Guest Author: Susan Landeis

Susan Landeis Guest Author

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In Search of Rainbows: A Daughter’s Story of Loss, Hope, and Redemption

By Susan Landeis

There are no Perfect Families

At some point in our lives, many of us will find ourselves caring for a loved one. Now that the elderly are living longer, and more people are living with chronic illness, the number of caregivers will continue to increase.

But what happens when the one who needs your help is someone you thought would never be a part of your life again? Caring for someone who didn’t necessarily care for you is one of the hardest things you will ever do.

“Caring for someone who didn’t necessarily care for you is one of the hardest things you will ever do”

Especially when that person is your mother, and she no longer remembers the past.

My journey began after my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. My father could no longer care for her due to his own failing health. As their only daughter, I made the difficult choice to become the family caregiver. Anyone who has ever cared for someone with dementia or any other cognitive disease knows how difficult it can be when the person you once knew is no longer there.

In the case of my mother, she became an entirely different person. It was like meeting someone brand new. She was able to “forget” all the reasons for her unhappiness, and our mother-daughter relationship suddenly changed.

At the end of her life, I realized we had been given a gift. It was an opportunity for a second chance to find peace, healing, and forgiveness. This incredible journey with dementia had brought us full circle.

Caregiving Comes with a Price

As much as caregiving has taught me, the lessons I learned came at a high price. After I started caring for my parents, I quit my job, and before I knew it, everything about my life changed. My daily routine revolved around my parents’ care, which left little time for the things I used to enjoy and once took for granted.

As I lost more of myself to the demands of caregiving, I found myself struggling emotionally, physically, and financially. I was feeling isolated, and I began to miss my professional life, my co-workers, and my friends. Even my family relationships became strained, especially with my brother, who was my only sibling.

I was floundering in unfamiliar territory as I tried to make sense of it all.

Optimal Caregiving Susan Landeis Memory Cafe Directory Guest Author

Available on Amazon

I was determined to do the best job I could as I strived to learn more about my parent’s medical conditions, medications, health, and nutrition. I became their advocate, protector, and legal representative.

It was during this time that I decided to begin a new chapter in my life, which became my second act. I went back to school and studied eldercare and nutrition and became a certified nutritionist. I began taking an active role in my father’s healthcare by monitoring his diet and nutrition.

After getting consistent reports of improved health from his doctor, I knew I wanted to share what I had learned. I started a mission to help and support others on this path, which led to my first book, Optimal Caregiving: A Guide for Managing Senior Health and Well-being.

My Story Behind the Story

Becoming a family caregiver has changed my life in so many ways. It made me a better person and has taught me more about life, death, faith, and human limitations than any other experience ever could.

As I worked through the grief of my mother’s passing, my pain became the inspiration to write my book, In Search of Rainbows: A Daughter’s Story of Loss, Hope, and Redemption.

I am sharing my personal life story in the hope that others will find encouragement and perhaps a new perspective that we all share many struggles as families and human beings. Every caregiving story has a different set of circumstances and allows us to have a very human experience.

I realize many caregivers struggle with family dynamics. I feel your pain, and I know the struggle is real. You are not alone, and if you happen to find your story on the pages of my book, I offer compassion, hope, and understanding for those of you who share this journey.

In the back of this book, you will also find information about Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and Caregiving, which includes helpful resources and a list of books for recommended reading.

Susan Landeis

Susan Landeis Author Memory Cafe Directory

Susan Landeis

After spending more than 20 years in Health Information Management, Susan gave up her career to care for both of her parents. Her experience as a family caregiver inspired her to begin a new chapter in her life.

Susan is now a writer, author, certified nutritionist, and certified senior advocate. Her mission includes promoting awareness in support of the caregiving journey, and those touched by dementia and other cognitive and neurologic diseases.

Susan is the author of In Search of Rainbows: A Daughter’s Story of Loss, Hope, and Redemption, a memoir of her personal life story as a family caregiver. This book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Her first book, Optimal Caregiving: A Guide for Managing Senior Health and Well-being, is a practical and supportive guide that focuses on elder care, nutrition, and self-care for the caregiver. This book is available on Amazon.

Connect with Susan

Facebook: @SusanLandeisAuthor
Twitter: @SusanLandeis
LinkedIn: Susan Landeis

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