[UPDATE: Click here to view all CAREGIFTED Blog of the Week Award winners.]
This week ChangingAging launches a partnership with the non-profit organization Caregifted.org to honor and highlight outstanding online writing about caregiving with the Caregifted Blog of the Week Award.
Long term, unpaid care partners are the unsung heroes of our world. These caregivers, who not only do the more-than-fulltime work of caregiving, but also write and share their experiences with the world, deserve to be recognized and honored.
I will be working with Caregifted’s team and founder, MacArthur Genius Grant-winning poet Heather McHugh, to comb the caregiving blogosphere and select each week a winning blogger, blog post or blog to be honored with the award.
Caregifted’s mission is straightforward – to offer relief and give voice to caregivers who have long cared for a severely disabled family member. To provide relief to these heroic caregivers, Heather has dedicated her 2009 McArthur Genius Grant to awarding free weeklong concierged respite getaways on which caregivers can recharge and renew. Caregifted asks nothing in return but the chance to tell their stories and to highlight the critical role caregivers play in our society.
Respite getaways are held in inspiring locations – scenic vacation spots where caregivers can refresh their perspectives and return home rested and renewed. You are eligible to apply hereif, for more than a decade, you have given up much of your own leisure and occupation in order to do live-in full-time care for a severely disabled family member.
As an award-winning poet, Heather is intimately acquainted with the power of prose. As it turns out, so too are many caregivers.
“I know I’m not the only one wowed by these caregivers’ amazing lives and writings,” Heather said. “They supply surprisingly universal insights into the fundamental questions attending our being human.”
The first Caregifted Blog of the Week Award goes to Lyn Jones for the post Heavy Lifting, Heavy Heart on the blog Mothering Kids with Special Needs.
Darolyn “Lyn” Jones, in her own words, doesn’t “… just live this life of being a mother to a special needs child, I study it, and I write it.” Caregifted reports:
During the 11 years she and her husband Jim have spent caring for her severely disabled son, she has written dozens of wonderfully composed and heartfelt works about a life that places so much weight upon her shoulders. Her blog beautifully illustrates the individual commitment that has made her a successful mother, writer, teacher and activist for literacy education, despite— or as she would say, because of—the demands of a life devoted to the care of her son.
Visit Caregifted.org to see more pictures of Lyn and read an excerpt of her writing. Each week ChangingAging will post a link to the Caregifted Blogger of the Week. You can also nominate a great blogger or blog post by emailing a link to firstname.lastname@example.org.