About Who Stole My Pockets
(Note: You can also watch our introductory video by visiting our Facebook Group).
We called this venture “Who Stole My Pockets” because of an experience Kim had with her father. Trust us, as hard as it is when you’re in the throes of caregiving, one day you’ll be glad you have stories to tell, and we hope that, like ours, your stories will one day put a smile on your face. Who Stole My Pockets is a place where you can learn from us and others, and share your experiences too (our Facebook group is a great place to continue the conversation!). Our overarching mission is to ensure that every one of you who is caring for a loved one has the tools you need to feel supported and understood.
We believe that caregivers need a different sort of online community, one that’s led by approachable, everyday people (that’s us!). Who Stole My Pockets is that community.
Kim and I are longtime friends and colleagues. Both of us have personally been in your shoes; Kim, with her father, and Dawne, with her mother. For years, we’ve talked about creating a place where people can find reliable information, help, and advice, and join a community of people who are also going through this.
But Who Stole My Pockets is more than that. We both have a wicked sense of humor, and managed to find the laughs even in the darkest moments with our parents. We’ll share those here too; we’re both big believers that a good laugh can get you through the day. There’s science behind the benefits of laughter, too! Just ask the Mayo Clinic.
Meet the Team
Dawne Richards, Co-Founder
Hi! I’m Dawne Richards, one-half of the Dynamic Duo behind “Who Stole My Pockets.” (Please note: I’m listed first because Kim insisted and she can totally take me in a fight.)
I’d definitely say that my partner, Kim Golodner (you can read more about Kim below) is the better half of this duo; she’s the one with professional training in being a caregiver.
As for me, what I bring to the table is personal experience (and a wicked sense of humor). My mother lived with us for many years; she moved in when she was in her early 80s and lived with us until she passed away at the age of 93. During that time, we experienced – and learned from – many of the things you’d expect, including:
- Dealing with her giving up driving
- Helping her keep track of her medications
- Making sure that we took care of ourselves, too!
- Ensuring that our three kids understood, as best they could, what their “Yiayia” (Greek for “Grandma”) was going through.
Kim was an invaluable help to me during this time, given her professional training and her own years of personal experience taking care of her father. We went through a particularly rough period with my mom (more about that later); during that escapade, Kim was the only person on earth who could get through to her. I don’t know what we would have done without her.
Kim Golodner, Co-Founder
Hi! My name is Kim Golodner. Along with my awesome partner, we are proud to share “Who Stole My Pockets.”
When I was in a high school psychology class, I visited the largest state institution in Pennsylvania for people with disabilities. Conditions were so horrific that I hoped to one day work in a field that would assure no one lived in that kind of place again. For the next 20 years, I worked with agencies who specialized in moving people out of institutions and helping them succeed in the community. After many years in the field, I obtained a Master’s degree in Human Services and then, much later in life, went back to school at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia to complete post-graduate work in Applied Behavior Analysis.
When my Dad was 80 years old, he moved in with us. I had two children in middle school and a busy life. At the time, I gave no thought to how my professional and personal lives would soon collide. When my Dad moved in, I didn’t realize how far along his Alzheimer’s had progressed. In fact, I just thought he was lonely, slowing down and in need of a change of scenery. Boy, was I in for some major surprises.
My husband and children were wonderful with my father, but the physical and emotional burden for his care was primarily mine. As a professional working with clients who exhibited the most difficult behaviors imaginable, I had always been able to go home and shut off work. Having someone live with me 24 hours a day who had increasing physical and emotional needs often proved overwhelming. Looking back, I realized that what I needed was a community.
This is why Dawne and I started “Who Stole My Pockets.” Our dream is to share what we have learned as caregivers and give others a forum to help and support each other.
About that Humor thing…
When we say that we are both firm believers that humor can be a lifesaver, we mean it. Each week, we’ll be sharing fun images which reflect our approach to life, which is “laugh as often as you can.” Here’s this week’s:
Thanks for coming along with us on this journey; leave us a comment, join our Facebook group, and subscribe to our weekly emails, where we’ll share newsworthy developments.