An Unbreakable Bond
The story of a son's love for his mother
by Adam Sibley
There are innumerable books on caregiving written by adults who have devoted years of their lives to caring for an ill spouse, parent, child, relative or friend.
Then, there are the "hidden" caregivers rarely mentioned outside of professional articles or research - the child, teen or young adult who has to take on enormous responsibilities that dramatically change his or her daily life to support a sibling, grandparent or more commonly a parent.
An Unbreakable Bond is the heartfelt and moving journey of, Adam Sibley, a young man in the U.K. who, at age 24, cared for his mom diagnosed with dementia for a period of four years until she died at age 54. It is the first book about caregiving I have seen written by a young adult. Adam describes his challenges, emotional dreads and joys and then empowers other young people with priceless advice on tough subjects such as: Isolation, Anger, Hopelessness, Being Proactive, Creating Balance, and Love. An excerpt below:
"Caring for someone can seem like a daunting prospect especially if you are anything like I was and you don't have any skills or experience to call upon. But I don't think caring is about that; to me caring is about love, patience and selflessness, which are things you can't learn on a job. I think the best carers are those that don't realise that what they are doing is caring and those that don't realise what an amazing job they are doing."
Most of all, I wholeheartedly agree with his thoughts about educating young people about caregiving so they know what do and provide them with skills that prepares them to be caregivers.
"With more and more people having to care for a loved one at some point in their life, surely we should be educating kids about this in school. I think advice and teaching on what to do if called to care for a loved one would be really important life advice that could help so many young people. Children should be taught what to do, how to handle it and who to contact. Doing this would help the care levels for ill people and help the mental and emotional health of the one having to give the care. The care industry is a big employment field in the UK right now so it would also give young people a skill they could use to gain employment.
In the very near future, as the global population ages in unprecedented numbers, there will be an overwhelming number of older adults in need of care. To know that compassionate young people like Adam are out there helping their peers, gives one a sense of hope about the future. Were his mum here, she would be immensely proud.
I wholeheartedly recommend Adam's book for young caregivers. If you know one, gift him or her with a copy and read it yourself. See: links for US and UK