25 Selected in 2nd Round of Change The World: Search for the Next Global Thought Leader
My life as a caregiver has brought a heightened awareness to all of you…the sparkly caregivers! I’ve made the tough decision to close shop on SeniorResourceCentral. As I hang up my hat, my new adventure begins as top 25 for the next global thought leader. My mission is to support crazy busy professionals who are bummed out and burned out from playing the dual role of family caregivers. I’ll be working with Corporate America to reclaim their sanity and re-balance their lives. (I hope to meet you at your workplace.) Thanks to all that have joined the SeniorResourceCentral family. You are not alone. Stay tuned, there’s more to come.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Freehold, New Jersey: Aspiring thought leaders from six continents entered the 2013 Change the World Competition with the same goal: To spread their inspirational messages globally using the incredible power of social media.
Humanitarians, physicians, human services professionals, victim advocates, entrepreneurs, and innovators with life-altering visions applied – but only 25 were chosen as quarterfinalists. One of the standouts was April Fan.
Fan states, “My message will change the world by slimming down caregiving woes.”
Change the World is a reality-style competition where the social media community selects the winner. The contest is sponsored by GhostTweeting.com, a full-service social media marketing company. Nika Stewart, CEO of Ghost Tweeting, created this competition to “discover and shine a spotlight on remarkable people who are devoting their lives to making our world a better place.” Ghost Tweeting partners with entrepreneurs, authors, speakers and thought leaders to create and manage high-impact social media campaigns.
In the next stage of the competition, a panel of thought leader judges will narrow the field down to just 10. These 10 will compete in online challenges to see who will be crowned the 2013 Next Global Thought Leader. The grand prize winner will receive thousands of dollars worth of social media marketing services to broadcast their messages over several social media platforms. The all-star panel of judges includes:
* Tory Johnson: Good Morning America contributor, New York Times bestselling author, contributing editor to SUCCESS magazine, multi-million-dollar business starter, founder of Women For Hire
* Angela Jia Kim: National spokesperson featured on NBC’s The Today Show, MSNBC, Cosmopolitan, Wall Street Journal, and Fox Business News.
* Ted Rubin: Chief Social Marketing Officer of Collectivebias.com, a leading social marketing strategist, and inventor of Return on Relationship.
* Fabienne Fredrickson: Founder of ClientAttraction.com, ranked on the Inc. 500/5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in 2011 and 2012
* Mike Michalowicz: Best-selling author of “The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur” & “The Pumpkin Plan” and host of the business make-over segment on MSNBC’s Your Business
* Simon T. Bailey: International speaker, author, thought leader & founder of The Brilliance Institute.
* Melanie Strick: Co-author of Entrepreneur.com’s Start Up Guide to Starting an Information Marketing Business.Read More
Kudos to Starbucks in Seattle!
I am a guest speaker for a Lunch & Learn:
Banish Burnout: 3 Steps to Recharge Your Caregiving Battery
I will discuss the realities and challenges of caregiving. Discover tangible strategies for crazy busy caregivers.
Free for Starbucks’ employees.
May 2, 2013; noon- 1pm; Yemen 9
Taking on responsibility for someone else’s health and wellbeing can be nerve-wracking.
Many caregivers doubt their own abilities – and that’s normal! After all, more than 75 percent of all caregiving support comes from friends and family members – not professionally trained healthcare workers. However, most caregivers are already equipped with the skills they need to adequately take care of their loved ones. Taking care of a loved one after mesothelioma surgery or radiation treatment can take a toll on a caregiver, as well. I can be especially stressful with remembering what medications and treatments to give, and other daily tasks for your loved one.
That’s not to say that caregivers can’t hone their skills to gain more confidence – and have a better shot at giving their patient exactly what they need.
Three Easy Ways to Become a Better Caregiver
• Focus on communication. Your patient may have a hard time expressing all of their needs to you. This is especially true if they’re your parent. After all, they’re used to their children depending on them – not the other way around. You may need to be the one to bring up certain topics, such as the need for assistance in the restroom. When those conversations become necessary, help them relax and focus on being as empathetic as possible. Help them feel comfortable expressing their needs and discussing their emotions.
• Take advantage of co-support. It may seem counterintuitive, but by taking on fewer responsibilities, you can be a better caregiver. When you’re exhausted or burnt out, your quality of care suffers. As natural as it may seem, pushing yourself to do more won’t make it better. Consider asking other relatives to pitch in – even for small tasks like prepping meals – and don’t rule out respite care services if you feel overwhelmed. Volunteer groups may also provide daily visits for cancer patients. Also, your cancer doctor may know of many valuable resources in your town that can provide these services.
• Find healthy ways to cope with caregiving stressors. Even for caregivers with the most positive intentions, the experience can be extremely stressful. Bottling up these challenging emotions isn’t healthy – and the patient may pick up on them as well. Caregiver support groups can help providers work through these stressors, create relationships with other caregivers, and even offer additional tips for growing in the role. Taking care of a loved one with terminal illness can take a lot out of you, so it’s extremely important to find an effective method to reduce your stress. A mesothelioma patients’ average span of life is up to one year, and of course other factors affect their life expectancy as well.
Author bio: Faith Franz has spent nearly two years researching and writing for The Mesothelioma Center. As an advocate for alternative medicine, she encourages patients to explore all of the treatment options that could potentially save their life.Read More
Guest Post from Bart Astor…
A colleague wrote to me recently apologizing for her delay in getting back to me and explained that she had a family emergency she had to take care of. Well of course that would be no problem, I said. I learned later that the emergency was about her mother and she was thrust into having to be a caregiver.
Isn’t that the way it so often happens? Rarely do we have the time we need to take care of all the things we need to do when our parent or spouse suddenly takes a turn for the worse and needs immediate care. No, I’m not talking about emergency care – for that you call 911, you try to stabilize the patient, and you stay out of the way of the medical professionals.
I’m talking about the all too common experience of your loved one needing to be cared for immediately. I’m talking about the time your mother was taken to the hospital, spent a few days there, and got released with one or two days notice. It’s about the time your father fell and couldn’t get up and hours later someone came to help him. There was no emergency, life-threatening issue in either case. But you, as the likely primary caregiver, were faced with the immediacy of making sure nothing happened that would be life threatening.
As my colleague explained, she felt overwhelmed. That’s exactly what happens. And that’s what I will address.
How it comes about doesn’t matter that much. The point is that very often with aging parents or spouses you are faced with a reality you’ve not faced before. And with not a lot of time to make all the necessary arrangements. Here are a few things you need to do right now, before you’re thrust into making major decisions, whether they’re about your parent, your spouse, or yourself.
1. Have the talk. Know what you need to know before anything happens. That includes knowledge of the person’s business affairs (accounts, insurance, etc.) as well as his or her wishes regarding care.
2. Get your legal affairs in order. Make sure you or someone has access to bank accounts and such. Most important, be certain there is someone with the legal authority to make decisions on the caregiver’s behalf. That is especially critical if there are no blood relatives or a recognized spouse.
3. Know how you’ll share the burden. Have all the parties lined up who are the key players and be sure you have a way to communicate with each. And know how you’ll split up the work. Long distance caregiving has challenges, but can be done, especially if there is a caregiver who can handle those things that require onsite responsibilities.
4. Talk with the person you’ll be caring for. Be totally transparent in everything you do. Do not make decisions for someone but rather, with someone (as long as there is no issue about competence). If you disagree with the person’s wishes, you can say so. But do not attempt to overrule someone’s wishes. Remember, always, that you are dealing with an adult, not with a child. Adults have the right to make their own decisions even if you disagree with those decisions. You’ll want the same right when your times comes.
Planning ahead for situations like these can be lifesavers – literally. In addition, it can save a mountain of angst for you and your family. Small steps you can take now will prevent the giant fall.
You can read more about these ideas in my book, How to Care for Your Aging Parent (formerly called Baby Boomer’s Guide to Caring for Your Aging Parents) available on Amazon.com and BN.com.
Bart has written eleven other books, numerous articles, testimony, grant proposals, training and technical manuals, white papers, and website content on a variety of subjects including eldercare, student financial aid, college admission, insurance, buying a home, and corporate social responsibility. He was also the publisher and founder of the College Planning Quarterly.
Bart can be contacted at Bart@BartAstor.com or (703) 620-0565.Read More
We are so dedicated to caring for our families ourselves, that we will do whatever it takes to provide for the health of our loved ones. The problem is, we tend to forget to protect the health of the person who everyone’s relying on – our self. Whether it is our young children, our aging parents, or ailing family members, too often we caregivers overlook our own needs. Either we become overwhelmed and resentful or we burn out and wind up needing care ourselves.
Even with a decade of experience as a clinical dietitian, and thousands of hours working at skilled nursing facilities across the Pacific Northwest, raising two kids, and helping my parents transition into retirement… it was too much to handle on my own.
I started looking for resources to help me manage my caregiver overwhelm but struggled to find any helpful information. That’s when I started pooling all my own resources and knowledge I had gained over the past 10 years to create Senior Resource Central to help other people find the practical information they need.
“Family caregivers experiencing extreme stress have been shown to age prematurely. This level of stress can take as much as 10 years off a family caregiver’s life”.
–Elissa S. Epel,
Dept of Psychiatry,
Univ of Calif, SF, et al
Ten years off your life! Taking care of someone else could take years off your own life?
As caregivers, we push ourselves to the limit to provide for our loved ones. We sacrifice our own health – thinking we’re tough enough to withstand the pressure. The fact is, our health is as important to consider as the health of our loved ones’ – after all, who’s going to look out for them if we go down? Yes, your parents and children need you, but they need you healthy and in the right frame of mind to provide the best possible care you can.
Here are 3 ways to self-care:
As a dietitian, I know that what we eat gets reflected back to our physical health. It’s all about changing the way we are thinking. For example, if you believe weight loss is totally impossible, you’ll never lose that weight.
Simply train your brain to think in a positive way. By being compassionate and helping your loved one, you become more aware of all that you have and are generally happier. You’ll get a sense of more purpose in life.
Part of learning how to take charge of your health involves understanding your risk factors for different diseases. Risk factors are things in your life that increase your chances of getting a condition or disease. Some risk factors you can control are what and how much you eat as well as how much physical activity you get.
Feel like the strain of too much work and too little time is boiling over? Time for a tune-up. Uplifting habits to your daily routine and you’ll find more meaning in your life. You may not control what happens, but you decide how you react and what kind of person you are. Stop those constant thoughts of “why me” and “life isn’t fair”.
Whenever people learn that I’m a dietitian, I often get asked, “So, what’s the best food I should eat?” There is no such food. An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but apples alone are not going to keep you alive.
Your diet has to be balanced. It’s the only way for your body to benefit from the many nutrients that come from variety. And it’s the same with your life. Your life needs balance, because it’s the only way for your mind, body and spirit to gain all the wonderful experiences that life has to offer.
As caregivers, it’s important that we don’t forget to give ourselves some care from time to time. Finding a balance is important otherwise we risk being overwhelmed, resentful and burned out. And, remembering that our self-care is as vital as the care we give our loved ones will ensure that we’re able to provide the love and support they need.
How has self-care made a difference in your caregiving life? Please share your thoughts or tips by leaving a comment below.Read More