I Am a Family Caregiver: Meet Donna


I Am a Family Caregiver: Meet Donna

(Editor’s Note: We continue our I Am a Family Caregiver campaign by featuring Donna Embray, who cares for her husband. Our questions and his answers follow.)

donna_i_amCaregiving.com: Fill in the blank: I am____.
Donna: I am a spousal caregiver.

Caregiving.com: What's the biggest misconception that others have about family caregiver?
Donna: Sometimes I feel as though others don't understand how all-consuming caregiving can be. It often depletes us physically and emotionally.

Caregiving.com: What would you like others to understand about your role as a family caregiver?
Donna: While I would never have chosen this role, it has taught me so much. There are many rewards that come right along with the struggles.

Caregiving.com: How do you describe what family caregivers do?
Donna: Family caregivers wear many hats. We are financial planners, nurses, insurance experts, organizers, and advocates, among many other things.

Caregiving.com: How can others help you?
Donna: I have been enormously blessed by continual support throughout this journey. I wish every caregiver could have a similar support system. I have people who step in to give me breaks, and who provide for us in every way.

Caregiving.com: What's one tip you suggest that helps another family caregiver?
Donna: It truly is essential that you find ways to make time for yourself. This is easy to say, but may feel nearly impossible to accomplish. Even if you simply steal ten minutes here or there throughout the day, the benefits are enormous.

Caregiving.com: Briefly tell us about your caregiving situation.
Donna: I have been caring for my husband since his brain injury in 2008, when he was 33 years old. For the past year and a half, I have been doing peritoneal dialysis for him in our home.

Caregiving.com: What do you hope to accomplish during your life?
Donna: I hope to provide a happy home for our 13-year-old son. I strive to maintain normalcy for him, even during times of upheaval.

Donna also submitted the winning slogan for our "Hire a Family Caregiver" campaign.

(We’d love to feature your story in our campaign–just complete our “I Am a Family Caregiver” campaign questionnaire. If you are a working family caregiver, feel free to also share your story as part of our Hire a Family Caregiver campaign.)

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