Family Caregiver of the Year Award Nominee: Geoffrey Grant


Family Caregiver of the Year Award Nominee: Geoffrey Grant

Nominated by: Karen Grant

Tell us about the nominee's caregiving story.
Geoff has over 20 years of caregiving experience He first cared for his late mother after she suffered a stroke. He was in his late 20's. He converted the first floor of the house to a living space for his mother- handicap bathroom, wheelchair ramp so she could get in/out of the house, and a bedroom. He was a full time caregiver for his mother. He would bath her, cook for her, take her to medical appointments, etc. I witnessed first hand what a kind, compassionate person Geoff was.

Two years after his mother passed away, Geoff and I got married in 2001. We were planning someday on having a family. Unfortunately, that came to a screeching halt when I was diagnosed with bilateral mesothelioma in 2004. I was 29 years old and only had months to live if I didn't undergo aggressive experimental surgery. I chose to fight and Geoff was by my side every step of the way. Geoff believed I would beat this and he was right.

While I was in the hospital, he would take care of the bills, insurance, etc. He stayed overnight many times making sure I would be OK. It was a very long year, but he took care of everything.

I am now 15 years cancer free, however I do have disabilities that I deal with on a daily basis. I have a tracheostomy so I sleep on a ventilator. Every night, Geoff puts me on the vent and every morning he takes me off the vent. There are times when I need to be suctioned. It is not an easy thing to do, but he suctions me. If I get too tired during the day, he takes care of what needs to be done. I don't drive, so he drives me places.

I am into photography, so he takes me to gardens and butterfly conservatories so I can take photos. He does the grocery shopping, takes me to doctors appointments, etc. He does chores around the house. This year, Geoff  published his first book, "The Intentional Caregiver". It's all about taking care of one's self as they care for a loved one from his experience as a caregiver. Some examples are, how to build alliances, communication tips for caregivers, ways to renew energy and hold on to hope, powerful tools to ensure a quality life for you and your loved one and more. It is a very informative, easy to read book.

How does the nominee complement his or her caregiving responsibilities with their own needs and interests?
Geoff is a wonderful advocate for self-care. He has various interests such as reading, going for walks alone and with his wife. He enjoys talking with his life coach and he is also in a year long personal growth program.

Tell us about the nominee's problem-solving techniques.
Geoff is very logical about solving problems. He goes about it in a methodical way. If he doesn't know how to solve something he reaches out to his support system for help.

How does the nominee use online resources or community services?
Geoff utilizes online services. He is a member of several groups which meet over the phone and video conferencing. He speaks at community services about caregiving. If Geoff needs additional help, he reaches out to community services.

How does the nominee remain involved in his or her community (including online)?
He participates regularly is online discussions as well as conference calls.

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