Monday, May 31, 2010

Blog Talk Radio-Connecting Beyond the Name Tag

Happy Memorial Day and thanks to all who have served to ensure our freedom and safety!!! There is great love and appreciation and admiration for you!!!!

Please join me tomorrow, Tuesday, June 1, 2010 @12:00 noon EST (9:00AM PST), http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sandra-haymon for the episode, "Blending Old School Networking with Social Media." Do you have difficulty getting beyond the name tag? Want to become a power networker? My special guest, Dr. William Saleebey, author of "Connecting Beyond the Name Tag" and I will discuss fundamental differences between old school networking and current social media. Dr. Saleebey will also explain why individual differences are so important in understanding how we make connections with others.

You won't want to miss this episode.
Sincerely, Sandra-Caregiver Guru for he Caregiver Generatiojn
http://www.babyboomerssandwich.com/ www.youtube.com/sandrawhaymon

Unresolved Past Isues Between Caregivers and their Elderly Loved Ones

True reconciliation does not consist in merely forgetting the past.

Nelson Mandela


Unresolved past issues may manifest in physical and psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, shortness of breath, panic attacks, restlessness, agitation, depression, insomnia, and nightmares. Generalized pain or pain that frequently changes location and is not alleviated with sufficient pain medication are other expressions of unresolved issues. Being afraid to die and conmcerns about afterlife also suggests individuals are unsettled about their past.

Sometimes individuals who are struggling with issues from their past may have feelings of dispair or feel that they have been abandoned by God, deity, or deities. They may refuse to take medicines secondary to the belief that they deserve to suffer--to be in pain and to be punished. They may also refuse pain medications beause hey want to be alert and maintain some sense of control of their faculties.

I'll write more about behavioral signs of spiritual unrest tomorrow. Happy Memorial Day, and thanks to all who have served and sacrificed to keep us safe and free--including allo family members who have worried and prayed and suffered the loss of loved ones in the pursuit of freedom!

Sincerely,
Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Importance of Rituals for the Elderly and Their Caregivers

We grow neither better nor worse as we grow old, but more like ourselves.

May Lamberton Becker


For many elderly individuals rituals offer comfort and a sense of being in control at a time when there are few things within the realm of their control. Certain rituals, like saying prayers each morning and/or evening, may help some to feel a sense of normalcy.

Even rituals such as getting a bath and eating meals at the same times each day may offer a sense of security and predictability. For some, religious or spiritual practices and traditions are comforting.

It may be helpful to follow rituals and set paterns in order to establish and maintain a sense of security for your elderly loved ones.

Wishing you all a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Remember those who've served ans made sacrifices for our freedom. Many of whom are the elderly individuals we are given the opportunity to now serve.

Sincerely,
Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Empathic Presence - A Gift from Caregivers

I slept and dreamed that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service.

I acted and behold, service wa joy.

Rabindranath Tagore



Empahic listeners are relaxed but engaged at the same time. They ask questions and explore without prying.

Empathic presence includes providing a non-judgemental environment, which offers psychological permission to talk openly and honestly. The listener maintains appropriate eye contact and offers reassuring, appropriate touches if culturally acceptable.

Empathic presence also requires listening beneath and beynd the spoken words for deeper meanings, acknowledging the other's suffering, and validating her/his feelings.

Empathic listeners may be required to admit hen they don't have answers. Empathic presence may also necessitate being happy and rejoicing in another's accomplishments at a level of genuine sincerity that conveys to the other person her/his importance.

Empathic presence decreases feelings of abandonment and isolation. It may also allow indiciduals to come to terms with their own internal struggles while affirming their dignity, self-worth, and personhood.

Give the gift of love--empathic presence!
Sincerely,
Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation



Friday, May 28, 2010

Listening - an Act of Love for Caregivers

Presence is more than just being there.

Malcolm S. Forbes



Sometimes just feeling "heard" might be enough to reduce anxiety and lessen a person's distress. Therefore, it is vitally important to provide opportunities for your elderly lover ones to talk about their fears and help them identity sources of comfort.


Engaging elderly folks in a review of their life and helping them affirm their personal contributions that added value and meaning to the lives of others may help them feel better about this stage in their lives.


You might begin this process by simply asking them to tell you what they are most proud of or about the happiest time in their life. You might also ask them how they would like to be remembered.


Listening is an act of love, and empathic presence involves total engagement with the person to whom you are listening.


I will write more about this tomorrow. Take care and love others by listening to them.

Sincerely,

Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation



Thursday, May 27, 2010

End Stage of Life--An Emotional Time

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson



The end stage of life can be an emotional time for you (as caregiver), other family members, and for elderly persons being cared for. Tensions and resistance can often be held to a minimum when individuals are patient with themselves, with those they are taking care of, and with other family members. Let go of past hurts and focus on the moment.


Perhaps you have been chosen to care for this other human being for a reason. It would be counterproductive to exchange your time, energy, and emotions for anything less than a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn and to connect not only with the other person but also with yourself at a level of intimacy possible only through the unselfish deeds of serving others.

Sincerely,

Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver eneration

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Emotional Issues of the Caregiver

Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response.
Mildred Barthel
Caring for elderly loved ones is often like being on an emotional roller coaster. The downside of that roller coaster might include frustration, anger, guilt, resentment, sadness, and depression, as well as feelings of helplessness and of being overwhelmed.
The upside might include feelings of honor, privilege, acceptance, joy, and peace. It is important to identify your feelings with a single word, as well as the thoughts behind them. Counter-productive and subtractive feelings are fear driven. Feelings do not have to be acted on.
The process of caregiving could go on for ten or twenty years, so careivers need to take care of themselves. Schedule downtime, eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of rest, have regular physical exams, and talk about your feelings with a trusted friend, family member, or professional. Find sources of help and assistance for your loved one and for you.
Sincerely,
Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Passionate Art of Caregiving

All the art of living, lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
Havelock Ellis

Please join me Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 12:00 Noon (EST), 9:00 AM (PST) http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sandra-haymon

How do we, as caregivers, help heal the souls of those we care for? What part of our own soul connects with others and allows us to be a healing influence to all who come in contact with us?

According to Dr. Jose Rodriguez, Florida State University: "To touch, to listen, to care, and to love is to heal. To think, to learn, to teach, and to share is to heal." You won't want to miss this episode as my special guest, Dr. Rodriguez, discusses the passionate art of caregiving.

Dr. Rodriguez will share stories from his new book "HEAL--Humanism Evolving through Arts and Literature." Be prepared to allow healing to take place in your own soul as we explore how life, art, music and love heals.

Sincerely,

Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation/Scroll down for You Tube Video

http://www.babyboomerssandwich.com/ www.youtube.com/sandrawhaymon

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Caregiver Guilt About Not Being There

This is another exerpt taken from So Far Away - National Institute on Aging (January, 2006)


We do not remember days, we remember moments.

Cesare Pavese


"Most caregivers report feeling guilty about almost everything--about not being closer, not doing enough, not having enough time. Worrying about being able to afford to take time off from work or the cost of travel can increase frustration.

As one cargiver noted, When I wa reowing up, my mother and I weren't very close. As an adukt, I ended up across the country. When Mom got sick, my sister took on most of the caregiving. Because I'm hours away, I couldn't be at Mom's bedside regularly but I did call her more often. I worked it out with my sister so I took care of handling Mom's monthly bills. I did visit several times and always encouraged my sister to take a break from caregiving while I was there. ow that Mom's gone, I'm dealing with the estate, closing out accounts, and deciding what to do with the house. We all do what we can.

Sincerely,

Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Frustration--A Common State for Caregivers.

A man (or woman) cannot discover new oceans unless he/she has the courge
to lose sight of the shore.
Andre`Gide
Here's an excerpt from "So Far Away" a publication from the National Institute on Aging
"Feeling frustrated and angry with everyone from your parent(s) to his/her doctors, is a common caregiving experience. It can be hard to acknowledge that you feel this way, but try not to criticize yourself even more. Caregiving, especially from a distance, is likely to bring out a fiull range of human emotions, both positive and negative. If you feel angry, it could be a sign that you are overwhelmed or that you are trying to do too much. If you can, give yourself a break: Take a walk, talk with your friends, get some sleep, join a support group--try to do something for yourself." (January, 2006)
"Do not run faster than you have strength."
Scroll down for You Tube Video
Sincerely,
Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation
http//www.BabyBoomersSandwich.com

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Medical alert saves lives!

Here's some more information from Philips Lifeline Medical Alert website: http://www.lifelinesys.com/ This site offers amazing information!


"Preserve independent at home living with the Lifeline Medical Alert Service"

This year 13.5 million people, 65 and older will fall. If you or a loved one experience a medical emergency, time is of the essence. That's where Philips Lifeline can help, connecting you to the right help for the situation, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at the push of a button. Whether you need emergency services or just the assistance of a family member or friend to help you get back on your feet, we can help.
My own aunt, who was in good health and lived alone, fell and was not able to get up. Her son found her several days later and the coroner concluded she had been dead three days before her son found her. I truly believe if she had had Lifeline Medical alert the outcome of her fall would have been significantly diffrent.
Philips Lifeline offers a free assessment. Give them a call at 1-866-674-9900 Ext. 4492.
Scroill down for You Tube video.
Sincerely,
Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation
http://www.BabyBoomers Sandwich,com www.youtube.com/sandrawhaymon

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Medication errors are serious business, especially for seniors!

Just want to share some information I just read on: http://www.lifelinesys.com. This is from the Philips Lifeline Medical Alert website.


Reduce the risk of medication errors
If you value your health and independence, you know it's important to take medications exactly as your doctor prescribed. Yet improper medication management and falls can get in the way of independent living, creating stress for you and your loved ones.

With the complexity of medications many seniors take, it's no surprise: 1 in 10 hospital admissions for seniors are a result of medication errors.* Philips Lifeline now offers a simple, proven Medication Dispensing Service that can help.

Philips provides an easy-to-use solution that helps maintain the proper medication schedule. Hear a simple audio reminder and at the push of a button, get your medications at the pre-programmed times.

Sound easy? It is—and it's effective. Philips Medication Dispensing Service has been proven to deliver a 98.6% in-home dispensing adherence level among monitored subscribers.

Visit:http://www.ManageMyPills.com to Learn More
This is a fantastic website with invaluable information! I have a link to it from my own website: http://www.BabyBoomersSandwich.com www.youtube.com/sandrawhaymon
Sincerely,
Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation

Caregivers Need to Take Care of Themselves.

The future is the past returning through another gate.
Arnold H. Glasow

Many caregivers report feeling as if they are drowning in the responsibilities of caregiving. However, you cannot save another person if you are drowning. Fifty percent of long-term caregivers will die before the person they are caring for. Why? Because they do not take care of themselves during the years they are taking care of others.

It is common for caregivers to get so focused on the person they are taking care of that they neglect their their own health. They fail to get annual physicals which might detect disease and illnesses in early stages. Many caregivers develop poor eating habits, fail to exercise, and gain excessive weight. In addition to stress and comfort eating, some caregivers say that they use alcohol to help them sleep or to self-medicate. Others report they start to smoke again after having quit for years prior to falling lot to caregiving.

Caregivers need to take care of themselves or they will have nothing left to give others. Here are some ways individuals may take better care of themselves and find greater balance in their lives while taking care of others.

First, take care of yourself physically through good health habits--exercise, maintain a healthy diet, lose excessive weight, confront addictions to caffeine, nicotine, sugar, alcohol and/or other drugs. The old adage “You are what you eat (drink, and smoke)” is true.

Our emotional and spiritual well being is directly intertwined with our physical health. Most emotional, as well as physical, health issues—depression, anxiety, insomnia, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic fatigue, joint pain and a host of other illnesses are directly related to what we put into our bodies and how we treat ourselves.

Second, schedule your own physicals, check-ups, and regular medical exams, and commit to keeping these appointments.

Third, stay connected with extended family and significant others. Mend fences if needed.

Fourth, even if it's only for an hour a week, engage in a gratifying activity. Find a support group even if it is on-line.

And lastly, connect with your inner being. Take at least fifteen minutes each day to sit quietly and listen to your own inner voice, even if it requires that you get up fifteen minutes earlier. The pay-off will far outweigh the loss of a few minutes sleep.

We all have this wonderful gift--an internal mechanism that will guide us if we’ll take the time to pay attention to it. When we listen to the still, small voice within us, the choices we choose will make the caregiving process much easier and more enjoyable.

Remember the Law of the Harvest--plant good seeds. Scroll down for You Tube Video.
Sincerely,
Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation
http://www.babyboomerssandwich.com/ www.youtube.com/sandrawhaymon

Every Second Counts in Caregiving

Presence is More Than Being There.
(Malcolm S. Forbes)

Several hours ago at 9:00 AM, Tuesday, May 18, 2010 I had the most interesting guest on my BlogTalkRadioShow (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sandra-haymon). Sandy Wahl, Representative for Phillips LifelineCommunity Outreach and Our Family Services (swahl@ourfamilyservices.org) came on to talk about the most amazing technology. Phillips Lifeline Medical Alert Service has just introduced to the market.

Phillips has created an Auto Alert pendant that can call for help even when the peron wearing it can't. Within 20-30 seconds after the person falls the Auto Alert pendant recognizes that the person has fallen, and is unable to push the call button. It automatically phones for help!

Phillips is the only company in the United States that offers this second layer of protection and the good news is that you can get this for only a few dollars more than the original lifeline--less than one fast food lunch a month!

Lifeline the #1 medical alert service:
* is trusted by thousands of hpospitals
* has helped more than 6 million people with the peace of mind and confidence to help maintin independent livng
* is recommended by over 65,000 healthcare professionals

This year 13.3 milion people 65 and over will fall, and half of them will not be able to get up by themelves. This blogpost is certainly not an infomercial for Phillips. It is, however, a very strong endorcement of a product and company that I totally support and highly recommend.

If there is any thought in your mind that you, or loved ones could benefit from such a service, I strongly urge you to call your local Phillips Lifeline Medical Alert representative and ask her/him to come out, perform an assessment, and help you make this "no-brainer" decision before it's too late.

I know from personal experience that the statistics about elderly folks falling is all too true. However, most families are in denial and wait until there is a broken hip, leg, neck, etc., before they admit that todays' technology not only offers them peace of mind, but could offer a higher quality of life for a much longer time--perhaps as long as they live.

Make a decision today that you won't regret. That's part of taking care of yourself. Scroll down for YouTube.

Sincerely, Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation

http://www.babyboomerssandrich.com/ www.youtube.com/sandrawhaymon
http://www.twitter.com/CaregiverGuru

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sandra-haymon

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Three of the Five Strongest Emotions Felt by Caregivers

Anger is a symptom, a way of cloaking and expressing feelings too awful to experience directly--hurt,bitterness, grief, and most of all, fear.
(Joan Rivers, Still Talking)

Anger is another emotion that is fear driven. Oftentimes, people express anger because it seems safer than expressing fear. Caregivers, especially women, report being angry about many things including:
- Angry that siblings don't help take care of their parents.
- Angry with herself for not confronting siblings and delegating part of the responsibilities.
- Angry that her parents didn't plan for "that day" sooner/better.
- Angry that she didn't see "that day" coming and better prepare for it.
- Angry at medical professionals.
- Angry that there are too many choices.
- Angry that there are not enough choices.
- Angry that it's "expected" that she delay her own life plans and cater to parents--while siblings continue with their lives uninterrupted.
- Angry that her job/career is compromised (ie., having to turn down promotions, or greater responsibilities, or fun projects that might require travel, or she might even have to quit her job to take care of her folks.)
- Angry that she has to use her sick leave and vacation time to take care of her folks.
- Angry that "no one understands" what she's going thru.


Anguish

Female caregivers report extreme anguish over trying to:
- "please" her mother/father and trying to "please" her husband.
- the choice between moving her mom/dad in with her and disrupting her family life and moving her folks to a care facility, or allowing them to remain in their own home at the risk of serious consequences.

Loneliness

Although there are approximately 65 million caregivers in the United States, most caregivers report feeling lonely, isolated, and afraid. Eighty percent of caregivers are unpaid and care for a dependent adult seven days a week.


Fear driven emotions are often exaggerated when we are tired or have multiple life stressors. So, remember to take care of yourself. Your role as caregiver is but one of many roles. Other aspects of your life continue and there needs to be balance. I will share ways you might take care of yourself while caring for your elderly loved one(s) tomorrow. Scroll down for You Tube Video.

Sincerely,
Sandra, Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation
www.babyboomerssandwich.com/ www.youtube.com/sandrawhaymon
www.Twitter.com/CaregiverGuru
www.blogtalkradio.com/sandra-haymon

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kind Ethics for Caregivers

Viki Kind is a clinical bioethicist, medical educator, hospice volunteer and the author of The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making – Making Choice for Those Who Can’t.


Here's a recent article I received fro her.

Kind Ethics for Caregivers

"Sometimes as caregivers, we try to protect the person in our care and to stay strong for everyone else in the family. We pretend that nothing is wrong even in the midst of very difficult situations. This isolates us—and our loved ones even more.

Instead, reach out and begin talking about how each of you is coping. Allow the person to share his or her emotions, even the loud and scary emotions.

Be still and listen with your full attention.

Turn off the phone and the television. Be present with your loved one’s suffering because as you listen, you help the person heal.

Then it will be your turn to speak your truth. Your fears and concerns are not a burden to your family but something that everyone is thinking and too afraid to speak out loud.

If your loved one’s medical condition has begun to worsen, or the process of dying has begun, ask what your loved one would like to have happen.

Include the individual in every way you can think of so he or she can retain some sense of control and power.

Imagine how hard it must be to know that your mind is going or to feel your body changing right before your eyes.

Even though you can’t control what is happening, one of the greatest gifts you can give your loved one is to hear his or her needs and wishes.

And then, each time you have to make a decision or to talk about life and medical choices, remember to start from your loved ones perspective.

I realize that watching your loved one suffer is difficult for you, the caregiver, but keep in mind how difficult it is for your loved one.

Perhaps you can be a little more patient or a little more respectful. Maybe before you lash out in frustration with the person you are caring for, you can stop, catch your breath and try to be more understanding, compassionate and kind.

I know you are human and you can’t be nice all the time. I know I have been frustrated and less than loving at times when taking care of my family members.

But, I also know we can strive to be better—not perfect, but better. It’s not easy, but we can choose to do a little better every day." Have a kind and respectful day. viki@kindethics.com

I hope you benefitted from this as much as I did.
Sincerely,
Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation
http://www.babyboomerssandwich.com/ www.youtube.com/sandrawhaymon

Two of the Five Strongest Emotions felt by Caregivers

The worst fear of all is the fear of living.

(Theodore Roosevelt)

The majority of caregivers continue to be women, and often the youngest daughter falls lot to the responsibility of caring for her aging parents. Even when it's the husband's parents, the responsibilities associated with primary caregiving often get delegated to his wife--who may or may not work outside the home. Here are two of the five strongest and most frequently reported emotions experienced by caregivers secondary to caring for elderly loved ones.

Fear

Fear is the primal emotion from which all other counter-productive emotions originate. However, rather than expressing their fears, many caregivers express feelings that are fear driven such as guilt, anger, anguish and lonliness. Fears associated with caregiving include:
- Fear that her parent(s) will become angry if she takes their car keys--even when she knows they are no longer safe to drive
- Fear that if she does not take their keys some innocent person could be killed and it would be her fault for not taking the keys
- Fear of whether she's making the right decisions
- Fear of what others, especially other family members, will think/say about her decisions
- Fear that she'll disappoint her parents
- Fear that she'll disappoint her own husband and family
- Fear that there will not be enough money to pay for her parent(s) care

Guilt

Caregivers report being torn between the guilt of moving their loved ones from their home (placing them in a nursing home, Alzheimer's unit, or even an assisted living facility), and the fear of something awful happening to them should they be allowed to continue living alone. Guilt about placing a parent in a care facility is, perhaps, one of the most painful events in the life of adult children--especially the designated caregiver who is expected to take care of the parents. Here are other situations careivers report feeling guilty about:
- spending time with her parents and not with her own husband and family
- spending time with her husband and family rather than spending that time with her parent(s)
- taking away their car keys even when she knows they are no longer safe to drive
- that no matter what she does--it's never enough and never goo0d enough.

You get to decide when it's enough and when it's good enough. You also get to decide whether you'll continue to choose counter-productive emotions, which are fear driven , such as guilt, anger, anguish, and loneliness, or whether you'll liberate yourself from self-defeating thoughts and beliefs that keep you chained to the very depths of hell. The choice is all yours, but you aren't really free to make a choice as long as you stay on auto-pilot.

Tomorrow I will discuss the last three of the five strongest emotions expressed by caregivers--anger, anguish, and loneliness. I welcome your questions and comments. Scroll down for You Tube video
Sincerely,
Sandra -Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation
http://www.babyboomerssandwich.com/
http://www.twitter.com/caregiverguru
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sandra-haymon

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Emotional Challenges of Caregiving

One of the most dangerous forms of human error is forgetting what one is trying to achieve. (Paul Nitze)

There are two primal emotions--love and fear. As I see it, all other emotions stem from one of these two emotional origins. Love is a productive, positive, uplifting, and energizing emotion that adds to our emotional account. Most of us know what love is. Love is kind. Love is patient. Love is tolerant. Love is long-suffering. Some of the emotional fruits of love are feelings of joy, happiness, peace, and gratitude.

Fear is the opposite of love. Fear is a subtractive and counter-productive emotion that is draining and defeating. Some of the emotional fruits of fear are anxiety, impatience, frustration, anger, sadness. discouragement, and depression. These emotions often manifest as physical and emotional pain.

One of the primary problems with fear is that it is negative. Therefore, decisions that are made from fear based emotions never serve us well. It's the Law of the Harvest. We cannot gain something positive from something negative any more than we can get corn when we plant potatoes.

Caregivers of aging parents often describe the experience of caregiving as one of being on an emotional rollercoaster. Over the next day or so I will write about some of the most common fear based emotions reported by caregivers, and how these might be identified and changed into emotions that come from love.

Meanwhile, make a list of the five strongest emotions you've felt or are feeling about your role as caregiver. If you'd like to share them with me, just post them below or on my website: http//www.BabyBoomersSandwich.com, and I will be happy to address those specifically in my next blog.

Take care of YOU as you take care of others. Scroll down for You Tube video
Sincerely,
Sandra-Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Our Emotions are the Children of Our Thoughts.

Men (and women) occasionally stumble over the truth,
but most of them will pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.
(Winston Churchill)

Our emotions (feelings) are not secondary to what has happened or what someone did or said, but rather what we tell ourselves about what has happened or what was said. We are not emotional victims of our environment.

If we don't like what we are feeling about something or someone, we can change those feelings by simply changing our thoughts, what we tell ourselves, what we believe--all or some of which may or may not be true.

Nothing and no one can make us feel angry, happy, sad, or any other emotion. Nor, can we make another person angry, happy, sad, etc.

The notion that we can make another person feel anything is omnipotent. And, the belief that others have the omnipotent power to make us feel is irrational thinking.

Just imagine what an insane world it would be if humans could control the emotional responses of others. We would all be mere puppets, waiting for someone to pull our strings to get a response. Our feelings and emotional responses would always be at the mercy of everyone and everything in our environment.

No one has power over another's emotions. We are all born with the wonderful ability to choose our feelings by choosing what we tell ourselves.

So it is with caregiving. You are free to choose to be angry and resentful that you have fallen lot to this role by telling yourself that it is not fair and you do not deserve to be burdened with such weighted responsibilities.

However, if you don't like being angry and feeling resentful you could tell yourself that the opportunity to care for other human beings and do for them that which they cannot do for themselves is an honor and a privilege offered to a select few.

Your emotional response would perhaps then change to feelings of compassion and empathy for the person you're caring for, and gratitude for the opportunity to learn and grow. Thank goodness no one can plant in our emotional garden but us. Scroll down for You Tube video

Sincerely,
Sandra - Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation
http://www.babyboomerssandwich.com/ www.youtube.com/sandrawhaymon

http://www.twitter.com/caregiverguru

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sandra-haymon

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Caregiving opportunities happen simultaneously.

"If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey,
most of us would never start out at all."
(Dan Rather with Peter Wyden in "I Remember")

Imagine this senario. My friend (Patty), like many of you, is presently taking two turns at caregiving simultaneously. Her mother, who will be 101 years old in June had to move in with Patty after she fell and suffered a neck fracture. Yesterday, Patty's husband was hospitalized for a hip replacement. Consequently, Patty's been running back and forth between her house and the hospital trying to take care of the two people she loves most in the world. Yet, feeling that she is not doing a very good job for either.

In Baby Boomers I wrote about Patty and suggested she could be the Poster Child for Family Caregivers and the Sandwich Generation. The sandwich she's in more resembles a Dagwood Special than a simple boomer sandwich. Patty, like millions of you, is sandwiched between caring for her mother, a daughter still at home, working, planning for her own retirement, and now taking care of her husband.

For those of you who can well relate to the sandwich Patty's in, you might be happy to know there are many things you can do to lighten your load and lift your burdens.

The first thing is to recognize and accept that you have a choice about how you experience your role as caregiver. Caregiving is not inherently joyful, nor is it inherently burdensome. The entire process of caregiving is absolutely netural. You are wonderfully free to choose how you experience your role of caregiver.

I will be writing more about this during the next several days. Please remember to post your questions and comments. I truly want to know how I can help you and your loved ones as you take your turn!

Sincerely,

Sandra- Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation

www.BabyBoomersSandwich.com www.youtube.com/sandrawhaymon

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Our Turn to Care for Elderly Loved Ones

Baby Boomers--Sandwiched Between Retirement & Caregiving

Hi:
I'm Sandra Haymon a licensed psychologist aka the Caregiver Guru for the Caregiving Generation. I have spent the past 20 years in various personal caregiver roles, working with other family caregivers, and providing training seminars for healthcare providers. I have written two books about the practical and emotional issues of caregiving and end-of-life concerns.
In 1996 I wrote the first book published in the United States about parenting our parents entitled: My Turn: Caring for Aging Parents & Other Elderly Loved Ones--A Daughter's Perspective. My parents were older when I was born, so I was about 15 years ahead of the curve for most baby boomers when it became my turn to parent my parents. Now, many of the 78 million baby boomers are in the same boat that I was in a few years ago.
My latest book: Baby Boomers--Sandwiched Between Retirement & Caregiving was just released this past year. I hope you will have a look at my website: http://www.BabyBoomersSandwich.com/, and watch my You Tube Video--see below.
I will be sharing information that I have learned over the years which will, hopefully, help others have an easier time as they take their turn as caregiver. I look forward to your questions and comments.
Sincerely,
Sandra-Caregiver Guru for the Caregiver Generation
videoYou Tube Video