It seems the more we try to educate and inform family members and friends about the role of a caregiver, the less we accomplish at times…I am seeing it more clearly then ever, that those who are thrown into the roles of caregiving have many valuable lessons to learn, grow and heal from. It is a marvelous opportunity.

As many of you know, most caregivers truly have huge hearts. And it seems that so many caregivers are tested in their strength, patience, endurance, etc. While there is resistance and you may experience feelings of helplessness – somehow, the courage and strength to grow is found through the support of others and you are able to move past all the barriers set before you by going within and connecting to that higher power. Once connected, your experiences appear to flow with more ease and less effort.

After the loss of a loved one, the isolation or “insulation” as Dorothy Womack expressed, lingers on as we have become comfortable in it. In some ways, the caregiver must learn new tools for self-esteem or self-confidence to spark them on their continued journey of life. It is a challenging adjustment period to enter back in to society….one that may have been absent from their lives for so long. The transformation which comes from within catapults a former caregiver into a new way of being. When you are entering the real world once again to socialize, you might not even recognize yourself or your responses to any given situation.

Be gentle and nurturing with yourself.

Partake in grief support groups on or offline.

Set some realistic goals for yourself.

Dare to dream. Let your visions unfold.

Many former family caregivers say that the experience was so rewarding that they have gone into a Hospice as volunteers and other areas for giving and caring. I have also met so many former caregivers online, who have been so inspired through their own personal caregiving experiences, that they too, remain in a similar isolation, while committed to sharing their experiences online, for others to learn, heal and grow from. It is almost like it is a community onto itself….their purpose is to ease the role of caregiving for others, to enlighten and light a path…until the majority of the world finally understands the importance of the needs of the caregiver and their loved ones: not just the physical and financial, but their moral, their emotional and their spiritual needs and issues which must be addressed and supported.

Richest Blessings,



  • Ms. Mitchell began her full-time caregiving experience in the early eighties when her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Later on she became the primary caregiver for her father, along with her mother who had become critically ill from burnout prior to her dad’s passing. In recent years, she cared for several friends with AIDS while continuing to care for her mother and actively providing support, information, referrals and resources for caregivers.

    Gail's leadership on the Internet and her success with Empowering Caregivers led her to found National Organization For Empowering Caregivers (NOFEC) INC in 2001.

    Prior to founding NOFEC, she created the iVillageHealth Chat: Empowering Caregivers, which she hosted for over 5 years. Within a month of hosting she created Empowering Caregivers: in 1999 as a resource for caregivers around the globe. Over three million visitors have frequented the website.

    She has presented at national and international care-related conferences and programs and has been a keynote speaker for many programs as well.

    Ms Mitchell has assisted thousands of caregivers online and offline in ways to empower themselves in their roles in caring for loved ones.

    For a list of clients and/or her resume, please contact

    Gail's articles have been published in many venues nationally and in Canada. Presently, she is a member of American Society on Aging and National Quality Caregivers Coalition.

    Gail has discovered that there is life after caregiving: She has become a successful ceramic artist and installation artist. She created Crystal Illumination Art to bring the transformative quality of illumination, light and color to the human experience and celebrate its ability to inspire, heal and nourish our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being.