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Advance Directives: What does Grief Have to Do With It?

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eleanor's bookPodcast Transcript – Eleanor Silverberg

Eleanor shares her insights into the relationships between capacity, caring and grieving. As family members watch the decline of a loved one, including their capacity, there is not only the loss of who that person use to be, but acknowledging that the grieving process has already begun. This is an important topic for our Power of Attorney Project, because it speaks to the emotional, stressful times when our loved ones lose their capacity to make their own life decision. Eleanor helps us explore this topic and we can learn from her years of personal and professional experience of dealing with care and grieve issues.

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About Eleanor Silverberg, BA Psych, MSW, RSW

Thanks to her strong grief background, coming from over 20 years of academic and independent study, she sees the impact of loss and grief in the circumstances that caregivers experience. This view is different from the conventional cultural views related to loss and grief. To share this view, she developed the ground-breaking 3-A Grief Approach. 

In addition to professionally drawing from a strong academic grief background in assisting dementia family caregivers, she also draws from personal experience having been a family caregiver herself.

Being a Child of Holocaust Survivors, she has had a lot of exposure to loss. Most of her mother’s and father’s family members perished in the Holocaust. She experienced this trauma as a second generation offspring. Upon reflection, she attributes her initial pursuit in grief studies to her attempt at making sense of her own personal experience. She then acknowledged and assessed that others could be assisted as well.

Previous Employment:

Social Worker, Alzheimer Society of York Region, Canada

Social Worker, Outpatient Mental Health, Markham Stouffville Hospital

Social Worker Intern, Community Psychogeriatrics, Sunnybrook Health Sciences, Toronto, Canada

Social Worker Intern, Newmarket Family Life Centre

Eleanor Silverberg

In addition to conducting numerous workshops for family caregivers, Eleanor has published a book called: “Caregiving with Strength”.

“Caregiving with Strength” stand out from other self-help books since it was written especially for family care providers of adults with chronic illness. It was also written for the professionals as an assisting tool in servicing them.

Awareness is raised about the loss and grief experienced and its impact while caring for a family member with chronic illness. Combining her grief expertise with her family caregiving, social work and coaching experience, Eleanor Silverberg transports readers into a personal development cocoon, offering content for reflective thought to encourage personal growth.

The elements of a strength-building regimen are presented, focusing on the grief facilitation element as it influences caregiving outcomes and is interconnected with the other strength-building elements described in the book. It also:

  • Addresses the common issues that caregivers face and it raises awareness of the embedded grief. For family caregivers of adults with chronic illness and the professionals who service them.
  • Provides a strength-building regimen to prevent burnout and addresses their losses/grief.
  • Features an innovative approach as a coping tool for grief facilitation and personal growth.
  • Taps into the grief as a powerful resource for adapting and making change.
  • Offers insight for reflective thinking, tools for coping and caregiver anecdotes

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