I think many of us have read the staggering statistics on elder abuse: 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some sort of abuse and each year as many as 5 million elders are abused. But for me, these numbers became so much more real when someone was abused in my family.
My story starts with my mother. Diagnosed with late stage cancer and being mostly bed ridden, I became her primary caregiver. My mom lived in a retirement community and was blessed with many friends who would visit and check in on her. With the help of her friends and a part-time housekeeper, I balanced the needs of my mother, my immediate family and my job.
At first, this caregiving arrangement seemed to work. But as the weeks progressed (and the medications increased), it became painfully clear that I needed a better plan. I reached out to mom’s housekeeper and asked if she would consider taking on more hours and helping mom with meals and medications during the daytime. My plan was to work during the day and then go to mom’s house in the evening. I thought my plan was workable… the housekeeper and my mom seemed to like each other and the housekeeper was already coming to the house, so it wasn’t like leaving mom with a stranger. Read more »
I always enjoy those articles that appear in the paper or in magazines this time of year on the topic of “holiday tip guides for the people in your life.” There are guidelines for holiday giving for your babysitter, nanny, hairdresser, dog groomer, doorman and delivery people. I’ve read some that suggest that the gift should be equal to what you pay in a typical month, adding up to a holiday tip budget that’s larger than my entire Christmas gifting budget, family and friends combined.
While I’m not much into prescribed gifting, I do love the ability at the holidays to give small, meaningful gifts to special people in my life. It feels good and it makes me smile as much as them – sometimes more!
Some of the special people in my life are the people who work for our business, diligently focusing on their part in the overall mission of our company, day after day. Recognizing them for how special they are to the business – and to me – is one of the most enjoyable parts of this season.
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As National Family Caregiver Month comes to an end, I wanted to talk about something we can all relate to.
If you’re like most family caregivers you are likely stressed, overworked, over-scheduled, exhausted and lonely. You might feel like you’re all alone, doing a job that’s just too big, with no one cheering you on. You’re probably being second-guessed but not much support from your family. You might be feeling like it’s just too hard.
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Every family who has hired an in-home caregiver can relate to Rosanna Fay’s experience
I wrote about this article a couple years ago, but as it is National Family Caregiver’s Month, I thought appropriate to bring it up again.
In the San Jose Mercury article, Fay shares her belief that while pay is important for caregivers, knowing that they are trained and have a professional standard to meet is even more important to families.
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As this is National Caregivers’ Month, it’s time that you support your local family caregivers with training resources today.
Earlier in May this year, AARP ran a blog titled “More can be done to support family caregivers.” In the blog, AARP executive Nancy LeaMond told the story of Ann, a woman who became an unexpected caregiver for her husband following a massive stroke.
Ann is just one of over 40 million family caregivers in the U.S. today, nearly all of whom don’t get enough support. You have probably heard me say that over 90% of all caregiving services today are provided by family members.
That means if you’re a professional senior care organization, you – and all your colleagues providing care to seniors in your service area – are only serving 10% of the caregiving needs. Families are doing the rest.
Families are doing the work like Ann, who must find out about community resources, hire and manage home care aides, navigate a complex health system and enlist family and friends to help so she can get a break, too.
As senior care professionals, we can do more to support Ann and other like her. We can offer them helpful tips on caregiving at home, classes in the basics of caregiving and support for the emotional toll caregiving takes on the entire family.
In doing so, we’re connecting with families who will probably need us at some point in time, too. It’s the classic case of doing something that genuinely helps others, and helps us grow our business at the same time – doing well by doing good.
Learn more about IPCed’s tools to help family caregivers while you grow your business using the Family Learning Center®. Curious the quality of education, you can gain through a Family Learning Center? Download some key education material, designed exclusively for patient education
And don’t forget to join us November 30th for our webinar panel discussion as we discuss the trials and tribulations of family caregiving. Register Here
Some of you have heard me share my personal story about the day my professional view on caregiving became a family member’s view. It’s a story I share often, but rarely do I include all the details. Some are private; some just too painful. I bet most family caregivers can relate.
It started late one night when the phone rang. One the other end was an emergency tech who said my parents had been in an auto accident and that I should immediately drive to the city hospital to meet the ambulance bringing my mother in.
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Not too long ago, a colleague sent me a link to this excellent article and I wanted to pass it on – it’s a great window into the psychosocial challenges family caregivers face, in addition to the daunting tasks that often face the caregiver. Many times, I’ve talked with families about the value of their emotional role and relationship with the person in their care, and how necessary it is for them to safeguard that role and not let tasks take over their time. Anyone, including paid caregivers, can do the tasks (often easier, in fact), but no one can take their place in the person’s heart.
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The Institute for Professional Care Education (IPCed) announced plans to celebrate November 2016 as National Family Caregiver Month. Marked by President Barack Obama’s proclamation, National Family Caregiver Month reaffirms “support for those who give of themselves to be there for their family, friends, and neighbors in challenging times.” It is also a time to honor family caregivers by providing them with the resources they need to care for loved ones, friends and neighbors.
“Those who take care of their loved ones are key to our continuum of care,” says Sharon Brothers, President and Founder of IPCed. “As a family caregiver myself, I understand the stress and exhaustion that many people take on willingly to care for their loved ones. While personally committed, they are often underappreciated and ill-equipped with a serious lack of effective care training. Through our Family Learning Center, we want to support family caregivers with the best possible toolset to take care of their loved ones.”
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Some days you know that you should just sit down and shut up, because someone else can express exactly what you’re thinking, but in a much clearer way.
That’s how I felt today when I came across Jonathan Rauch’s article, Letting Go of My Father, in an archived article from the Atlantic Magazine. Although Rauch’s article is a few years old now, the challenges for family caregiver remain.
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November has been officially named Family Caregiver Month!
To celebrate, we are excited to offer you some free tools for guiding conversations about health and care with your current and prospective clients and families.
They’re Family Education Guides, and they’re available free here compliments of OnCourse Learning, one of the top providers of health care education in the country.
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