Learn something important about caregiving today!

Saskia de QuaastenietCaregiver 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?

Saskia de QuaastenietCaregiver Resources

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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

Time to say “Hi Again” with a courageous move and spectacular journey!

Saskia de QuaastenietCaregiver Resources

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Hi!

It certainly has been a while since I have connected with you but out of sight is not out of mind.

To play catch-up here’s me in a nutshell.
I was based in Toronto for almost 6 years, and over the past 2 years, I have dedicated my time to support and coach family caregivers who look after their parent(s).
Last February I realized that I was not happy in the big city, despite the amazing friendships I made.
I missed living in nature where it is peaceful, my creativity flows and breathing is easy. Nature and the sight of wildlife just make me happy, calm and feeling free.

Then out of the blue, my longtime friend invited me to locate to Vancouver Island, BC. Really?!
The island is covered in mountains and heritage forests and surrounded by the sea.
I said yes!! And took off, just like that. Packed up my car and took what fitted in the trunk. I got lots of smiles at Good Will when they saw me coming with the next load of ‘stuff’. Friends did not want me to leave but ultimately send me off on my courageous move!

Together with my dear friend Gail, I drove cross country and had 10 fantastic, inspiring and fun days. Although… I would not necessarily recommend you drive in one day through the prairies, that is quite uneventful but mostly sooo tiresome (getting in the ‘falling asleep at the wheel-danger zone’).

We got out of our comfort zone by walking the largest suspension bridge in Canada, Thunder Bay.
We explored Canada’s history and learning lots while visiting many Trading Posts.
Meeting new friends and getting spoiled by old friends along the way who opened their house for an overnight stay and cooked the most delicious meals. To all huge thanks from the bottom of my heart!
Back to my new “Island Life”…
When I discovered that family caregivers have little to no clue what to do when parents start relying on them and becoming a bigger part of their daily life, I know I had to do something.Do you know that I have over 12 years of gained experience in the Caregiver Service Industry? Do you know that I am a Certified Caregiving Consultant & Educator? Of course not, as I never told you before.
So there you have it, now you know I’m your to-go-to expert.
.
People on Vancouver Island welcomed me with open arms, I feel grateful.
They know they need help and I ran my first workshop filled with caregivers who each have their challenges and who walked out with tools that help them to find balance in their life.

And every day I walk another trail to become calmer and at peace after my move… it’s beautiful and it works!

Learn how I may be able to help you, check out the website HERE.

Now, when you are bugged by these questions:

  • Why me?
  • Why now?
  • Now what?

I can help you with answers!

Don’t wait for the ‘worst case scenario’ to show up in your life and that of your loved ones. In the past 2 weeks alone 2 friends faced unexpected challenges and 24/7 hospital visits to support their loved one and it made them feel ‘heart-broken’ and turned their life upside down.

Learn how you can become calmer. Chat with me, it’s easy, just book your personal time with me here.

To your good health and meaningful caregiving journey,

Till next time!

How can I help you as a Certified Caregiving Consultant?

Saskia de QuaastenietCaregiver Resources

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The Caregiving Years: Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey

Throughout your caregiving journey, which can last from six months to more than 10 years, the role of family caregivers evolves–and so should the services and the support you receive

The Caregiving Years describes the path that family caregivers take—from Expectant Caregiver, to Freshman Caregiver, to Entrenched Caregiver, to Pragmatic Caregiver to Transitioning Caregiver to Godspeed Caregiver. Most important, the stages—and their related Stumbles and Steadies—provide a map for family caregivers (and their travel companions, health care professionals) to navigate successfully through the caregiving journey.

As a Certified Caregiving Consultant & Educator Saskia Jennings is here to help you take the stress out of that journey. To support you and meet you where you are, at any given moment.

In our consultations the focus is on YOU, the family caregiver, who experiences overwhelm, guilt, major stress, health challenges and let’s face it: THE UNKNOWN.

When working together, you will:

a. Find answers to “why me?”, why now?” and ‘what now?’
b. Receive tools & strategies to help take the stress out of your caregiving journey
c. Discover how you can plan during your caregiving years
d. Learn to Ask and Find, to Receive and Allow, to Welcome and to Treasure

Please allow yourself to schedule a 20 min complimentary consult with Saskia, so you can experience what it would be like to work with her. Click here, leave us a short message and we get back to you within 1-2 business days.

Or send an email to saskia@creatingbeingwell.com with in the subject line: consult.

 

Haunted By Stress? Get Your On-The-Go Natural Stress Relievers

Saskia de QuaastenietCaregiver Resources

You’re the Caregiver. You’re juggling work deadlines, looking after kids, shopping for your parents and picking up their meds, dinner schedules (“another take-out?”), housework (“Can I get a maid please?”)… and the “to-do” list doesn’t stop there. While you’re managing a million different things, your body is reacting to the pressures and stresses you’re encountering every day. Sometimes you even stress about how stressed you are because you know the negative impact stress can have on the body!

You know all of this, but there’s simply no time to slow down.

Thankfully, there are natural home remedies for on-the-go stress relief that may help you find a greater measure of calm and relaxation when you’re short on time. And I see great results with my clients as they experience the power of these essential oils.

stressaway

1.    Keep your purses armed with mini stress-fighting essentials

Wherever life takes the day, your purse is a staple you keep close. From stress balls for when your stress buttons are being pushed, to Stress Away essential oil blend, which can also provide simple and fast stress relief. Inhale straight from the bottle when you need your “fix” or apply topically. I’ll teach you safe ways to use the oils!

 

2.   Target stress areas with Orange and Cedarwood

cedarwood1Take a moment to check in with your body and identify how and where it’s reacting to stress. Are you feeling tense in your stomach or a heaviness in your chest? Local application using a carrier oil is one of the quickest and simplest ways to start feeling the stress-reducing effects of essential oils like Orange and Cedarwood.

Bonus: you’ll love the way the uplifting citrus aroma of Orange mixes with the warm, woody smell of Cedarwood.

  1. Dilute 1 – 2 drops each of Orange and Cedarwood essential oils with approximately 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.
  2. Rub the oil gently onto the preferred area of the body with two fingers, using circular motions, making sure to avoid mucous membranes and eyes.
  3. Repeat this process up to three times per day as needed.

Tip: Since you never know when feelings of stress may strike, place this mixture in a roll-on bottle so you can take it with you.

Where do you get your pure & authentic essential oils? Click here to learn more, I am happy to help you!

Last but not least: Talking to someone who understand your challenges as a caregiver is a great way to start making changes for yourself and get out of the “haunted-by-stress-hamsterwheel”. Click here to leave me a message and I’ll get in touch with you, you won’t regret.

As a caregiver with no time you’d love a natural stain remover, right?

Saskia de QuaastenietCaregiver Resources

Got a stubborn stain that just won’t come out? DIY your own stain remover stick that’s supercharged with Thieves® Laundry Soap and Lemon essential oil and free from the harsh chemicals you don’t want around your family. You’ll love the citrus-spice smell as you gently remove stains.

How to make it: Ingredients

  • 1 bar solid castile soap, unscented, shaved into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup washing soda
  • 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup Thieves® Laundry Soap
  • 4 drops Lemon essential oil
  • Empty deodorant container
  • Empty lip balm container

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients except for the essential oil and laundry soap into a saucepan.
  2. Heat on low until the soap and all the particles are mostly melted.
  3. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add Thieves laundry soap and essential oil and evenly mix.
  5. Let cool slightly and empty the mixture into a ziplock bag.
  6. Cut the corner off and squeeze the liquid into your containers.
  7. Put on the lids, let completely cool.
  8. Lightly dampen stick with a wet washcloth before use to adequately spread around the stained area.
  9. Wash as you normally would.

Want to take these DIY stain removers to the next level? Print these customized deodorant container label and lip balm container label, cut them out, and apply them to your newly created DIY stain remover!

By the way:  Thieves® Laundry Soap is THE BEST Laundry Soap I ever used in my entire life! Seriously! My clothes are so soft after washing. And when I throw my laundry into the dryer, with NO toxic dryer sheets, it comes out NON-STATIC!
Don’t be fooled by the price, as each bottle of the Laundry Soap is good for 62 loads. In my case… it last me just under a year (happy dance!).

There’s a great little video on how to make the Stain Remover:

I’m sure you want to know exactly how you can purchase your essentials so you can create this for yourself, and for a friend… Click here to connect with me or find me on Facebook: http://facebook.com/caregiversbeingwell.

You can ask me all you would like to know about using essential oils safely for yourself, your family and your home.
To receive a weekly newsletter or browse our (over 500) wellness products: click here.

                      

 

7 Simple Tips for Effective & Fulfilling Caregiving: Visiting Your Parents

Saskia de QuaastenietCaregiver Resources

Every day I hear about caregivers who are struggling.
In my workshops people start smiling and breathing a sigh of relief when I share my practical tips.
People ask me: “Why is life as a caregiver so hard?” 

You love your parent, you care for your parent and NOW WHAT?

Here are 7 practical tips that you can apply when visiting your parent(s), and remember… it always starts with You:

  1. Enter the house with a smile:
    Take a couple of deep breaths before you go in for your visit, so you slow down and focus on a pleasant visit, a cup of tea together and the tasks at hand. Leave behind what happened earlier in the day, feel happy and smile.
  2. Connect with your parent:
    Sit down for at least a few minutes before you start doing any tasks.
    Ask how their day was, and take the time to listen. The best way for a nice conversation? Ask ONE open question and let them chat away. Don’t interrupt in any way.Put your hand over his/her: gentle touch works magic and make sure you smile. If that is a challenge, think how much you love that person. Making a connection and being present makes you both feel good.
    Suggestion: if the TV is on, suggest to turn it off for a while or have the volume down.
  3. Talk slowly when you talk to your parent:
    Our lives are often so busy and we tend to talk fast, way too fast for seniors.
    No multitasking when you talk: do not put groceries away and talk to them while you have your back turned to them or are in another room.
  4. Let your mom or dad know what you’re doing:
    Tell them what tasks you will be doing during your visit. Don’t rush through the house.
    Slowing down is a skill you may and for sure will have to develop; you will notice that it has a positive effect on your loved ones and on yourself.
  5. Have your eyes and ears open for risks & “the unusual”:
    Always keep your eyes open during your visit. Things can change in an instant and seniors are at risk for falls. Is there anything that gets in their way when they walk through the house? Are there any small rugs to trip over? Is the phone within reach? Are there any spills on the kitchen floor? Do you smell something different?
    Be aware of the unusual: a burner on the stove left on, a tap running, an unlocked patio door, the phone off the hook, food left on the counter for hours, a broken lightbulb etc..
  6. Keep a journal at hand:
    A notebook comes in handy. Keep it in your parent’s house so all family members can document their findings and experience about anything you want to remember and anything that is unusual (see #5)
    Make sure that everyone involved knows who is responsible for follow-up. Think about it and make a decision.
  7. How long is your visit?
    It’s helpful when you announce how long your visit will be. Give a reminder 10 minutes before you leave. Sit down for the final 5 minutes and connect (see #2). Understand the importance for them… and for YOU!

And don’t forget: feel good about your visit!
After you leave the house and you’re back in your car, take a moment to pat yourself on the back and feel good about your visit. Share your experience with your family members, friends and update them with facts and fun stuff, via phone, a letter or an email. Be aware that social media is not necessarily the place to post publicly all about your loved ones. Consider creating a private or secret Facebook-Group-Page that is only for family members and close friends, so it is safer to share any updates.

What’s next?
As you know, you can ask me anything. When the caregiving journey gets too overwhelming and you keep having thoughts about “my life and my health sucks…”  or “I am not sure if I’m doing it right…” , then connect with Saskia and book yourself a One-Off Emergency Care coaching session. You’ll be so glad you did!

The real deal about self-care

Saskia de QuaastenietCaregiver Resources

The other day I was reading comments on an article about self-care-tips for caregivers and the tone of the comments struck me. Believe it or not, they mostly sounded like this:
• “I know about self-care, but it just doesn’t work for me”
• “Self-care for me is when you send me someone who can take over my caregiving for the next hour… please!”
• “Self-care? Not for me! I have no time since I have to look after a loved one 24/7”
• “When I go for a walk around the block, it feels good for a few minutes and then it’s all about the caregiving again and the good feeling is gone”
• “My mom starts yelling at me every time I want to be by myself”

I felt sad reading this.

Are you a caregiver who is immersed in caring for your loved one and is it taking its toll on you? Does thinking about self-care stresses you out even more, or it makes you upset as you may believe you can’t have it?

STOP! And pause… are you ready to learn something different?

Here are some insights and tips that help you to start thinking differently about self-care.
Self-care is not just about going to see a movie or having a massage.

The “real deal” about self-care is caring for yourself from the inside out, for instance:

  1. Learning to let go of negative thinking and instead create more positive thoughts
  2. Understanding your current belief system and being willing to make necessary changes
  3. Gain awareness about your limiting beliefs that may keep you stuck
  4. Discover what it is that you want for yourself in life and take action to move forward
  5. Commit to self-acceptance and self-love

Self-discovery and personal growth are important keys for a happier life, on your terms.
To become stronger, improve confidence and make better decisions. After all, you came on this planet to fulfill your calling.

Taking care of aging parents may be a part of your life, however it doesn’t mean that it has to take over your own life completely.

You have a choice… and it takes courage to be your own advocate.

Carrie Jolie Dale wrote the book: “The 2 choices”.
It’s an easy read with a powerful message. In one of the chapters I came across “The 2 choices mantra”.
After I read it, I jotted it on an index card and I have it visible on my desk. I have the permission to share it with you:

“The 2 Choices Mantra”

Right now, I have 2 choices:
One will get me more in alignment
with things I desire and the other
will move me away from it.
This ability to choose is a gift and
my source of passion, connection and power.

Ultimately it means: when you make a powerful decision you create powerful results. If you make a weak decision (and you know this in your heart) you will get a weak result.
This wonderful quote comes from Carrie Jolie Dale’s book and I resonate with it:
“Choose the things that just feel better”

Choose to keep an eye on yourself and when feelings of overwhelm, exhaustion or resentment creep up,
ask yourself: what 2 choices do I have?

Take a few minutes for yourself to look at your options and then choose powerfully.

When you take care of yourself, become truly honest and confident with yourself, caring for others will be easier.
And it will be more fun to choose deliberately for the movie or massage. You deserve it!