Author and husband, Ron Smith


The Caregiver’s Companion is a book for people who care for others. It is intended to be a companion, in the sense of a compassionate ally, for those who find themselves, perhaps abruptly, needing to care for others.  In November 2012 my husband Ron suffered a massive attack on his brain. He has written about this experience in his award-winning book, The Defiant Mind – Living Inside a Stroke. In my book I describe how Ron’s stroke affected me, and talk about the critical demands and the marvellous rewards of caring—of exercising and extending care. I also write about the adventures that otherwise would not have chanced our way had it not been for Ron’s stroke. Ultimately I argue that caring for each other, our communities and the Earth we inhabit, is the most vital work we can do.


Reading The Caregiver’s Companion is like sharing a trek in the woods with a friend who listens closely, reads the signs, knows what it means to be present in each step.  In a compellingly clear way, Patricia Jean Smith explains how she learned to provide care for her husband when he was stricken by a brain attack, then talks about therapy at large, in the mental space where unimagined dangers can debilitate and imagined dangers are real.  This quietly passionate book takes you by the hand, admits to anger and exhaustion as well as love and compassion, and asks you to find a way back to both nature and community.W.H. New,  OC  Author

For the caregiver in all of us! This book delves deep inside Pat’s caregiving journey to show what one experience can teach us all about the vital role of caregiving, for individuals and society. Great job!    —Katie White, Manager, Stroke Services BC

We often talk about stroke survivors becoming thrivers, but what about their life mate’s transformation from companion to caregiver? This insightful account is both poignant and practical. You will be engrossed in a story from near death to living life to the fullest. What wonderful writing!Donna Hastings, Senior Vice President – Western Canada, Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada

Publisher: Rock’s Mills Press, Oakville, Ontario