Book Buzz: Who Moved My Teeth? Preparing for Self, Loved Ones & Caregiving

For the last five months, I pretty much put my life on hold because, well, life happened.

Suddenly, my world revolved around caregiving.

With three members of my family  (including the dog) undergoing operations that involved a lengthy recovery, my daily routine changed dramatically as I became the caregiver. As such, I was nurse, physical therapist, medicine dispenser, pulse taker, meal preparer and deliverer, bandage changer, appointment driver, and most of all, resident worrier.

I am happy to say, however, that all three patients have recovered, and our lives have resumed their normal ebb and flow.

I learned an important lesson during this time, though. Caregiving can be a full-time occupation without a training manual. It is alternately terrifying and lonely.

Caregiving is not a once and done deal. Most of us will be caregivers several times in our lifetimes. For some, it will be many times over.

Like my friend Cathy Sikorski, a funny, sharp and compassionate woman who has been a caregiver for seven different family members and friends over the last 25 years. Cathy’s first book, Showering With Nana: Confessions of a Serial Caregiver, is a memoir that is both touching and hilarious about the time she cared for her 92 year-old grandmother with a 2 year-old daughter toddling around the house. Cathy has the writing chops to bring you to laughter and tears simultaneously. I loved Showering with Nana and reviewed it here.

Who Moved My Teeth? Preparing for Self, Loved Ones & Caregiving

Cathy is also an attorney who has focused her practice on elder care, so she understands caregiving from both a personal and a legal standpoint. Her latest book, Who Moved My Teeth? Preparing for Self, Loved Ones & Caregiving, provides practical information about caregiving for others as well as what you need to know about your own care — and your legal rights — as you age.

Book Buzz: Who Moved My Teeth? Preparing for Self, Loved Ones & Caregiving

No matter what age you are now, are you prepared for what lies ahead for both you and your loved ones? Do you have a Power of Attorney and a Living Will? Do you understand Social Security? Do you know the difference between Medicare, Medicaid and Medigap?

I am at the stage of my life where I need to know about these things, and figuring it all out can be nightmarish. Navigating the healthcare system is akin to being lost in a cornfield maze. I am an educated woman, but reading about this stuff makes my eyes glaze over in acronym misery. Cathy makes it more palatable with her plain speak tinged with humor style of writing.

Because she has gone through the hassles of making endless phone calls and getting nowhere, of filing claims that end up lost, of filling out pages of paperwork and dealing with incompetent administrators, she saves us a good chunk of the frustration by giving us a roadmap with clear directions.

Was this helpful? You bet. Caregiving is less onerous when you’re aware of the systems in place that can help during a difficult time, since the last thing you want to do is deal with it then.

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31 Thoughts on “Book Buzz: Who Moved My Teeth? Preparing for Self, Loved Ones & Caregiving

  1. Pingback: Who Moved My Teeth? Preparing for Self, Loved Ones & Caregiving –

  2. Cathy seems to have a lot of helpful experience! It is so important to be prepared for life’s ups and downs. I’m always surprised at the little percentage of people that have life insurance. It’s something that we all should have!

  3. Such a great site, I think our elders need all the love we can give them 🙂

  4. That’s an interesting post who taught me quite a few things. This book looks quite interesting and it’s always great to know about other’s experiences

  5. Sounds like my mom .. Life is full of ups and downs. My mom going thru the same care giving phase and she doesn’t even know anything about taxes, Medicare etc. No matter what you are currently experiencing in your life always remember that no storm lasts forever. It will eventually come to pass.

  6. I’ve been there for both parents in 2015. These sounds like wonderful resources. I don’t know of anyone who is prepared for this task in life and we will all be there at some time!

    • From one Cathy to another…yes we are all going to get a turn. And even though you can’t be completely prepared, you can put some things in place to make that crisis a bit less crazy!

  7. I will keep this in mind. At the moment my parents plan on going to a retirement home, but I still want to be there for things that can come up. My Grandma is in a retirement home but my mother still does so much.

  8. Jessica on July 21, 2017 at 8:50 pm said:

    I have a few friends who have stepped into the caregiving role recently, and a book such as this one would have been extraordinarily helpful.

  9. Claudia Krusch on July 21, 2017 at 9:39 pm said:

    Being a caregiver can be such a hard job. This sounds like a great book. I will have to check out a copy this weekend.

  10. So many adults nowadays are in the sandwich generation: caring for children and parents. I watched my mom take care of her parents, and I would do the same for her.

  11. aareeba on July 22, 2017 at 12:36 am said:

    I always love to know about other’s experiences . This books looks really interesting . Thanks for sharing

  12. Rosey on July 22, 2017 at 9:19 am said:

    Acronym misery? hahahaha Yes, I do know that feeling. Relating over here. 🙂

  13. I’m taking care of my dad since 3 years. Refuse to send him to a retirement home. Luckily my dad is very particular when it comes to planning so he sorted everything years ago. Power of attorney, will…everything. Will bookmark this post anyway, you never know what the future brings.

  14. Thanks again to you, Helene! I am so grateful for your spreading the message of preparation before crisis! You know I’ll always be there if you ever need any help “moving your teeth!”

  15. Caregivers are the unsung heroes of society. My husband has been taking care of me off and on since my neurosurgery three years ago… he is an absolute saint.

  16. Great book to prepare for the “daunting” task of parenthood.. Have read it and love it! Thanks for the post.

  17. Elizabeth O on July 23, 2017 at 7:42 pm said:

    Caregiving is serious business and hardwork. Some go on for years and often is thankless. I guess Cathy injects a bit of humor where it is needed because not much makes one laugh when caregiving.

  18. Filipino are really known for being one of the best caregiver in the world. I think this is very helpful and informative to read.

  19. What a great post! Honestly till now I never thought about caregiving because my parents are quite young and they also take care of my grandparents. But if it happens one day I hope I will be prepared!!

  20. I am not good at this. I told my husband when he is old I will get him a hot nurse to take care of all of that lol

  21. Being a caregiver is always a hard yet rewarding job. It definitely can take a lot out of you though. Such a helpful and interesting article. Thanks for sharing

  22. Oh Helene, I hope all 3 members are recovering under your loving care. My summer, too, has been busy helping care for my aging dad. It seems so difficult to navigate, but thankfully I have sisters to help out, fortunately one who lives much closer than I do. Who Moved My Teeth looks a great and right what I need to be reading now.

    • hbludman on July 31, 2017 at 8:18 am said:

      Pat, so sorry to hear about your dad. I know how close your family is and I’m sure that gives you comfort when you are far from home.

  23. I think Cathy has found the way out of the complicated maze of healthcare and has managed to navigate through the challenges and confusion. I am happy that she wittingly shared her experiences and tips in her book! Medicare, Medicare supplement plans, Medicaid, LTCi and all other health care options and issues are all complicated and just buzzing around my head. I think I should take a look at your book, Cathy and relate myself to your experiences.

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