Rick Lauber is a former co-caregiver for both of his aging parents (his mother had Parkinson’s Disease and Leukemia and his father had Alzheimer’s disease). With help from his two sisters, Lauber assumed many new-found caregiving responsibilities including driving his parents to and from medical appointments, handling their day-to-day banking and investments, moving them (repeatedly), and serving as his father’s Joint Guardian and Alternate Trustee. Lauber learned that caregiving can impact a person physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially and managed by sharing the workload, delegating caregiving tasks to others, accepting help when offered, balancing his own life and career, and finding coping mechanisms.
One key coping mechanism was writing. Before his parents passed away, Lauber wrote many stories about his own caregiving experiences. The simple act of writing can be a very effective release, but Lauber did not simply keep his work private – many of his stories were routinely published in newspapers/magazines and/or posted on-line – thus helping other potential, new, and current caregivers in their roles. Following his parents’ deaths, Lauber continued to write and used his knowledge as a platform to author two more extensive books – Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians (now in its second edition) and The Successful Caregiver’s Guide (both books are published by Self-Counsel Press).
Lauber has sat on the Board of Directors with Caregivers Alberta (on a volunteer basis). Here, he helped to make key management, membership, marketing, and financial decisions and to steer the organization continually forward.