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Join us for a rather special edition of Living The Retirement Lifestyle Podcast where you will meet our guest Dave Iverson, a writer, documentary film producer/director and retired broadcast journalist who did something extraordinary…
He decided to do something he’d never quite imagined at his time of life and moved in to take care of his 95-year-old Mum who had dementia and shares with us the moving story of their ten-year caregiving journey which he documented in his book Winter Stars.
By the end of this decade, 74 million Americans will be over the age of 65, including every member of the Baby Boom generation and as a nation they are not alone. The pandemic prompted more Americans just as it has us Brits to consider caring for their parents at home, but as Iverson learned, the gritty, life-changing reality caregiving delivers requires more than good intentions. He didn’t know that his mom’s dementia would pose more challenges than his Parkinson’s. He didn’t know he’d be capable of getting so angry.
He didn’t know that becoming a caregiver means experiencing love and loss, anger and insight—usually when exhausted and often on the same day. And he didn’t know that moving in with his Mum would challenge and change him more than any other life experience.
For the vast number of families who are confronting —or will soon confront—a caregiving journey, Winter Stars offers an intimate, unvarnished portrait of the challenges, choices, and life lessons that lie ahead.
As you will hear during our chat we too are facing that same challenge with our Mum. And in all honesty getting hold of Dave’s book (which we found quite by luck during our research into caregiving) put into perspective our next choices and literally saved us from the mental anguish of the decision we knew we need to make
You can read more and help us reach more people who suffer the anguish of caregiving by visiting Dave on his website – Dave Iverson Author
All royalties from the sale of Winter Stars go to support Parkinson’s and eldercare organizations.
Excerpt From Chapter 14 “It’s Time”
… In that gentle late-night light, my mom’s features seemed to soften. As she lost weight, the flesh receded, and her wrinkles smoothed. Her face subtly reformed, taking on the more angular features of her youth, her jaw line firm and thrust forward, her nose more prominent. She was really quite beautiful.
I didn’t feel regret. I didn’t feel relief. I just felt like I was where I wanted to be, accompanied, as ever, by Eileen and Sinai.
Late one night, I peeked into my mom’s bedroom before entering. Eileen was sitting by her side with her back to me. I watched for a moment before I realized that Eileen was wearing her prayer shawl and holding her Muslim prayer beads. She was murmuring softly in Hindi. I backed away.
The next morning, I told Eileen how touched I was by what I’d seen. She smiled widely and said, “Well, Sinai taught me the Lord’s Prayer, so sometimes I say that, too.”
We don’t know about you but that was just beautiful 🦋
We dedicate this podcast to all caregivers and in memory of our Mum who passed away on 31st May 2022 aged 92
Thanks for joining us for a our open, thoughtful and meaningful chat with Dave Iverson on this edition of the Living The Retirement Lifestyle Podcast and hope that if you are ever challenged as we and he were that his book gives you the much needed clarity to make the decision you need to make.