Shaun is finally free of responsibilities to anyone but himself; single, with two grown up daughters, he is just embarking on a new life in a new country when he gets a call to say his father is dying.
His mother has Parkinson’s Dementia and is in a care home. Shaun faces a stark choice: should he give up his new-found freedom, or turn his back on the woman he’d fought so hard to protect, not least from his own father?
Shaun’s mother had loved and cared for her son all her life. Could he now do the same for her?
Love and Care by Shaun Deeney is a moving and uplifting account about the author’s decision to bring his mother home and become her full time carer. It is an honest and ultimately a deeply rewarding read, in which he details how he gave up his independence to look after her, as she once cared for and protected him.
Within it’s pages he tells us not just about the hurdles he faced to bring her home, but also how the love they shared meant that he was not doing this just out of a sense of obligation. It was an act of compassion and an acknowledgment of the bonds between family. Reading of how he battled the care system to look after her, was a privilege and emotionally very challenging. For we all face this possibility and he allows us to see that it is not all about sacrifice, that he found a sense of fulfilment from his new role. That there are rewards to be gained from caring for our loved ones. That though he faced many personal challenges, the decision he made to give his mum her greatest wish, to return home, brought them closer and gave him a chance to find peace with the past.
He doesn’t gloss over the cost to himself though, his honesty was refreshing and his account all the more impactful as a result. As every carer is aware, that although they care for for family members out of love and a sense of duty, there is a real threat to their sense of self. Within the pages of Love and Care, this was a very powerful theme for me and one many will be able to identify with. Unable to leave his mother for long periods of time, he began to feel isolated and this impacted his mental health. He had to learn to find a way forward and acknowledge he couldn’t do it all on his own. His writing showing those of us at the beginning of or caring journey, that we need to look after ourselves, if we are to care for those we love, in a way that is safe and full of love.
Love and Care is a beautiful story not just about his love for his mother, but the love others had for him and her. Not just an account of the challenges they faced, but the rewards they gained. Caring is an immense act of generosity, of love and Shaun Deeney writes about it with humour and veracity.
The book can be brought from Amazon and Waterstones as well as all good independent bookshops.
About the author
Shaun Deeney is a former journalist and Emmy award-winning film and TV producer. He
has made current affairs programmes for ITV on social issues, including care. He is also
the creator of a podcast on caring for his mother called Love and Care. Shaun has a
degree in English and American Literature from Kent at Canterbury. He has two daughters
and loves listening to Frank Sinatra. For more information visit shaundeeney.com.