Blog: The Top 3 Goals for Caregivers To Live By in 2019

Saskia JenningsCaregiver Resources

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Time is flying, another year of caregiving has gone by and here we are in 2019! Happy New Year!

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions or is your mind spinning with all the ‘must do’s”, ‘can’t have” and “there’s never time for _______ (fill in the blank) anyways”?

Of course, you love your mom and dad and of course, you take care of them… but what about you?

Who cares for you?

I get it, when you care for your parent your life may be turned upside down. You deal with challenges and situations you never believe would happen or become a part of your life… but they do. Nowadays they call it your “new normal”.

Your ‘new normal’ requires that you take good care of yourself in the first place so…  have you set your New Year’s goals? If yes, great! And I hope the goals I suggest here are high on your list. If not, why not making them a priority for your own sanity and wellbeing?

Your goal #1: Be Happy.
How? By setting time aside every week to care for yourself.
And I don’t mean a movie night or a dinner with your friends. The reality is that most caregivers can’t really relax (aka shut off their phone) when they are away from their loved one and their outing doesn’t have a lasting impact as it’s tough to be fully present. So what do you do?
You take care of yourself by setting aside at least 2 hours a week and during your time alone you silence your phone and choose what makes you happy: a walk with picnic in the forest, bake your favorite cake, go shopping for a new pair of heels, read a book, go golfing, volunteer at your favorite charity, take a workshop, grab a towel and head for the ocean. Whatever makes you happy, go for it!  YOU DECIDE!

Your goal#2: Choose Your Friends Wisely.
Years ago I attended a workshop and the teacher told us to look at our phone contacts and delete every person that has a negative attitude and impact on your life. That definitely caused some uproar but despite it being a challenge (who wants to delete their negative uncle as he is family?!) it turned out that it was empowering and pretty easy to do.
If you want to delete negative people from your life, start with your phone. You don’t owe anyone an explanation, you won’t regret,  and it’s one less stressor. So go for it!  YOU DECIDE!

Your goal #3: Get support but don’t ask the whole world for help.
Love Facebook? AND want my honest & bold opinion?
Caregiver Support Groups on Facebook are very popular and not all are always your best resource. The personal stories are often heart-breaking and since venting seems to be encouraged in some groups this often leads to more “raw” shares, rants and hurtful experiences in the endless stream of comments. And while you read it, your brain absorbs other people’s problems and sometimes it is hard to find one that offers the support that really helps you feel better, have less stress and (very important!) gives you better tools for caregiving.
And no one warned you for “possible disturbing images” in the group, right?
OMG!! I can’t believe what I see happening online… It makes my stomach turn!
Just think for a moment: when you are 86 yrs old, you have Alzheimer’s and are not in control of your own life any longer (try to picture it…) would you want to be exposed in public groups on Facebook?
You can guess my personal answer: NO WAY!!”

What can you do instead?
Reach out and ask for support from professionals who know and understand your challenges. They are trained to help you find resources, stay focused and learn how you can manage your caregiving journey while dealing with your so-called ‘new normal’. Without compromising your own health, values and relationships.  Think of your family doctor, social worker, Alzheimer’s live support group, service provider, church groups, caregiver coach, local family counselling services, geriatric care manager etc. When you care for a parent or elderly relative, it is important that you acknowledge yourself as a caregiver so you can take the right steps to prevent overwhelm, guilt and burnout.
No one else can do it for you. It is your life, go for it! YOU DECIDE!

Since I assume you love Facebook though, here are 3 of my favourite uplifting, fun and caring resources you can check out:  “Working Daughter” and “Happy Healthy Caregiver”.
And one of the pages with the truest caregiver wisdom is Caregiving Support by Denise Brown of Caregiving.com. Denise is my mentor and trainer with more than 25 years of experience with caregivers.

To wrap it up… I am curious: are you ready to commit to these 3 goals?
Yes? Awesome, go for it!
If not, why?
Let me help you! Here’s a previous blog that you may like and the tips are really easy to implement in your life. Visit the blog.

Maybe you’re not sure if your parents are in need of more help? visit this blog by Silver Sherpa. It will help you recognize the warning signs. 

Ready to dive deeper into your caregiver journey, discover strategies and tools to be your best self AND be the amazing caregiver who feels confident, valued, and loved? Don’t’ get stressed, get healthy!
I’d love for you to book a 20 min complimentary consult with me. Wanna go for it? YOU DECIDE! JUST CLICK THIS LINK TO GO TO MY CALENDAR.

Happy 2019! With love

Make sure you connect with us on Facebook: click here

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Saskia Jennings is a Cert. Caregiving Consultant & Educator who focuses on you, the caregiver. She offers a unique and effective combination of Wholistic Life & Wellness Coaching, 10 yrs of gained experience in the Caregiver Service Industry,  and extensive training in caregiving strategies & tools to help busy professionals who care for their parents. We are connected with trusted professional partners who can assist with planning and solutions to help your elderly relatives and your family. Set up time with Saskia to determine your needs.

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Blog: Are your parents asking you for more help? You’ve now entered Stage II of the Caregiving Years

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Today I’ll talk about Stage II of the concept of The Caregiving Years: The Freshman Caregiver.

Does the following resonate with you?
You get requests from your mom or dad and they need your help.
You take them to a doctor’s appointment, pick up some groceries on the way home, answer a phone call at work to hear your mom is not feeling so good.
Your daily schedule gets interrupted. And it may seem just ‘the odd time’, but times add up. From one hour a week to 4 hours a week. To a stay overnight.
Sounds familiar?

Who are you as a Freshman Caregiver?
You’ve begun to help your family member on a regular basis, weekly, perhaps even a few times a week. Your duties range from errand-running and bill-paying to some assistance with hands-on care.

Your keyword: Find
— Find services that help.
— Find a system that keeps you organized.
— Find support that comforts.
— Find ways to enjoy your hobbies and interest (don’t forget about this…).

Your Challenge
To discover solutions that work.

Your Purpose
This is your entry into the caregiving role. This is your time to experiment, to get your feet wet and see what works. This is your opportunity to learn how the healthcare industry works with, or in some cases against, you. Now is the time to shape your caregiving personality:
What duties are you (un)comfortable with?
How well are you and your caree getting along?
What situations would create overwhelming stresses for both of you?

Now it becomes important for you to keep up with your hobbies and interests (you may be able only to keep the ones that you enjoy most), ensuring you have made a habit of spending time on your own, enjoying yourself.

YOUR QUESTIONS: 
Why ME? Why NOW?
NOW WHAT?

If you’d like my help and you are in Canada or USA, I invite you to book a 20 min complimentary caregiving consult with me (by phone) I help you gain insights, I answer some of your questions in our time together, share great resources that fit your situation. We find out if you would need more help and how that would look like.
When you commit, I ask you to show up for your session. You won’t’ regret.I LISTEN. I UNDERSTAND. I HELP.
Let us help you see the forest through the trees. Remember, it is never too early or too late to reach out for support!

With care and love,
Saskia Jennings

Email: saskia@creatingbeingwell.com

Not sure if caregiving is on your radar? Get the scoop on Stage 1 of The Caregiving Years!

Saskia JenningsCaregiver Resources

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As promised I’m diving deeper into the concept of The Caregiving Years and start right at the beginning:

                                                      Stage I – The Expectant Caregiver.

This is the stage where you tell your friends that your parents are healthy and independent and that you won’t be looking after them for a while. The “all is well” kinda thing.
I hear this a lot and when they allow me to share some insights in person or during a workshop their eyes are opened and they ask me: “Oh, really?!” I never forget the looks on this man’s face when he had that “AHA-moment” at the Health Expo in Nanaimo in September.

One of the things that parents don’t tell you… is that they just don’t tell you!
They keep many things for themselves even though you believe you know them well.

Who are you as Expectant Caregiver?
No matter what they (don’t) tell you, you have a growing concern that, within the near future, they may need more and more of your assistance and time. You’re concerned because of your relative’s age, past and present medical condition, and current living condition.

Your keyword: ASK
— Ask questions of your caree. (The individual receiving your care is your caree.)
— Ask questions of health care professionals.
— Ask questions of lawyers and financial planners.
— Ask questions of your family members who may be involved in the caregiving role.

Don’t be shy and get answers!

Your Challenge
To learn and understand your caree’s needs: health, financial and emotional.

Your Purpose
You now understand you become a caregiver, and this is your time to prepare. You should
research options, gather information, and provide the opportunity for your caree to share his or her feelings and values. This is also your time to concentrate on taking care of yourself: keeping up with family and friends, enjoying your hobbies and interests, pursuing your career goals.

BUT HOW? WHO? WHEN? WHAT?

Often clients tell me: “OMG Saskia!! Where were you when my caregiving started?”. Well, I am here now.
If you’d like my help, I invite you to book a 20 min complimentary caregiving consult with me. I help you gain insights, I answer your questions in our time together.  I LISTEN. I UNDERSTAND. I HELP.
Our Goals with Our Clients
 We validate the family caregiver’s experience.
 We help the family caregiver stay well.
 We encourage the family caregiver because that will give them
courage.
 We allow the family caregiver’s decisions, which are the
decisions that are best for them at that moment.
 We anticipate what could be next knowing we can’t predict the
future.
 We do our best to minimize a family caregiver’s regrets.
 We ask empowering, thought-provoking questions to help a
family caregiver find a healthy perspective, make an effective
decision, take the first step forward and let go.
 We position the family caregiver to transition successfully into
a life after caregiving ends.

We help the family caregiver see the forest through the trees.

Remember, it is never too early or too late to reach out for support!
Book a 20 min complimentary caregiving consult (by phone) with me and let me help you.  Just click this link and you can choose your time directly from my calendar: http://calendly.com/creatingbeingwell

My work: I listen. I understand. I help.

With care and love,

Learn something important about caregiving today!

Saskia JenningsCaregiver Resources

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Dear Caregiver,

The chance is that you became (or are to become) a family caregiver by need, not by choice. Of course, you help.

  • Do you know what to do?
  • Are you wondering: “WHY ME”?

Caring for a parent or elderly friend takes patience, insight, knowledge, time and lots of self-love.

What if you felt heard and understood as a caregiver?
What if you have someone at hand who helps you to find relief, resources and even relaxation? (Even though you might think that’s impossible…)

You know, when you expected a child, all your family and friends overloaded you with good wishes, encouraging words and shared tips and wisdom on how to prepare and how life will look like. But when it comes to caring for your parents or an elderly friend you may find out that hardly anyone knows what to do or how to help. Often times you have to figure it all out on your own and having many new and unknown responsibilities and challenges is hard. Agree?
And the results? Possible isolation from friends and community, lots of self-doubt, fear and stressors and struggling to manage health, life, work and caregiving.

Caregiving is an emotional journey and you can’t do it alone.
Wouldn’t it be great to understand how important and impactful this caregiving journey is for yourself, your caree (the person you care for) and your family?

But remember: there’s no “one size fits all” solution to caregiving.

Today I’ll introduce you to this amazing concept:
“The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey”

The Caregiving Years is separated into six stages, each stage defined by the intensity of the caregiving role.
In the early 90’s this concept was developed by Denise Brown of http://caregiving.com. Denise is my teacher and mentor and she is truly the best resource on the planet when it comes to caregiving.
Don’t they say: “Learn from the best?”. I did and still do! As a matter of fact, I just returned home from the 4-day National Caregiving Conference in Chicago, hosted by Denise Brown.

I’ll give you an overview of the 6 stages of The Caregiving Years so you get a bit more insight on your journey and what to expect.
Then over the next months, I will dive deeper into the concept and share tips and strategies. I’ll map out “Stumbles” (wrong turns, unexpected challenges and unplanned crises)  and ways to “steady” these stumbles.

Let’s get started!

Stage I: The Expectant Caregiver
In the future, I may help a family member or friend.
Your Keyword: ASK
Your Challenge: to learn and understand your caree’s needs: health, financial and emotional.

Stage II: The Freshman Caregiver
I am starting to help a family member or friend.
Your Keyword: FIND
Your Challenge: to discover solutions that work.

Stage III: The Entrenched Caregiver
I am helping a family member or friend.
Your Keyword: RECEIVE
Your Challenge: to find the support and strength to continue.

Stage IV: The Pragmatic Caregiver
I am still caring for a family member or friend.
Your Keyword: WELCOME
Your Challenge: to gain a greater understanding of yourself and your caree.

Stage V: The Transitioning Caregiver
My role is changing.
Your Keyword: ALLOW
Your Challenge: to let go of the fear of the end, to understand that reaching the end isn’t about your failure but about the natural cycle of life. Now, you’ll move from the “doing” of caregiving to focus on the “being.” You’re used to doing and going; it’s time to put the priority on being with your caree.

Stage VI: The Godspeed Caregiver
My caregiving role has ended.
Your Keyword: TREASURE
Your Challenge: to integrate your former role as a family caregiver into your new life.

What stage are you in right now? What’s next and how can you prepare?

Is it time for you to reach out for support? Don’t hesitate!
Book a 20 min complimentary caregiving consult with me and let me help you solve a challenge. Just click this link and you can choose your time directly from my calendar: http://calendly.com/creatingbeingwell

I listen. I understand. I help.

With care and love,

I talk about this all the time, do you?

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Dear friend,

Are you a caregiver? Supporting a friend or neighbour who is caring for a parent or elderly friend?

Most of us will be a caregiver for a parent at some point in time.
Local, or long distance. Or maybe you are helping to care for your grandmother.
Maybe you don’t think about caregiving as your parents are healthy and independent (well, that’s what you think because they say so.)

Are you taking your parents to a doctor’s appointment, help with groceries?
Or already fully entrenched in caring for your parents?
How is that affecting your own life and health? Who do you turn to ask for help?

I talk about the topic of caregiving daily, online, offline and with random people who I meet in the coffee shop. It’s on top of almost everyone’s mind…

Are you wondering:

  • Why me?
  • Why now?
  • Now what?
I can help you with answers!

Your caregiving journey can take 8 months, 6 years, 15 years… who knows?!
Did you know there are six stages during your caregiving years?
It really helps to know where you’re at so you can use the best tools and strategies for that stage and be much better prepared.

When I work with clients, I meet them where they are on their caregiving journey.

I LISTEN… 
One of the critical support tools is to listen. I understand what’s going on and offer support.
What if caregiving would be easier?
What if you know what to say and how to prepare when asking for help?
What if you can sleep again at night because you have more peace of mind?
What if you take control back over your own life and caregiving becomes more fulfilling?
What if you learn about resources you never knew existed?
What if you had more time for yourself because you choose so, without feeling guilty?

As a Certified Caregiving Consultant, I support you in 45 min. sessions (phone/online) that are focused on YOU. I help you find answers and solutions to your current challenges.
And the result? You feel relief from your burden and much more confident to face caregiving challenges.

Now, this is a process. It starts where you want it to start. So let’s talk.
I will give you 20 min of my time and you tell me what you would like to achieve or learn. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Then we’ll explore if working together would benefit you on your caregiving journey and together we decide if ‘we’re a fit’.
Where I can I share relevant resources and/or practical tips with you. With 12 years of experience under my belt, I’m really not short of strategies and tips.

My aim is to help YOU, the caregiver. Period!

I’d love for you to book your complimentary caregiving consult. Just click this link and you can choose your time directly from my calendar: http://calendly.com/creatingbeingwell

Like my dad would say: “If you don’t try… you don’t know“.

And if you want to learn more about me and my work, don’t hesitate to browse my website: http://creatingbeingwell.com

With love & care,
          

Email: saskia@creatingbeingwell.com
Follow me on Instagram: @creatingbeingwell_caregivers