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Expert Blog

  • A man, a throw and a lesson

    This is a story I am not extremely proud of but I feel like by sharing , it will become a lesson for all. I do try to learn daily how to become more grateful, patient and forgiving. A year or so before Jim moved into an assisted living facility my Dad took him shopping […] read more

  • 1/30
    2017

    No Easy Caregiver

    Right in the midst of dealing with Jim I would sometimes find myself feeling as if I was living in a movie, or a dream, or that it was a test that I wasn’t sure I could pass. Everything seemed surreal. The way he was changing. The lack of support and care. The way friends […] read more

  • 1/20
    2017

    The Imperfect Caregiver

    No matter how perfect a caregiver you strive to be, it will never be enough. Even so, knowing this does not keep us from wanting to be perfect. Or better. Or at least above average. Or worthy of the person we are caring for. Worthy of their trust and their love. Most of all, worthy […] read more

  • Republican? Democrat? It doesn't matter!

    This post is not intended to single out any particular political affiliation or disparage anyone for voting for the candidate of their choice in our recent election. What this post intends to do is unite us all for a single cause: Alzheimer’s Research Funding and Caregiver Support. No matter your political beliefs, it is imperative […] read more

  • 11/14
    2016

    Let Me Know

    I need to know that I am forgiven. I need to know that Jim was OK. I need to know that he knew how much I was going to miss him. I told him. He cried. So we didn’t discuss his impending death too much. We discussed what was happening, leaving what was coming on […] read more

  • 10/28
    2016

    I am not beautiful

    I am not beautiful. Or desirable. I don’t have long flowing hair. I have fat. I have no light in my eyes. I have grey creeping in. I have two children I am raising as a single mom. I cry. A lot. I sleep. Too much. I forget things. I get confused. I am opinionated. […] read more

  • Just What We All Need

    Life has ups and downs. Life has the sometimes, humdrum, boring, day to day monotony with seemingly nothing exciting or interesting going on. At this juncture in my life, I try hard to keep perspective. Sometimes I do. And sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I get submerged into that tedium life and can’t find a way […] read more

  • 9/14
    2016

    Still Here

    Jim’s clothes are still hanging where he left them. I have gone through most at some point to bring them to him while he was living in the home, but all of his dress shirts, work clothes, suits…they’re collecting dust. We have shelves to collect shoes on the landing of our stairway. There are still […] read more

  • 8/31
    2016

    Survival

    Survival. It is what all caregivers are trying to focus on. Just getting through each day. Sometimes, just getting through each moment of each day. It can be a struggle that is not only overwhelming, but is unfathomable to those not facing the grueling tasks faced by care providers. If you are lucky enough to […] read more

  • 8/12
    2016

    Gift of Time

    I have finally gotten myself up and out of the house for things other than grocery shopping, herding the kids to and from activities and any other mandatory obligation. There have been numerous times I have been asked to come out, join friends for drinks or dinner or something social, and I have not. I […] read more

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About Karen Garner:

Alzheimer’s Disease expert by experience, Karen Garner, 45, is the caregiver for her husband Jim, 52, and their two children, Frances, 14 and Bradley, 10. After recently founding The Garner Foundation to help dementia caregivers, she is passionate about educating doctors, lawmakers and anyone who will listen about Alzheimer’s and the toll it takes on families. She started her blog, www.missingjim.com, three years ago to become a face and voice for younger onset Alzheimer’s Disease. She and her family have traveled to Washington D.C. many times to advocate for more research funding and to bring awareness to those that can help facilitate change. Karen lives in Newport News, VA, volunteers at her children’s schools and is also a proud softball, field hockey and baseball mom as well as a coach to Bradley’s basketball team.