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!).
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…)
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.
Chances are we all take better physical care of our smartphones than we do ourselves.
I’m not hating on the smartphone though as it’s a powerful little tool that helps caregivers in many ways.
We all have our phones with us wherever we go and there are some powerful tools we can take advantage of to make our caregiving days a little easier.
I’m not my mom and my mom isn’t me.
Profound, right? I thought so. This simple statement slapped me upside the head when I heard this from Dawn, the owner and creator of a nonprofit organization called ALOHA (A Life Of Healthy Aging). Dawn’s organization visits my mom’s new assisted living community monthly to offer support to resident’s families.
Dawn followed this statement with a question: ‘who is your mom?’ and challenged me to find out. I definitely know who I want her to be – I want her to be me! But, even though she has been my mom for 44 years, I still have some detective work to do in order to answer this question. (more…)
This recent series of blog posts is about making time for yourself and then using your ME time wisely. In the first post in this series, I offered some time management tips that work for me. If you missed this post, check it out here. Now we need to hone into where you want this ME time to be spent, but first you need to pause and make a plan.
Make things happen
There are two main buckets of people. Those that wait for things to happen to them and those that make things happen. I prefer to surround myself with the people that make things happen. I find them more interesting to talk to, inspiring, and uplifting. Perhaps this explains why I have a sick fascination with reading true WW II stories about survivors of the Holocaust. I can’t get enough of the stories about the strength and perseverance these usually ordinary people had to fight through extreme and unbelievable circumstances. I love the movie Rudy and any true story about the underdogs setting a goal, believing they can do it, and making it happen. (more…)
You see those helicopter parents hovering over their kids everywhere basically never letting their kids experience failure and helping them each step of the way. I know these moms and dads think are doing a good thing but frankly I feel like it is a disservice to their child. God forbid, what if one of these helicopter parents has a crash crisis landing? What will happen to these children that have no clue how to fend for themselves? I was grateful that I had already instilled in my kids some responsibility when I returned to work outside the home five years ago because once my husband and I began to provide care for our aging parents and were stretched out even thinner, our kids were in a prime position to pick up even more of the areas that began to slack.
I usually tell my kids that my job as their parent basically boils down to two main things:
1) Keep them safe.
2) Help them become people that others enjoy being around. (more…)
I’m tough on myself and I hate to let others down. Guilt is a common emotion for me – truly probably a daily occurrence. You see, it’s impossible to make everyone happy in a world with so many competing priorities. Just like an overstuffed sandwich, some wonderful initially desired ingredient is going to slip out and get left behind on the plate or the wrapper. We can just fit only so much into our mouths or into our day.
For me, guilt flashes into my head, slithers down the back of my throat and wedges itself in my chest where it pressure cooks for a few minutes. Sometimes it gets the best of me and I steam out a few tears but lately I’m practicing a lot of self-talk and can get that pesky guilt emotion to dwindle and sometimes even completely dissipate. Deep down I do know that I’m doing enough – more than enough…probably too much! (more…)
The reality is that I had several talks with my parents encouraging them to simplify their lives by downsizing and finding a place where life could be easier for them.
Sadly, I feel that I have been grieving my parents for over a decade. They had been slowly killing themselves with complications from morbid obesity and diabetes. It’s been devastating to watch and frustrating to witness the pain their addictions with food and sedentary lifestyles have caused themselves and their families. (more…)
Earlier today, I thought I’d write a Throwback Thursday post and tell a great past story. But, then my day felt more like ‘Throw up Thursday’. I already knew this….but today confirmed that I’m a creature of habit and I thrive in structure, I can get by on a day with little structure, but I really don’t like a whole day of unexpected crazy. (more…)