Category: Mental Growth & Hobbies

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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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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Announcing the ‘All Things Caregiving’ YouTube Talk Show

All Things Caregiving youTube talk show

We Had a YouTube Channel for Caregivers

In the fall of 2016, my fellow global Caregiving advocate, Carole Brecht of SanGenWoman connected with me to see if I was interested in creating an inspiring & uplifting Caregiving talk show with her on YouTube. After lots of phone and email conversations, recording nights, behind the scenes prep, and YouTube training…we launched a channel in early 2017!

(more…)

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5 Ways for Caregivers to Save Time and Minimize Stress

How Caregivers can save time and stress

A guest post written by Jessica Hegg.

Being a Caregiver can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life. Most people giving care for loved ones don’t get paid – and many caregivers work full or part-time, or have children or other responsibilities that mean their life gets very, very stressful.

It’s very tough to juggle time for all the responsibilities of your normal life and of your caregiving. And if you’re not careful, this can lead to caregiver burnout – physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that can affect your ability to provide care for others, and cause stress, fatigue, and other deleterious health outcomes.

The way this most often manifests itself is a lack of time – it seems like Caregivers never have time to everything that they need to in a day. We’re here with 5 simple tips to help you save time and minimize stress in your day-to-day life as a Caregiver. (more…)

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Can having less stuff make you happier?

Having less stuff

“I’m looking for less stuff to take care of.”

This phrase is something my friends and family would hear me say when I was deep in the role of being the primary caregiver for my mom on top of working full time, raising two children, spending time with my husband, and taking care of me. Oh…and my husband was his mom’s primary caregiver as well so we both felt like we were drowning in stuff to do.

It became crystal clear to me that I had way too much on my plate. I feared something important was going to give or drop whether I liked it or not so I needed to be mindful of what I could sacrifice. It felt heavy to take care of so much stuff and difficult to keep so many plates in the air.

While I know I needed to be focusing in the moment, I was constantly distracted by worrying about all my other plates. When I was with my mom, I was thinking about my kids. While I was at the office, I was thinking about my mom, and whenever I was taking some time for me I felt guilty. This nonstop feeling of being needed and not feeling like I could ever do enough reminded me of a mother robin tirelessly feeding a nest of hungry baby birds. I wrote more about this frustration here.

Does this sound familiar to you? (more…)

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2016 Reflections & Accomplishments – A Year to Remember

A lot can happen in a year and yet years seem to go by faster and faster. 2016 just flew by!

With hundreds of days in a year, we have good days and bad days but collectively my wish for you and for me is that our days roll up to a year of new learnings, opportunities, hearty laughter, memorable moments, and genuine health & happiness.

I wanted to create this ‘year in review’ wrap up blog post, partly for you and partly for me. Since the years do seem to rush by, capturing it in writing in some small way seems like a small way to cement the accomplishments and memories.

I’m also guilty of just plugging on to the next thing and not taking time to savor and celebrate the accomplishments. It’s been fun to reflect and recognize the fruits of my labor and to highlight what was really great about 2016. (more…)

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Caregiver Spotlight – Carole Brecht

Caring for aging parent

I like to regularly feature one-on-one conversations with a family Caregiver from either my Happy Healthy Caregiver Facebook Group or the Happy Healthy Caregiver Community. I call each of these recorded conversations a ‘Caregiver Spotlight’. I started these because each caregiver journey is unique and I know every time I talk to another caregiver I learn something new and I leave that conversation knowing I’m not alone and feel encouraged by others.

Meet Creative Family Caregiver – Carole Brecht

Carole Brecht’s first exposure to family caregiving occurred when she had just closed her art gallery and was planning to secure a job in her industry. Her dad worked full-time and her mom had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Carole had the time to step up as the daughter to help, not even knowing what a Caregiver was, nor hearing the word Caregiver until the end of her journey. She just knew her mom needed assistance with daily tasks and transportation and advocacy at her doctor appointments. Like many of us, Carole had no formal training in caregiving and learned as she went. Her caregiving journey with her mom lasted  several years until her mom passed away two years ago. During this time, Carole didn’t have a support system. She felt caregiving was a lonely, isolating journey that caused her to withdraw. Carole is currently her father’s Caregiver.

Caregiving took Carole down a path she didn’t anticipate. Her personal experiences inspired her to explore two positive, creative outlets: Zentangle art and writing.

(more…)

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Embracing and feeling your emotions and fears is healthy

It’s not realistic to think that you can be happy all the time.

We live in a culture where we tend to stuff our emotions and fears. We’re busy. We don’t take time to feel and process our emotions and fears.

Lately, I’ve been trying to become more in tune to my inner voice. I think she has been talking to me all of my life and I just tend not to really hear her anymore – she became background noise. Sometimes she’s my number one fan pushing me to try new things and take the next step toward my goals but other times I catch her doubting me or comparing me to others and holding me back.

We have this urge to be perfect, instead of recognizing we are enough. Social media doesn’t help. Facebook and Instagram show individual’s highlight reels of sweet family moments, beautiful bodies, happy relationships, and gourmet meals. Deep down we have to know that these individuals have struggles, insecurities, bad habits, and imperfections. We’re all human!

I don’t eat perfectly all the time. I get frustrated with my progress. I have a list of repetitive fears. I yell at my kids, and I can shut out or stuff my true feelings. (more…)

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Self-care daily habits that are doable, energizing, and uplifting

I believe many family caregivers think of self-care as a weekend retreat, a night out with the girls or a relaxing day at the spa. Those activities do sound and are amazing! However, self-care can be a collection of tiny little daily habits that allow you to nurture and energize yourself.

In this post, I want to focus in on those daily self-care habits. The little things that you do or could do to take better care of you.

Does anything come to mind?

If you got a decent night’s sleep last night, that’s a good start. If you ate an energizing healthy breakfast this morning, you are starting to seize your day.

Wouldn’t be great to have some little self-care breadcrumbs sprinkled throughout your day for you to savor?

(more…)

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