Her mother, father, brother and mother-in-law eventually succumbed to their illnesses. Two sisters, her aunt, and her husband are cancer survivors. Managing the doctor visits, the medications, the physical, emotional, and spiritual strain of day-to-day care for her family members, might seem overwhelming by ordinary standards. But Karen Twichell is extraordinary. While facing the challenges and pain of her experiences, she learned that millions of Americans were in the same boat. "There's not too much help out there for the caregiver," she said. In response to the need, she wrote A Caregiver's Journey --- Finding Your Way, which received the 2001 Writer's Digest National Book Award Certificate of Merit.
Like her book, her presentations are sensitive, yet practical guidance for people facing the unnerving challenge of caring for an ill or elderly loved one. The bottom line is this: you have to take care of yourself, too. The analogy she often shares with audiences is that of a flight attendant telling passengers that, in an emergency, they should put on their own oxygen mask before trying to help someone else. Twichell's presentations are like that oxygen mask: they make it possible to take care of others successfully.
you impressed the audience with your excellent
communication skills, warmth, and approachability.
I speak for all attendees when I say I feel empowered by
your words. The wisdom you shared was logical,
your presentation well organized, and your approach
entertaining." -- Lynn Spreen, Palm Springs Writers