6 Fall-Inspired Meal Ideas for Family Caregivers

A guest post written by Jess McLean

I am huge into cooking, and as a caregiver for my mom who has dysphagia (trouble swallowing), cooking and coming up with interesting new meals she can eat and enjoy has become a big part of my caregiving life.

One thing that seems to translate from caregiver to caregiver no matter your situation or caree condition is simply finding enough time to do it all – provide care, work, cook for modified diets, manage a family, etc. When it comes to eating well and taking care of yourself, you simply don’t have an hour to spend whipping up a fancy meal every day, and you certainly don’t have time to succinctly measure out perfect portions and measurements for a long, complicated recipe. (more…)

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National Caregiving Conference 2017- You Don’t Want to Miss It!

national caregiving conference 2017

Registration for the 2017 National Caregiving Conference is now open. Are you committed to going or considering watching it virtually?

I’ll be at the event in Chicago (with my sister!!) and we’d love to connect with you in on Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11th.

Last year, I wasn’t sure I could go. I was wondering how I would getaway. Who would take care of everyone? Did I have enough days available to take off from work? Could we afford the expense?

Thankfully, my husband talked me in to attending and I’m so glad he did! Now, I’m going to pay it forward and encourage you to attend by sharing five main reasons. (more…)

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The Happy Healthy Caregiver Manifesto

The Happy Healthy Caregiver Manifesto

A manifesto is a published or public declaration of intentions, core beliefs, motives or views. If you ever shop at lululemon, they put their corporate manifesto on their shopping bags.

I  was inspired to write the Happy Healthy Caregiver Manifesto after listening to Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft’s podcast Happier. Here’s a link to Gretchen Rubin’s manifesto and core beliefs. Here’s a link to her Happiness Manifesto.

Once I started writing my core intentions and beliefs…I almost couldn’t stop!

The Happy Healthy Caregiver Manifesto

I believe every individual’s lifestyle choices impact everyone who loves them.

I know I won’t find the time for my own self-care. I have to create my me time. (more…)

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Planning Summer Fun – Even for You!

Summer activities for family caregivers

A calendar year can be like a book with the seasons being different sections.

As family caregivers, one season can easily roll into another, sometimes without an intentional thought. Or perhaps we do think ‘I’d like to do that this summer’ but find when fall arrives we feel we squandered our summer and wonder what we did.

Imagine yourself sitting at your desk in September saying farewell to summer with not feelings of regret but feelings of gratitude.

Let’s make this summer different. Let’s design our summer with good intentions…and a big dose of FUN! (more…)

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My Favorite Podcasts for Family Caregivers

In the past few years, I have discovered the wide wonderful world of podcasts!

From news junkies to entertainment seekers to those looking for personal growth and business training…there is certainly something for everyone!

What is a podcast?

A podcast is a digital audio file available on the Internet or as a download to your computer or phone. It’s like a radio show on a topic you care about or love. You choose when you want to listen and you can skip through the advertisements.

For me, my podcast smartphone application is like my TV’s DVR. Once I either hear or read about a podcast, I search for the name on my phone’s Podcast app and listen to one of the recent episodes. If I like the program, I will ‘subscribe’ to it. Then my app knows that I want new episodes automatically downloaded to my device. (more…)

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10 Unique Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Seniors

Gift ideas for moms

Mother’s Day is just around the corner.

After years of buying for the women in your life and limited time to shop, you may be challenged to find a Mother’s Day gift.

Never fear, ideas are here!

Below you’ll find a list of unique and thoughtful gift ideas you can present to the important women in your life this Mother’s Day. (more…)

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Signs of Caregiver Burnout & Resources that Will Help

Signs of Caregiver Burnout

Caregiver burnout is real.

According to WebMD, caregiver burnout is “a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude — from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned.”

Family Caregivers can tend to burnout when they take on too much, put everyone’s needs before their own and have optimistic expectations over what is in their control. Consider for a moment what would happen if all the responsibilities you are juggling no longer happen because you are no longer physically or mentally able to do them. This is probably a scary thought considering all that you do. (more…)

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Teepa Snow Entertains While Teaching About Dementia

Elizabeth Happy Healthy Caregiver and Teepa Snow

Teepa Snow engaged hundreds of Cobb County family Caregivers and further expanded their understanding of dementia. I had the privilege to hear Teepa – one of America’s leading dementia educators on dementia – at an event called ‘A Day with Teepa Snow: Today’s Voice for Dementia’ on Friday, March 31st at the Due West United Methodist Church.

I had no idea what to expect from this event since I have never even seen or heard Teepa speak. Her training is highly praised and I wanted to learn more about dementia.

Only Teepa Snow can make learning about dementia entertaining. She’s witty, spunky, and she swears (in a church!). She drives home the importance of visual cues by using her hands while she instructs. (more…)

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How to Identify and Create Boundaries while Caregiving

Boundaries while Caregiving

I believe many Caregiving conflicts we have with others stem from unspoken expectations. A lack of understanding of personal boundaries.

Think about your last Caregiving related conflict you had with someone. Was this the case? Was something this person expected you to do or say? Or, were you expecting them to do or say something?

Do ever feel like the universe is sending you signs? One particular book kept popping up in a variety of conversations. The book is called “Boundaries”. At one point, the universe (or my co-worker) put the book in my hand and said ‘you really need to read this.’ I didn’t know he gave it to me until after I read it which was probably a good thing since I read it straight away like I was borrowing it. He insisted afterward that I keep the book or pay it forward.

So I read “Boundaries” because of all the mentions and because I can always improve my relationships with others.

I took some notes while reading this book so I could share the key points in this post. (more…)

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Webinar: Finding Time for What You Love

Finding Time Webinar

Recorded Webinar

As part of fulfilling my requirements to become a Certified Caregiving Consultant, I needed to facilitate an online chat, hold a phone support group call, or do a webinar. I chose the webinar as part of my ‘final’. (By the way, If you want more information on becoming a Certified Caregiving Consultant, please let me know. I have a coupon code you may be interested in).

This webinar was presented live on Caregiving.com on 3/14/2017. The recording is now available for you to watch at your convenience.

I know what it is like to be sandwiched between caring for aging parents while raising teenagers and working a full-time job. I have cared for my mother-in-law and father, and currently help care for her chronically ill mother and developmentally disabled brother.

In 2014, my world flipped upside down when my mother-in-law was in her fourth year of battling lung cancer and both of my parents were fighting for their lives. My father passed away in August 2014 putting me in an immediate position to move my mom and become her primary caregiver. That December, my mother-in-law lost her battle with cancer. I had to learn how to integrate Caregiving with my demanding family and work responsibilities and somehow not lose myself in the process.

This webinar is a result of what I have learned on this journey. You will hear practical tips on how to create time for the activities and people you love (and miss!).

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