Oh my gosh! There are those days as a caregiver that just
make you feel you are on a rocky road.
The medication was not
ready at the pharmacy…
The cleaning lady did
not show up at your mom’s house…
And you went to work
As a caregiver you want help to get off that rocky road and
feel better. The keyword is “Allow”.
Rather than staying stuck in the ‘what ifs” or the drama and
challenge of the present moment, allow yourself
to find the soft edge that helps ease your day. This could be a phone call with
a friend, a 15- minute break, a walk in the forest, buying flowers to cheer you
up, doing some gardening, reading a chapter in your favorite book, bake a pie
and dig in right away.
Allow yourself to
do something that bring you joy, shifts your mindset and gets your away from
the rocky road you were on.
When you look around, you will always find soft edges on the side of a rocky road…
Dearest caregiver, Day in, day out: routine, routine, routine… Are you caring for you mom or dad or elderly relative on ‘auto-pilot’? Maybe some people don’t understand your attitude?
Learning more about Stage IV: The Pragmatic Caregiver will give you a much better understanding of your caregiving situation and your journey.
And don’t forget… you may not feel this way but you are amazing!
Who are you? You’ve been through it all: hospital admission and discharges; short-term rehab stays in nursing homes; a vast array of community services. You’ve just been through the health care system long enough to know that you know your caree’s needs best.
Some family members and health care professionals worry about your ability to find humour in situations they find offensive. They view your attitude as “calloused” and “uncaring.” Far from it, you have a very practical, very realistic approach toward your caregiving role–and your sense of humour has been a critical tool for your survival. Without your sense of humour, you would have given up a long time ago.
Your Keyword: Welcome — Welcome the joys of your relationship. — Welcome forgiveness (of yourself, of your caree, of other family members/friends). — Welcome shared activities.
Your Challenge To gain a greater understanding of yourself and your caree.
Your Purpose You’ve settled into your role and your routine; now is your opportunity to step back and reflect. The first three stages laid the groundwork for this stage, your period of personal growth.
As a “Pragmatic Caregiver,” what can you do? No matter your challenges and what everybody else thinks you ‘should’ do… work on finding joy in your relationship with your caree. The biggest joy-killer are your hands-on duties: bathing, dressing, incontinence care. But these duties bring you together, this is your time together. Add some fun to your hands-on care: sing songs, tell jokes, share goals and dreams and create your best memories.
Are you in your 40’s – 60’s and responsible for your parents’ wellbeing and future?
YOU ARE A FAMILY CAREGIVER!
We are proud & blessed to present the first annual Canadian Family Caregiver Symposium in Nanaimo B.C., on beautiful Vancouver Island. The symposium takes place on October 19, 2019, from 9 – 5.30 pm.
Attend the symposium if you:
Are overwhelmed with caregiving
Desperately want help but don’t know where to turn to
Face tough decisions and wonder how to carry on
Mourn the relationship that you once had
Feel you lost control over your own life
Have no plan for your worries.
When we care for a family member, we struggle to share honestly about our experiences. Our symposium is designed to help you, support you, empower and inspire you!
You will discover that you are not alone and have the opportunity to connect and share with other caregivers in your community. You will go home with tools, strategies and information that will make your caregiving journey more effective and fulfilling. All those things that you didn’t know exist…
We feature family caregivers and former
family caregivers as presenters and panellists.
What you’ll learn:
How to cope during your caregiving years
Resources: Why, When, What, How
Ways to ease your emotional rollercoaster
Solutions and ideas to make it better
Begin to build a roadmap to more peace of mind and less stressful days.
To live in the moment.
This is NOT your regular tradeshow! Our one-of-a-kind event is brought to you by Saskia de Quaasteniet (Jennings) of Creating Being Well – Certified Caregiving Consultant & Educator and Permelia Parham of Vibrational Healing, Certified Emotion Code Practitioner. Saskia is a family caregiver since 2005 and has 10+ years of gained professional experience in the Caregiver Service Industry. Currently caring long distance for her mother. Permelia is currently a caregiver for a close family member.
We are pleased to announce that Caregiving Expert Denise M. Brown of Caregiving.com is our Keynote Speaker for the day. She will be speaking on “work & Caregiving”, “Long Distance Caregiving” and “Caregiving has ended, now what?”.
Denise launched CareGiving.com in 1996. CareGiving.com was the first website to add online caregiving support groups, daily caregiving chats and blogs written by family caregivers. Through its blogs posts, podcasts and video chats, CareGiving.com holds one of the largest online libraries of caregiving stories.
Next Avenue named Denise a 2017 Influencer in Aging, one of “50 advocates, researchers, thought leaders, innovators, writers and experts who continue to push beyond traditional boundaries and change our understanding of what it means to grow older.” Denise hosts podcasts which delve into discussions about caregiving issues and organizes a weekly Twitter chat for family caregivers and former family caregivers.
Her insights have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, US News & World Report, USA Today, SmartMoney.com, Time magazine and Chicago Tribune. She is the author of several books including The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey, Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers and After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again.
Please join us and we take care of you all day long!
HOW TO SAVE $25: Choose to buy 1 ticket at $ 149 (all inclusive) or SAVE when you purchase 2 tickets at $273 (all inclusive, regular $298).
This unique program offers Expert Speakers, our Caregiver Panel, Skills & Support exercises, Resources and more.
Mark your calendar for the whole
day. We welcome you with coffee/tea and
treats, healthy lunch is included and you don’t want to miss our Caregiver
We welcome Mathieu Powell as M.C. for our Symposium. Mathieu is a caregiver for his mother and known as a dedicated Community Leader, who is experienced in helping those who are ageing and in need of support and also has a great understanding of the challenges Canadian Family Caregivers face these days. He is also the host of the Podcast: Island Voices, published on the well-known Vancouver Island-based website Seniors101.ca
Important: If you are in need of help to find someone to
provide respite care so you can join us for the day, please call Saskia to
discuss resources and support options.
Feel free to reach out to us: email@example.com or call us on the following numbers: Saskia: cell 647-528-2037 Permelia: cell 250-240-2656
Our sponsors, your resources, are carefully selected and exclusively invited in order to support you the best way we can.
The perfect Caregiver Retreat Cruise is Life-Transforming according to cruise-guests who took the trip.
The cruise offers an amazing program specifically geared toward the caregiver and their family member. It includes RN support 24/7, daily respite sessions, group dinner seating, interactive conference, caregiver wellness sessions, Zumba and the opportunity to reconnect with your loved one. FUN is the keyword.
I am thrilled to be available on this cruise as your Certified Caregiving Consultant and Caregiver Wellness Coach.
Join us July 6 – 13, 2019 as we sail to Alaska on Holland America. Dementia Friendly and fully accessible… Space is limited so call today to reserve your cabin: 219.608.2002 or 1-888-826-6836. Or you can send Saskia a message, CLICK HERE.
when you care 24/7, your own life has pretty much come to a standstill and is now filled with twists and turns and so many questions around caregiving. Are you:
totally exhausted and way too overwhelmed?
having sleepless nights?
confused and lost with all the to-do’s?
tired of getting advice from everyone?
missing time for yourself and fun with your friends?
mourning the loss of your caree’s abilities and functions and
often long for the days before caregiving?
You are in Stage 3 of your Caregiving Years: the Entrenched Caregiver. This stage may be the most difficult for both of you. Your involvement with your caree is almost daily if not constant. Your caree may live with you or your involvement means that your day is structured to be available to your caree. Your mood is sometimes upbeat as you’re proud you’ve been able to provide such wonderful care and make decisions that support your caree’s best wishes. Sometimes you feel melancholy–why you?
Your Keyword: Receive — Receive help–from anyone who offers. — Receive breaks from caregiving. — Receive support.
Your Challenge To find the support and strength to continue.
Your Purpose To develop a routine, create a familiar schedule for both yourself and your caree. A routine will help you deal with the overwhelming stresses and responsibilities that wear you out. It will provide comfort for you and your caree.
HERE IS HOW CAREGIVERS WANT US TO HELP When Denise M. Brown, Founder of http://caregiving.com, surveyed Family Caregivers on how we can help as Caregiving Consultants, these were some of the answers:
— An empathetic and caring attitude helps build up confidence between patient, caregiver and professional. — Please forgive me when I’m crabby and want to take it out on you–I’m really trying to do better. –Caregiving needs help from all directions. It is a job one has to learn as you go along. Just like learning to skate or riding a bike you are mostly on your own.
And last but not least: — The first thing you say to a caregiver who is struggling should not be–“put her in a nursing home”.
What is bugging you on your caregiving journey?
With Love & Care,
Click here to connect with me on Facebook, where I share tips and live videos to support and empower you.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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…).
To discover solutions that work.
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.
Why ME? Why NOW?
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!
It was such an honour to be interviewed live on Wise Folks Radio with host Cathy Holmes of Nanaimo Family Life Association. Take a listen as we share stories and experiences. I also give you lots of caregiving strategies and valuable tips on caring for your parents. Get paper and pen out and tune in!
CLICK HERE FOR THE REPLAY (Then click the play button)
Is caring for your parents causing guilt? Feeling stressed out?
Please book your complimentary 20-minute consult with Saskia and find resolutions. CLICK HERE
Connect and follow me on Facebook: http://facebook.com/caregivercoach
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!
To learn and understand your caree’s needs: health, financial and emotional.
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
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
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
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