. Nonetheless, the book effectively communicates Davis’s feelings for his wife and the struggles that accompanied her care. As a caregiver for my wife, I could identify with him every step of the way.
More importantly, since the book focuses on 9 effective strategies for coping with the challenges of caregiving, I connected with all of the authors’ advice. At the risk of destroying the objectivity of my review, I must say that I have utilized all of their suggested strategies and found them helpful. The best news is that most of them are available to anyone at minimal or no cost. I know that there are caregivers whose circumstances might make it difficult to apply some of these strategies. Most, however, would benefit from the advice that Davis and Gilbert offer. It isn’t a long book, but it is well-written and packed with sound advice.