New Caregiver Guide by White and Thomson: The Unexpected Journey of Caring

About The Unexpected Journey of Caring by Zachary White and Donna Thomson

The Unexpected Journey of Caring by White and ThomsonBy Zachary White and Donna Thomson

As co-authors of The Unexpected Journey of Caring, it’s quite amazing that we have never met in person! We first began our correspondence as fans of each other’s caregiving blogs. Then we discovered that we shared similar values and ideas, so we began to explore how our expertise and caregiver experiences might combine. We decided to flesh out our ideas in book form that would leverage our caregiver experiences and meld them with both Zachary’s academic research about caregiver identity and Donna’s teaching in the area of caregiver advocacy.

We realized that many caregivers do not have the language to understand and express their experience in the context of their life history or future plans. Helping people understand how caring has changed their identity has become our purpose because we know that the caregiver role changes people fundamentally and forever.

The greatest compliments we’ve received from early readers of our book is that we put into words what they have been feeling and experiencing in ways that are authentic and meaningful.

“Finally! A totally honest assessment of the caregiving experience. Not just another workbook, disease specific account or ‘how to’ book (though there are many helpful guidelines), but a no-nonsense look at the ongoing reality and challenges of how the caregiving experience changes your life. Fear, anger, the unknown—normalcy—are dealt with in a direct, caring and expert manner. Whether you are a ‘newbie’ or a long-term caregiver, this book illustrates all we have in common and gives us guidelines to cope wherever we are in our journey.” (Adrienne Gruberg, Founder and President, The Caregiver Space)

“This book is thought provoking. I used it as a jumping off point for a discussion with my husband. I am the caregiver. He is the one I am caring for. Ideas in this book presented us with an opportunity for a fruitful discussion on the role of the caregiver as well as the mindset of the one being cared for. So many of the ideas presented hit so close to home – like these authors were inside my head.”

“This book tells the truth. Donna and Zachary do a great job with making this book so personal. Being someone who is constantly sick who has had family members become caregivers, really hits home. The authors provide real life examples of what caregivers and family members go through every day.”

“This book made me feel like I wasn’t alone in this process.”

The Unexpected Journey of Caring by White and ThomsonThe Unexpected Journey of Caring by White and ThomsonOur book seeks to help caregivers understand how caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia is shaping them. We hope this new understanding of the caregiver identity, combined with a set of practical tools, will ease the burden of care for readers and reveal to them the strength and wisdom that comes with their care experiences.

Purchase the book here.

View Zachary and Donna’s Video of Hope here.


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Donna Thomson and Dr. Zachary White, Ph.D. are the co-authors of The Unexpected Journey of Caring: The Transformation from Loved One to Caregiver (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).  Donna Thomson is also the author of The Four Walls of My Freedom: Lessons I’ve Learned From a Life of Caregiving (House of Anansi Press, 2014) and she blogs frequently at The Caregivers’ Living Room. Dr. White is an Associate Professor in the James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte. He is the founder of the “The Unprepared Caregiver,” a blog and resource for caregivers. On Twitter, the authors can be found @thomsod and @ZMWhite. On Facebook, Donna can be found at the Caregiver’s Living Room and Zachary can be found at The Unprepared Caregiver.

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