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One of the most devastating aspects of being a care-provider is the sense of isolation.  The longer you are in the role, the more you start to feel cut off from friends and family.  Partly this is due to the dementia your patient experiences, as it is unsettling for others to be around (and hence they don't come by as often).  Partly it is just due to exhaustion it is hard to be social when you are always ready to collapse from lack of sleep.  And partly it is due to the simple intensity of the experience, which most other people do not understand unless they have been through it.

This isolation this alienation cuts you off from your usual support mechanisms, and tends to feed upon itself.

In an attempt to counter this, both John and Jim started blogging about their experiences as care-providers.  Some of these blog posts were put up at a political site where each of us had been active.  We each saw the other's postings about the experience, and started participating in discussions together on the topic.  Soon we realized that we had a great deal in common, though the details of our care-giving experiences differed here and there.

Those blog posts got a fair amount of attention from the online community.  We discovered that there were a lot of people who had been through similar experiences, or expected to one day, or had a family member who was going through it now.  We found that there was a great need for information, for community, for help in combating the isolation.

In the months which followed the end of our respective care-providing, we continued to share notes about the process of recovery.  And one of the things that each of us was considering was how to do something to help others who would be in a care-giving role.  Specifically, we were each thinking of what we could do to help other men who found themselves in this role, since most of the memoir material available was written from the point-of-view of a woman care-provider.  We thought we should combine our efforts, and use the material we had been writing as the basis of a book.

This book is the result.


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