Tag Archives: Caregiver Support

How to Deal with the Illness of a Spouse


While some people choose to be a caregiver by profession, for others, at times it just happens. You can’t predict what direction life will go in, however, it’s often instinctive for humans to adapt. You may be experiencing this if a loved one has recently fallen ill, or perhaps they’ve been so for some time now. It can be especially difficult if you’ve become the caretaker of a spouse who is coping with an illness. You’ve probably learned or are still learning the art of taking it a day at a time and doing the best you can to cope. Here are a few ways you can deal with your circumstances.

Find Peace in the Situation

It can be emotionally difficult when your spouse becomes ill, especially when it happens suddenly. However, in order to get through it the best you can, you should try and find peace in the situation. This means accepting the things that are beyond your control and not blaming yourself for what’s happened. By doing this, you’ll be able to focus on the practical side of giving your spouse the love and support they need during this difficult time.

Learn About Their Illness

One of the best things you can do for both yourself and your spouse is learn about the illness that they’re battling. Get as much information as possible from a health professional so you know exactly how to support and care for them. It may also help to find a support group that can give you tips, ideas, and a listening ear when you need one. In addition to this, following your loved one to appointments and reminding them to take medications can help them feel loved and cared for.

Take Care of Yourself

Sometimes, when a spouse becomes ill it can put a strain on your relationship. While being patient and loving is important, so is looking after yourself. If your wellbeing isn’t in a good place, you won’t be able to give your spouse the support they need or keep the household together. In light of this, learn to take time out for yourself without feeling guilty for doing so. If you feel that the relationship is coming to an end and it’s becoming toxic for you to remain in the same household, you may want to think about contacting Crisp & Co Solicitors to explore your options for separation or divorce.

Do Things You Love

It’s easy to find that you’re mellow and sad every day when your spouse is ill. This won’t help matters, however. Instead, find ways to get rid of any stress or sadness you’re feeling and lift your spirits. One way that you can do so is by learning to meditate a few times a day and find the beauty in the now. Also, learning to laugh and give to others who may be going through hard times could also help.

Nobody hopes to have to endure someone they love or care about being ill. However, it is sometimes an unavoidable part of life, so how you deal with it is what matters the most. Finding joy, peace, and hope in the midst of your predicament could go a long way in getting you through each day.

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When You Need Some Help: 5 Reasons to Join a Caregiver Support Group


In a world that seems to have lost the idea of the “village,” sometimes we feel pressured to be able to do it all. Asking for assistance or admitting that you are overwhelmed feels like failure, and we often think that we’re being judged by others as not good enough. And that’s just with normal, everyday life.

When you find yourself caring for a loved one, the pressure increases. You are expected to take on this additional burden with a smile, and your willingness to do so seems to be a measurement of your love; expressing your anger or frustration to friends and family earns you appalled looks of disbelief. The good news is that there is a village for you; a caregiver support group. Here are 5 reasons why you should think about joining one.

To Reduce Stress

Perhaps the primary reason to join a support group for caregivers is to reduce your stress levels. Simply having that hour to yourself every week is an important step in separating yourself from the role of caregiver and reclaiming your identity. Being under excessive stress can have negative consequences for both your physical health, and your mental well-being. Maintaining your own well-being is essential to being able to properly care for your loved one.

To Gain a Safe Space

You won’t find any disapproving looks or judgment in a support group. Support groups are by their very nature a confidential and judgment-free zone, where you can discuss your frustrations and less than charitable thoughts with people who understand exactly what you’re going through. They can help alleviate your feelings of guilt and inadequacy, and when you admit to selfish thoughts and attitudes, they will nod their heads and tell you that they understand.

To Reduce Feelings of Isolation

When you’re a caregiver for someone else, it’s easy to find yourself feeling alone, both literally and emotionally. When you can’t leave your loved one to go have a drink with your friends, or you spend all your waking time tending to someone else’s needs, you often find that you don’t have any social interactions. All your contacts are with the person you’re caring for, or their healthcare professionals. Emotionally, it appears nobody else understands you and it’s difficult to relate to those outside your situation. Joining a support group puts you in touch with other people who get it.

To Prevent Burnout

If you end up caring for someone else for too long, without any support system in place for yourself, you’re likely going to suffer from burnout. You’ll reach a point where caring for someone has taken such a toll on you that you are incapable of continuing, and many times, you’ll lose your identity and sense of self. Caregivers leave their support groups feeling refreshed and empowered to keep going. Members can point you in the direction of other resources and programs that can assist you. You may be able to find help with meals, respite care, or even an opportunity to hire a part-time caregiver to relieve you.

To Gain Insights and Advice

Being part of a support group is one of the best ways to find valuable advice and information about caregiving. Everyone has their own methods for dealing with stress, setting boundaries, and finding time for self-care. Having the knowledge of so many others freely available can help you to discover which tips and tricks will work best for you. They may be even able to help prepare you for what to expect down the road.

Joining a caregiver support group may be the best thing that you can do for yourself during this trying time. It will help you maintain your own well-being while caring for another.

About Audrey:

Audrey Robinson is a careers blogger, supporting online knowledge libraries like BizDb. Audrey enjoys working with people from different professions, sharing her tips for self-improvement, improving one’s career opportunities and preventing burnout. Feel free to reach out to her on @AudreyyRobinson.

 

 

 

 

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Balancing Life, Work and Caregiving


Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.  Paul Drucker

The emotional and financial stress of caregiving affects every segment of our society.  Caregiving touches every industry with an untold effect on the financial, physical and mental health of the family caregiver.  Caregivers face and uphill latter to overcome fatigue, burnout, stress and financial ruin.  I know, I’ve been there!

Assessing the long-term financial impact of caregiving will play a role in shaping local, state and federal policies.  Just recently, (May 2017) the House or Representative passed H.R. 1180, know as the Working Families Flexibility Act.  According to the National Law Review, the bill proposes to amend the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA), will allow employees to “bank” comp time for future use.  At least from my point of view, it appears that this Bill falls short of addressing the needs of working family caregivers and their employers.

The financial impact of Caregiving is not limited to the caregiver, the employers is also affected.  Creating an awareness to the critical issues family caregivers face on a daily basis will help the employer and caregiving employee find solutions that have a positive impact in the work place.  Smart employers adopt innovated ways to keep productivity high and help everyone become successful not matter what life throws at their staff.

Employers and their employee caregivers face significant challenges balancing workweblogo with caring for a loved one. On Wednesday August 30th, Impact Broward is taking the bold step to brings the issues facing working family caregivers and their employers to the forefront in Broward County, Florida with the Work/Life Caregiving Symposium hosted at the Urban League of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale.

At the symposium you’ll hear:

  • Hear first-hand accounts of the impacts of caregiving,
  • Learn how flexible HR policies can lead to increased employee retention, improved productivity, and shareholder gains, and
  • Discuss public policies that help caregivers and employers thrive.

Listen too our Work/Life Caregiving Symposium Podcast with Peter Kaldes from Impact Broward and Kim Praitano from Gilda’s Club of South Florida by clicking here! 

Keep your eye on The Purple Jacket for more information on the Caregiving Symposium, the development of the Caregiving Coalition of Broward County and our new website The Whole Care Network!   

For information on how you can participate in the Work/Life Symposium visit Impact Broward by clicking here! 

When we create a collective impact on a social issue that impacts all segments of society, we build stronger communities locally and nation-wide.

Christopher MacLellan,  has a Masters degree in Communication and Leadership from Gonzaga University, the author of “What’s The Deal with Caregiving”,  and a Certified Senior Advisor. To learn more about Chris, simply click here! 

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Authors Spotlight: Kathryn Leigh Scott


The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. Voltaire

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Kathryn Leigh Scott 

On this episode of Healing Ties Author’s Spotlight, we visit with Kathryn Leigh Scott who has written writes a compelling story about her husband’s diagnosis of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) in her book,  LAST DANCE AT THE SAVOY.   

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is an uncommon brain disorder that affects movement, control of walking (gait) and balance, speech, swallowing, vision, mood and behavior, and thinking. The disease results from damage to nerve cells in the brain. EstimatesLastDanceAtTheSavoyCoverBorder vary, but only about three to six in every 100,000 people worldwide, or approximately 20,000 Americans, have PSP—making it much less common than Parkinson’s disease (another movement disorder in which an estimated 50,000 Americans are diagnosed each year). Symptoms of PSP begin on average after age 60, but may occur earlier. Men are affected more often than women.

Listen and  learn how Kathryn Leigh Scott is creating “Healing Ties” all around us!

Join Us in Chicago on December 2 and 3 for the 1st Annual National Caregiving Conference hosted by Caregiving.com.  Registration is now open by clicking here!  .  Sponsorship  and Exhibitor opportunities available, contact me direct at Chris@thepurplejacket.com for details.  

For additional information on the conference click in the National Caregiving Conference click on the icons below or visit  http://www.caregiving.com/national-caregiving-conference-hub/

National Caregiving Conference (1)

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The Reviews Are Coming In!


Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity.  Thor Heyerdahl

I have to admit, that I have tried my best not to peek at the reviews on 3D1Amazon about my book “What’s The Deal With Caregiving” , but today I took a look and was quite surprised and pleased by all who have taken the time to write a review of the book.

It took me months to sit down and focus on finishing the book.  It has been a labor of love and goodness, and along the way, I have met new friends while remembering Richard in a very special way.  In the process, I guess I did complicate simplicity!

I want to thank everyone who has purchased the book,  along with thanks to those those who have taken the time to write a review.

Visit Chris’s Authors Page on Amazon.

See all the Amazon Reviews.

I’m creating a life to love after Caregiving ends through Advocacy, Leadership, Writing, Radio, Travel and Cruises…and you can create a new life to love too!

Everyone has a story to share, but not everyone gets a chance to tell there story!  Well now, here is your chance as Healing Ties radio is is returning to the air in January!  Interested in being a guest?  Have a topic for a show?  Simply email me at Chris@thepurplejacket.com

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Caregivers and Servant Leadership


A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way ~ John C. Maxwell

In November we celebrate National Caregiving month and it is always a good time to reflect and reconnect with good friends along the road during our Caregiving journey.  As I read through many of the national organization who are running promotions this month to signify National Caregiving month, I started to think about my role as a family Caregiver and what being a family Caregiver meant to me. Being a family Caregiver taught me a number of valuable lessons, but the most important lesson I learned was after Caregiving ended and Richard was no longer with us, and that lesson is the importance of self-care.   It is common for family Caregivers to lose themselves in the midst of Caregiving because our focus is so intense on our Caree.  Now 18 months after Richard made his life transition,  I am learning how to take better care of myself, (It is an up hill battle, that I will eventually win!)

Just recently I have come across a new meaning for family Caregivers, one that I have learned while finishing my masters degree in Leadership and Communication at Gonzaga University and that is the connection Caregivers have to Servant Leadership.  With my ministerial background and theology training, I had been looking forward to my class in Servant Leadership.  I was not disappointed.

Robert Greenleaf is known as the founder of Servant Leadership and once said: “The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. The conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is a leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions.”   While our class in Servant Leadership often focused on Business, Managers and Work Place Culture, I often commented in our classroom discussions about how Caregivers are Servant Leaders, because of our role to serve first, to advocate, to be the voice for those who could not speak, to put ourselves second.

Some of the characteristics of a work-place driven by Servant Leadership is that staff is fully engaged, feel a strong commitment to the cause, find purpose and have passion.  Servant Leaders are mindful of the whole, while understanding wpid-wp-1419526540344.jpegthat people have to feel empowered, lovable, connected and contributing.  I see quite a bit of philosophy entwined with Servant Leadership and Caregiving. Caregivers are commitment to the cause, and do find purpose and have passion to care.  Caregivers are mindful of their Caree, while understanding that their Caree needs to feel empowered, loved, connected and contributing.  Caregiving and Servant Leadership goes hand-in-hand because of the innate ability to think beyond our self.

In essence, we are all Servant Leaders in training and our training in Servant Leadership is on going, it never stops. Servant Leadership is about relationships.   Even after Caregiving has ended for me, I still in training, learning how to care for myself, while in the midst of being present to my family, friends and co-workers.  Caregiving and Life After Caregiving is about Relationships, too!

I see the connection to Servant Leadership and Caregiving, do you?

Oh…what did being a family Caregiver mean to me? It meant the world! Because in the end, just as in the beginning, we were fortunate to have some of the most meaningful conversations with each other, while spending every second, minute, hour, day, month and year together.  I would do it again with him, all over, with no regrets!

Chris MacLellan is the Author of “What’s The Deal With Caregiving” and Host of “Healing Ties: Creating A Life to Love After Caregiving Ends.”

To purchase the book, simply click here! 

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If She Had Lived to 100


Be happy. It’s one way of being wise. Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Today, my Mother would have turned 100, unfortunately, she missed being a centenarian by just under 31 years!  Born in 1915 in New Orléans, my Mother was a women before her time.  Obtaining two college degree’s in the late 1930’s, she was talented and always seemed to be the “bell of the ball.”  Yet she passed away in 1984, just before her 69th birthday with seemingly, many unfulfilled dreams.

The MacLellan Six: Merrille, Mary, JoAnn, Jim, Gerri and Chris

The MacLellan Six: Merrille, Mary, JoAnn, Jim, Gerri and Chris

While “Gramma Bell”  got to know all of her 25 grandchildren, she missed out on getting to know all of her great-grandchildren which now reach past the number 40.  She missed out seeing the success of her six children, four of which have lived longer than her.  How medicine has changed over the years. But most of all later in life, she missed out on being happy, which is the saddest of them all.

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Family Reunion 2013

I’m sure raising kids in the 40’s and 50’s was challenging, just as it is today.  Yet it is important to note that she loved being a mother, but being a mother kept her from fulfilling some of her dreams.  There are so many things in life we give up when we care for someone else, albeit a parent or a caregiver.

I’ve never been a parent, but I do know what it is like to be a Caregiver.  I sense there is quite a bet of similar traits in these two roles, most notably the ability to love and care for someone else.  Sure, I realize that some parents do not have the ability to love and care for their children, just as I realize that there are IMG_2082many Caregivers who are out there who do not love their Caree: I call those folks, “Caregivers By Default.”  But when you get right down to it, we all have the innate ability to care, it just  has to be nurtured.  I’m thankful for that I received the care gene from my Mom, I am mindful that life moves on, and it is better to move on in happiness, than in worrying about the past.

Happy 100th birthday “Gramma Bell,” we are all just doing fine!

Chris MacLellan is a radio show host and Author of “What’s The Deal With Caregiving”

Available on Amazon by clicking here

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Finding Purpose In Life


Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. George Bernard Shaw

Creating a life to love after your love one makes their life transition can be difficult to achieve, but it is critical to our own health quote-about-love-is-an-unconditional-commitmentand well-being.  Sure, our fond memories of the love we shared linger on in our hearts, but we have to find a way to move on, find purpose, and create a new life to love.

Finding purpose in life is one of the critical components enhancing our happiness.  Happiness is not predicated on having the biggest car, fancy house, or the most money in the bank.  Happiness is predicated on finding purpose in life.

“There is one aspect of grief that I think all of us will experience in one way or another.  We stop living!  Once you come to the realization that you have stopped living, then you realize the time has come to move on and live your life in the present, with health, happiness and confidence…  Like a plant that needs to be watered to regain blooms, we too, in our grief process, need to be watered so we can bloom again.  There is no timetable for a new bloom, but without the proper nurturing and care, our soil will become dry and we start to wither away” (p. 95).

In order to live again, we have to find purpose in our life while living in the present with health, happiness and confidence.  That is why it was important for me to write “What’s The Deal With Caregiving”  in order to give back to the vast community of family Caregivers across the nation. Because it is through giving back where we find purpose and meaning in life.

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Amazon Prime members with free shipping of “What’s The Deal With Caregiving” is available by clicking here! 

You can also purchase “What’s The Deal With Caregiving” on this website by clicking here! 

“What’s The Deal With Caregiving” is a People Tested Publication 

For media inquires and bulk purchases please contact me at Chris@thepurplejacket.com

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What’s The Deal With Caregiving


Friends: Today my book, “What’s The Deal With Caregiving” went live on Amazon. My goal with this book is to help guide you through your Caregiving journey, from beginning to end, because Caregiving has no gender or orientation boundaries, we just care for the one we love.

3D1I am dedicating this book to all Caregivers and their Caree’s with an Irish Proverb: “May the road rise up to meet you: May the wind be always at your back: May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home: And may the hand of a friend always be near.”

If you enjoyed reading our Pulitzer Prize Nominated Story, “In Sickness and Health: A Couples Final Journey” I hope you enjoy reading this book as well.

In memory of Bernard Richard Schiffer, I thank all of you for your friendship, support and love.

To purchase “What’s The Deal With Caregiving” on Amazon simply click here! 

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Living In The Past?


The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves. Ray Kroc

One of the most important components to being a Healthy Caregiver is to know your strengths, weaknesses, while realizing that asking for help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness.

I am learning that the same rule of order applies for people like myself who are in after-caregiving.  When the Caregiving journey ends, we look for outlets, we look for a path, because in after caregiving, our roads can tend to be filled with steep hills and deep drops.  The hardest of the roads are those round-a-bouts, were you think you are going somewhere, yet you just spin around and around to you realize that you are on the same path.

Reaching out for help while you are in after caregiving, is just as important is it is when you are in the midst of Caregiving. Yet the risk is harder because this ask, it is all about you.  I’ve had to learn the hard way that I can’t do this after-caregiving gig by myself.  Living in the past is hard: Living in the moment is the only way to go.

To many people to publicly thank, but special recognition to my friend Betty, all my siblings, Denise, Kathy, Abel, John, Ernest for encouragement and support.  A new chapter awaits me and is just around the corner.  Now back to writing and continue the path on  how to better care for myself, and live in the present, because in the end, living in the past does not change it, living in the past affects the present.

 

 

 

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