So said David Bowie in “Changes,” a song about reinvention, defying your critics and stepping out on your own.

Most people resist change.  They fear loss of control, uncertainty and surprise.  What if I fail?  Will there be more work?  Will I have to learn something new?

Caregivers don’t have time for such questions: change comes immediately, disruption without warning.  When caring for a loved one in dire straits, there is no room for self-doubt.

Instinct kicks in: action is required.  Invention becomes the norm.  Reinvention takes place.

Caregiving is demanding, but it can lead to positive change, as evidenced by the story of Kay Bransford, whom I recently interviewed for the Agewyz Podcast series.

Kay is a mother, wife and daughter.  She left the corporate world to care for two parents who had dementia, and wound up unexpectedly launching a business based on the organizational system she developed to manage her parents’ lives, and to help herself stay sane.


Embracing change involves letting go and accepting uncertainty.  These three articles will help soften your landing:

Linda Rossetti on Next Avenue
4 Secrets to Overcoming Unexpected Life Transitions
“I’ve come to learn that transition is an enormous gift for those who choose to explore it. It asks us to re-examine our assumptions about identity, capacity and values.”

Adam Dachis on Lifehacker
Why You’re So Afraid of Change (and What You Can Do About It)
“Give yourself permission to freak out on your own time and then find ways to move forward positively.”

Genny Ross-Barons on tiny buddha
6 Tips to Deal When You Feel Out of Control: When Your World Gets All Shook Up
“One minute your life is normal. You carry on not giving a thought to what may be. You are the master of your destiny. Then something beyond your control happens—your world gets all shook up.”

Then again, when things go wrong maybe it’s best to just take a break and have a few laughs.

For that you can count on Steve Martin and John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, the story of a man who just wants to get home for Thanksgiving and is forced to travel with a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion.  See the trailer here: