“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” Albert Einstein
Not every child gets 18 years of childhood. There are an estimate of 1.3 million caregiving children ages 8.-18 years old in the U.S.* We often think of Caregiving as a role solely for adults. Child caregivers are a hidden, vulnerable population in the US, sacrificing their education, health and childhood while fulfilling roles and responsibilities beyond their years. The risk of underachievement and high school dropout increases for teenagers who end up taking on the role as family caregiver.
When child caregivers are recognized and supported, their lives change and they learn that they are not alone. The American Association of Caregiving Youth of Palm Beach, County (FL) was developed by Connie Siskowski, RN, PHD and is the first US program to support the hidden population of child caregivers. Through a variety programs to help young caregivers and their families, the American Association of Caregiving Youth brings the issues facing young caregivers and their families to the forefront.
Don’t just take it from me, listen in and learn how Connie Siskowski and American Association of Caregiving Youth is creating Healing Ties all around us!
To learn more about the American Association of Caregiving Youth and the upcoming Caregiving Youth Institute conference on Thursday, April 27th in Boca Raton, Florida simply click here!
The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Richard and I during one of our many talks about what he wanted. This conversation centered around his medication.
Having “The Talk” does not have to be hard or difficult, yet the talk does have to happen at some point in our lives. I’m not referring to the birds and the bees talk our parents have with us when we are adolescents. “The Talk” I am referring to is the talk we have with our loved ones about end-of-life wishes.
As a caregiver, one of our most important roles, if not the most important one of them all, is to be an advocate. How can one advocate if you do not know the wishes or desires of the person in your care? Richard and I always had the ability to talk openly about his wishes. In fact, our end-of-life conversation happened spontaneously; by the end of the conversation, our tears of love and joy were comforted by the knowledge that I knew exactly what he wanted. “I will tell you when I am ready for hospice” he bellowed…Yes you did!
Click on the image to purchase Jack’s book
Recently I had the opportunity to visit with Jack Tatar who has written a book called “Having the Talk.” “Having the Talk” focuses on ways to begin a family discussion earlier rather than later, about planning for the later life issues of a retired or retiring parent. Jack’s research demonstrated to him people have “the Talk”, but they have it too late, either when there’s little that can be changed, or after expectations have been set by siblings about “who gets what.” When this happens, families are torn apart, and loved ones who played together and protected each other throughout their entire lives now find themselves not talking to each other, usually all the way to their deathbeds.
Here is our recent episode of “Healing Ties” featuring Jack Tatar as we discuss how to have those difficult end-of-life conversation.
While I understand not everyone is going to be able to have the same experience of having “The Talk” like Richard and I did, let me share a few suggestions on how you might approach this delicate conversation:
Always use open-ended question
Don’t force the conversation, if there is strong resistance, back off and revisit it at another time
Express the importance of the need for you to be comforted, knowing that by following their wishes, makes it easier on you
I believe there are two common aspects to caregiving that everyone experiences, there is a beginning and there is an end, and in most cases, we are not prepared for either one of these life changing events! It is difficult to plan for the unexpected, but having a plan in place does help temper the confusion when an emergency happens.
Join us on Wednesday, July 22nd on Health Café Live.com at 7:00 pm (EST) as we visit with Gary Barg, Editor-in-Chief of Caregiver Magazine & Caregiver.com. A noted speaker, writer and publisher on caregiving issues since 1995, Gary is Founder of the first national magazine for caregivers, Today’s Caregiver, as well the original online caregiver community, caregiver.com. Gary created The Fearless Caregiver Conferences, hosted across the country, which brings together caregivers to share their knowledge, experience and wisdom as well as learning about vital products, services and technologies. Listen in and learn how Gary is creating Healing Ties all around us!
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Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Relief, Sadness, Guilt, and Joy all rolled up into on simple statement. Yet how do four very different words, have meaning to us when Caregiving ends? I believe that these four words are the first emotions that a family Caregiver deals with when the journey ends.
Relief: That caregiving is over. Those long sleepless nights, sleeping with one eye open, are gone. Relief that the one you (loved) cared for is now pain-free.
Sadness: That the life you once knew has now forever changed. That undeniable reality that something powerful has happened that has forever transitioned our lives and the one that we (loved) cared for.
Guilt: Those ‘what if’ days or ‘if I could have done this differently’ days that make us wonder if we did the right thing. And the greatest guilt of them of them all, when you realize that you have to continue on with your life without the one you (loved) cared for. (We want to avoid this emotion as much as possible)
Joy: When you wake up that one morning and tell yourself, ‘Job Well Done and the present and future will be all right! (The hardest emotion to get to when caregiving ends, but the most important one too!)
For every Caregiver, the stark reality is that there is always a beginning and an end to the journey, and in most cases, we are not prepared for either of these events! Yet through our caring and sharing with others, we realize that through our own journey of Relief, Sadness, Guilt and Joy, we find peace and comfort, knowing that we would do it all over again, even after seeing the staircase!
Join us on Wednesday May 13th on Health Cafe LIVE at 7:00 pm (EDT) as Healing Ties Radio takes its maiden voyage as we sail to Bimini on Resort Worlds Bimini Super Fast Ship. Thinking about planning a cruise, land tour, or just simply want to take a trip with your Caree? It is not as difficult as you might think! On Wednesday’s show we will be aboard ship and will visit with Certified Travel Specialist Jerry Dismarais and Vacation Specialist Charlotte Troddyn. Tune in and learn how Jerry and Charlotte are creating Healing Ties all around us! Cannot listen live? No Worries!! Healing Ties is available on demand at iHeart Radio and now on UK Health Radio.
To listen live on Wednesday on Health Cafe Live, simply clickhere!
Join us on Wednesday May 6th on Health Cafe LIVE at 7:00 pm (EDT) as we visit with Robert G from HandyPro and Matt Paxton from Clutter Cleaner. Robert and Matt focus on keeping loved ones safe in their homes by the means of improving their environment for safe living. After Matt cleans the clutter, removes the dangerous hazards, Robert G from Handy Pro comes in, repairs and modifies the home to be age friendly. What a dynamic duo and they are quite a bit of fun, too! You might know Matt from A&E Emmy nominated show HOARDERS. Tune in and learn how Robert G and Matt Paxton are creating Healing Ties all around us! Cannot listen live? NO Worries!!! Health Ties Radio from The Bow Tie Guy is available on demand on iHeart Radio
To listen live on Health Cafe LIVE.com simply click here!
Loneliness and isolation are some of the common side effects when caring for a family member or friend. Yet wouldn’t be great if you could somehow spot another family caregiver in the crowd to lend support, or to simply give a ‘high-five!’ Well, Denise Brown fromCaregiving.comand her vast network of family Caregivers are pledging to wear green to bring awareness to the family Caregiver experience on April 17th.
Learn how you can get involved in this nation wide event by tuning into Healing Ties Radio on Wednesday April 8th at 7:00 pm (EDT) on Health Cafe LIVE!You can also visit Caregiving.com for additional information on this terrific event to support family Caregivers.
Not available to listen live? NO WORRIES! Healing Ties is available on demand on our Healing Ties iHeart Channel by clickinghere!
Join us on Wednesday, February 25th at 7 pm EST on HealthCafeLive.com as we welcome the President and Chief Executive Officer of theNational Alliance for Caregiving, Gail Gibson Hunt, to our show. Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving is a non-profit coalition of national organizations focused on improving the lives of family caregivers. As Caregivers, we are often faced with the task of managing our Caree’s health during a variety of stages. But what about managing the Caregivers health and well-being? Recognized as a national expert on family caregiving and long-term care, Gail has a keen understanding of the issues Caregivers and their Caree’s face on a daily basis. Listen in and learn how Gail and the entire staff at the National Alliance for Caregiving are creating “Healing Ties” all around us!
To listen live at 7:00 pm (est) simply click here!
Not available to listen live? NO WORRIES! All of our episodes of Healing Ties are available on demand at our iHeart Radio Channel by clickinghere!
Join us on Wednesday, February 11th at 7 pm EST on HealthCafeLive.com as we welcome Erica Jones from Southern Health Care Management, LLC. Erica is the Regional Director of Admissions for Southern Health Care Management, LLC and Erica just happens to know a thing or two about Independent Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing! Erica understands the process from the clients perspective, and knows what questions to ask from hospital discharge to rehabilitation to placement. As Caregivers, we are always looking for trusted resources to help us make sound decisions; Erica Jones is one of those trusted resources! Listen in and learn how Erica is creating “Healing Ties” all around us!
To Listen live on Wednesday at 7:00 pm (est), simply clickhere!
Busy tonight, cannot listen live? NO WORRIES! Healing Ties is available on demand on our Healing Ties iHeart Channel by clicking here!
Join us on Wednesday, February 4th at 7 pm EST on HealthCafeLive.com as we welcome noted author, professor, and public speaker, Dr. Stan Goldberg to our show. Author of seven books and numerous articles delivered around the world; Dr. Goldberg has taught, provided therapy, and researched in the areas of learning, change, loss and end of life issues for over 25 years. When you hear the word ’Cancer’ what do you do, how do you react? Our nature is to help, but sometimes we do not know how to ask to help. As a Cancer survivor himself, Dr. Goldberg has a keen perspective on how to transform compassion into skillful behaviors. Listen in and learn how Dr. Stan Goldberg is creating ‘Healing Ties’ all around us!
To listen live at 7:00 pm on Health Cafe Live.com simply click here!
Cannot listen live? NO Worries!!! Healing Ties is available on demand at iHeart Radio by clicking here!
Chris' Master Degree Thesis Spiral of Silence: Caregiving, Stress and its Impact in the Workplace was accepted by the faculty at Gonzaga University in May of 2016 earning an MA Degree in Communication and Leadership. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the financial impact of caregiving. Proud to be an Alumni of Gonzaga University 2016
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Culture Change In A Box is our new show on the Whole Care Network featuring cost host Judy Ryan from LifeWork Systems and Chris MacLellan from the Whole Care Network.
As a certified accessible travel advocate, I can book all your travel plans! Ask me how you can have anything from oxygen to a hoyer lift delivered to your cruise ship stateroom or hotel around the world! For more information email me at email@example.com
Our Three Part Caregiving Story…
Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2015, Our Caregiving Story "In Sickness and In Health: A Couple's Final Journey" written by Diane Lade and photgraphed by Carline Jean from The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Click on the photo to be taken to the original story. Photo Credit Carline Jean/Sun-Sentinel
Story 2: "Life After Death: Couple's Story Sparks Change." Click on the photo to be taken to the second story. Photo Credit Carline Jean Sun-Sentinel
Story #3 "Saying Goodbye" Click on the photo to be taken to our final story. Photo Credit Carline Jean/Sun-Sentinel
Christopher MacLellan is affectionately known as “The Bow Tie Guy” in many caregiving circles. The author of "What's The Deal with Caregiving?" Chris started a caregiving blog entitled, “The Purple Jacket,” after his partner’s diagnosis of esophageal cancer in 2011. Chris is an ardent advocate for caregivers and their carees through his blog and radio show, “Healing Ties.” Chris and his deceased partner, Bernard Richard Schiffer, were featured in a 2015 Pulitzer Prize nominated caregiving story, “In Sickness and in Health: A Couple’s Final Journey” which has been read by over 400,000 people worldwide. In 2016, Chris earned a masters degree in Leadership and Communication from Gonzaga University and is the founder of the Whole Care Network, Inc. The author of “What’s The Deal With Caregiving”, Chris presents regularly on topics that impact family caregivers and LGBT seniors.
I am creating at new life to love now that Caregiving has ended through advocacy, leadership, writing, radio and travel