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Tell us what you’re thinking and feeling.

Tell Us: What Traits Do Successful Family Caregivers Have?

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Recently, I’ve had two separate conversations about the same topic: How do you some individuals make it through a caregiving situation in pretty good shape while others seem to just fall apart? During one conversation, a daughter who cared for both of her parents spoke honestly about the mess she was as she cared for them. She couldn’t cope, she didn’t handle the stress. Now, a few years since her father died and a decade ... Read More »

Tell Us: How Do You Know If Someone Doesn’t Get It?

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I think we all do our best to keep an open mind, giving others the benefit of the doubt. So, we share our day as others ask. We talk about what’s going on and may even show our vulnerability–expressing our fears and worries. And, then something will happen during the conversation or interaction that makes us think: “Ah! They just don’t get what I’m going through.” It could be what’s said. It could be what’s ... Read More »

Tell Us: Which Task Would You Delegate?

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Last month, we launched our Daily Log Project, which asks you to track your responsibilities, tasks and reminders during one caregiving day. (Read what happened when @Trish, who cares for her brother, tracked her day.) Rajiv Mehta, founder of Unfrazzle, and I began the project with the purpose of better understanding your day so we can better meet your needs. And, in order to better understand your day, we need to know the tasks of ... Read More »

Tell Us: Is It Okay to Pass on Fun?

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Scott cares for his wife, Beth. He does what he can to make time for himself, to take breaks as he can. The past few months, though, have been particularly tough. He feels like he’s fighting a battle just to maintain the status quo, to keep Beth out of the hospital, to help her regain her strength. He feels for Beth, who tries so hard to stay positive but really struggles to keep her smile. ... Read More »

Tell Us: How Would You Improve the ER?

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The New York Times published an article today called “Emergency Rooms Are No Place for the Elderly.” The article references a document called “Geriatric Emergency Department Guidelines” created by American College of Emergency Physicians, The American Geriatrics Society, Emergency Nurses Association and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. The organizations recommend changes in emergency rooms to better serve the elderly, including: Geriatric-trained physicians and nurses on staff; Education and training for staff “to ensure high-quality geriatric ... Read More »

Tell Us: What Would You Pack in Your Car?

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I like to live with just enough possessions (clothes, knick knacks, personal items) to pack in my car. I’m not sure why, but that idea (will what I have fit in my car?) has followed me for more than 20 years. It helps me live a somewhat clutter-free life. It’s also useful when I’m thinking about the people in my life: Would I pack them in my car and take them with me if I ... Read More »

Do You Feel You Must Explain?

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Last night during our Story-Telling Sunday, Michelle Seitzer shared an interesting insight about caring for her daughter, who has cerebral palsy. Michelle finds herself explaining to everyone, including strangers, about her daughter’s disorder. I found that really interesting. I wonder if we feel we must explain what makes us different. So, I’m curious: Do you explain your caree’s disability or disease to others? Do you find yourself explaining in certain situations or to everyone? Can ... Read More »

How Did You Learn to Provide Care?

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Susannah Fox of Pew Research Center wrote a blog post this week entited, “Hacking Home Health Care.” In her post, she shared how family caregivers use what they can find to make home care work. She offers the example of a family caregiver who uses a baker’s spatula to help turn her caree in bed. Her post reminded me of the stories you’ve told over the years of how you’ve learned to use equipment and ... Read More »

What’s Your Worry? Mine? That I’ll Be Mean

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We try to find the silver lining, to focus on the positive, to keep a perspective that keeps us going. I do my best but honestly, when I think about a future of caring for my parents, I worry that I will be mean. That I’ll blow my top over something silly. That I’ll say something that I’ll regret. I worry that I will be short on patience and compassion and full of snarkiness and ... Read More »

Tell Us: What’s Your Art Exhibit?

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During Sunday’s night chat on Twitter, we focused on creativity during caregiving. We shared about our creative outlets and how help during a stressful situation. I loved our discussion, which reminded us that creating can be a coping strategy. I asked a question during the end of our chat that I loved (if I do say so myself). So, I’m going to ask you the same question: We’re in a museum and come across your ... Read More »

How Does Caregiving Make You an Invaluable Employee?

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On Sunday, I announced that I’m planning a social media campaign that encourages employers to hire family caregivers as well as keep them as employees. The campaign will highlight what makes family caregivers truly valuable employees. With your help, we’ll promote that message across social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. (I’d love your help in creating the slogan and tag line; be sure to enter our contest to find the best slogan ... Read More »

So Far, What’s the Biggest Caregiving Problem You’ve Resolved?

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Over the weekend, I had an interesting discussion with my brother-in-law about his parents, who’ve had health issues the past few years. He said his dad is feeling much better now that his doctor adjusted one of his meds. For about a year, his dad was winded walking from one end of the house to the other. He saw his primary care doctor and his specialists, none of whom could pinpoint the cause or solve ... Read More »

How Do You Manage Your Caree’s Anger?

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Last night, one of our visitors (Kari) shared a comment on Friday’s How Was Your Day? post: I’ve been caring for my fiancé for about 8 years since he had a failed back surgery. He now had intractable pain, which is constant severe pain. The hardest part for me is dealing with his anger toward me and the world for not helping him get better, and causing him to get worse. I clean up lots ... Read More »

Tell Us: What’s Your Advice to Yourself?

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As I reflect, I think of 2013 as the year of the ups and downs. I had huge tumbles, taking really big falls. And, then I had huge highs, enjoying amazing moments. With reflection comes lessons learned and a hope for better. In 2014, I want to achieve a more even stride. My advice to myself to hit that steady pace is: Put your needs first because that’s the only way you can be truly ... Read More »

Tell Us: Has Caregiving Cost You Your Job?

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On Saturday’s episode of Your Caregiving Journey, Bob shared his caregiving story, which includes losing a job because of his caregiving responsibilities for his wife. On Friday, during our video chat, Patti Shea, who cares for her parents, shared the story of a friend terrified to disclose her caregiving responsibilities to her employer for fear of being fired. Trying to keep a job and keep caregiving affects your today and your tomorrows. Americans who provide ... Read More »

Tell Us: How Do You Transition from a Caregiving Mindset?

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During Saturday’s episode of Table Talk on Your Caregiving Journey, @trish shared about a challenging morning last week. (You can listen to our discussion via the player, below.) A few setbacks upset their morning schedule, which meant that Robert, Trish’s brother, wasn’t ready when the van, which brings him to his day program, arrived. Richard, Trish’s husband, volunteered to drive Robert, which meant they all could get where they needed to be. But when Trish ... Read More »

Tell Us: How Did You Tell a New Employer About Caregiving?

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During Tuesday night’s member chat, we had an interesting discussion about how to tell a new employer about caregiving responsibilities. When you start a new job, you want to be honest about your responsibilities as a family caregiver because, well, caregiving will happen. You’ll face an emergency, a medical crisis, a staffing problem. And, when caregiving happens, you’ll need time off from work. It’s a bit easier (although still difficult) to discuss a caregiving situation ... Read More »

Tell Us: When Have You Deferred on a Doctor’s Recommendation?

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Recently, during one of our member chats, we discussed a doctor’s recommendation that you knew was not right for your caree. You may have understood the reason for the doctor’s recommendation and you knew you had a better solution. Which leads to quandary: Follow the doctor’s advice or follow your gut. So, I’m curious: When has a doctor made a recommendation that you knew wouldn’t work but you followed anyway? Or, when did a doctor ... Read More »

Tell Us: What’s Your Worst Worry?

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Your day brings a grind of duties, a new set of problems, a whole lot of worries. I think the worries ruin the day faster than the grind and the problems. The worries weigh on us and sometimes seem to steal our voice. We can worry about saying our worry out loud so the worry stays inside, festering. Keeping silent about the worries–especially the worst ones–seems to feed the worries, making them bigger and more ... Read More »

What Are Your Life’s Bravest Moments?

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Last night, on Your Caregiving Journey, our conversation drifted to a discussion about bravery. We have many brave moments in our lives, which makes me wonder about your brave moments. We’re brave when we stay during difficult times, when we make a commitment that’s right for us, when we say “No” for the first time to a request, when we publicly tell our story, when we take risk without really knowing how we will land. ... Read More »

Tell Us: What Are You Surpised You Can Do?

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@ejourney’s recent accomplishment (Endurance) made me think about those seemingly never-ending staircases we face. We doubt we’ll ever climb to the top much less reach the first landing. How will we ever make it? We wonder how we’ll finish the task, face the audience, address the concern, communicate our needs, stand up for what’s right, resolve the issue, overcome the fear. And, yet, somehow we do. So, I’d love to know: What have you done ... Read More »

In One Word, How Would You Like to be Remembered?

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My last question to our panel of family caregivers during Wednesday’s Hot Topics talk show was: In one word, how would you like to be remembered? In essence: At the end of your life, what one word would you like others to use to describe you? I’d love to know yours. Please feel free to share yours in our comments section, below. Related Articles If There’s So Many of You, Why Is Caregiving Still So ... Read More »