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Tag Archives: back-up plans

Update of 01/08/14


Wednesday: Happy New Year’s! Dialysis today. Plus I had cares for my friend when Mom was at dialysis. We also had turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes today. Thursday: We stayed in today for a day to rest after the holidays. I did set Mom’s pills up for the week. Friday: Chiropractor, dialysis, pharmacy, and laundry today. When we got up regular temp was -11 and wind chill was -23. Predicted to be wind chills of ... Read More »

Back to…

It’s back to school time! If you are raising a child, they have either started school or will be returning to school very soon. With the start of the school year comes excitement, anxiety, new clothes, new school supplies, the outlay of a lot of money, and a busier schedule. If you’re also a family caregiver, you may be wondering how you will juggle everything. You might be an experienced family caregiver who has been ... Read More »

The Juggling Caregiver


Announcer’s Voice: Ladies and gentlemen! Today we bring you one of the most daring feats known to mankind.  We have with us a woman, measuring in at 5’ 1 1/2” who is going to try to dazzle you with her juggling, and not just any juggling! She is going to try to juggle two men! Yes, you heard that right! Previously, she has attempted juggling two men and a boy with less than impressive results, ... Read More »

Beginning the Transition to More Help


A colleague recently asked me to lunch. “I want to pick your brain about my parents,” she said. I knew some of her parents’ history–they lived in a rural area on the East Coast. My friend lived in Chicago; her siblings, on the West Coast. I also knew her parents had been resisting help. I knew we were going to talk about how to get her parents to accept more help. And, we did. Her ... Read More »

Long-Distance Caregiving: Tips for the Check-In Call


You live in New York City; your mom lives in Florida. You talk regularly. But, after each phone conversation, you wonder: How do I really know that all is okay? Sometimes, caring conversations can be about the big issues (money, moving, a change in care needs) and sometimes it’s about the little things, like how the day goes for your caree who lives a distance away. Caring conversations about the little things can help you ... Read More »

Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way


On Saturday, RoaringMouse joined me for Table Talk on Your Caregiving Journey. You can listen to our show via the player below. RoaringMouse shared her perspective on life after caregiving. Her husband, Greg, died July 1. She explained that she manages her life now much as she did during caregiving. Her philosophy, Lead, Follow or Get Out of The Way, means she keeps moving forward. During our discussion, we spoke about the difference between advocating ... Read More »

Storm Stories: Managing Sandy


Caregiving in good weather is challenging enough. Add in bad weather, like a hurricane or a blizzard, and you can feel like a disaster waits outside your door. Feel free to keep us posted on how you’re preparing for the hurricane and blizzard in our comments section below. Let us know how you’re preparing and how you plan to ride it all out. Resources Getting Help to Your Caree When Bad Weather Gets in the ... Read More »

When Work and Caregiving Call on the Same Line


On Saturday, Trish joined me for Table Talk on Your Caregiving Journey. Trish, who cares for her brother and works as a legal administrator, joins me monthly to talk about issues facing working family caregivers. You can listen to Saturday’s show via the player below. During our show, we talked about the importance of communication so that colleagues and managers understand that caregiving could call you away unexpectedly. It can be intimidating to share an ... Read More »

Hang on for the Ride!!!


Hi… I’m overwhelmed with what I have to get done and figured that this would make for a good “brain respite” break. Yes, in the middle of all that. “Garden” is a reminder to me not to get overwhelmed and step back and seek peace. Thus my “break” now. I miss all of you and participating on a regular basis. But due to Hubby’s health over the past few weeks and Twinkie’s need for attention, ... Read More »



Vulnerable - Feeling all alone and capable or susceptible of being exposed to a hurt, wound, sad event, etc. (My definition.) My day was really crazy yesterday. 1 a.m. was when I finally went to bed, after addressing my husband’s pain situation. Back up at 2:30 to give him medication again for pain as it had escalated yet again and he was screaming and banging his hand on the bed edge. At 3:30 a.m., our ... Read More »

How Do You Manage Caregiving and Your Career?


The New York Times published an article this afternoon with tips on how to manage work while you’re caregiving. (You can read the article here.) The tips mentioned in the article include: using the Family and Medical Leave Act in order to create plans, manage emergencies, transition your caree into another care setting; checking with your HR Department to learn about resources available to you which can help, including an Employee Assistance Program or Work/Life ... Read More »

Managing Life When Every Day Can Be Different


This morning, G-J, who cares for her husband, Steve, joined me for Table Talk on Your Caregiving Journey. You can listen to our show via the player at the bottom of the post. We intended to talk about G-J’s plan for her summer and to take a look back at the past year for her. As we began to speak about her plans for the summer, we moved into another discussion: Managing life when a ... Read More »

You’re the Coach


This morning on Your Caregiving Journey, Holly, who cares for her husband who has frontotemporal dementia, joined me for Table Talk. She helped to answer the questions: How much do I push my caree? How do I know how much he or she can handle? (You can listen to our show, via the player below.) Holly shared several suggestions, including eliminating a question when assigning tasks. Meaning, instead of asking her husband to help, she ... Read More »

Poll: Do You Have a Caregiving Back-Up Plan?


“Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” ~ Allen Saunders Certainly, caregiving changed your life plans. It also demands planning and scheduling. And, then, when bad weather or flu or another emergency gets in the way, it demands a Plan B (and sometimes a Plan C and D). In this week’s poll, sponsored by and, we ask: Do you have a caregiving back-up plan? After voting, please feel ... Read More »

How Do You Manage Bad Weather?


I’m in Chicago, which today is in the path of a bad weather system covering 2,100 miles. Our blizzard warning goes into effect today at 3 p.m. and will last 24 hours. In normal situations, bad weather becomes an inconvenience. Add in the life storm of caregiving and bad weather can be an incredible challenge. Perhaps you care for your spouse and your aging parent, who lives alone; how do you ensure both have what ... Read More »

Recovering from SSS and Facing Our Fears


This morning on Your Caregiving Journey, Anna Stookey joined us to talk about Self-Sufficiency Syndrome (SSS), “an inability and unwillingness to ask for help or delegate because of the belief that no one can do it as well as you can.” You can listen to our show via the player at the bottom of the post. We spoke about the reasons why we may suffer from SSS, including: 1. We become the source of knowledge ... Read More »

Budgeting for Care


On Friday, Sheri Samotin of LifeBridge Solutions, joined us on Your Caregiving Journey to discuss how to budget for care. You can listen to our show via the player at the bottom of this post. (Did you know Your Caregiving Journey is part of iTunes? You can download our free podcasts here.) Sheri shared great information, including: The difference between budgeting and planning; budgeting is about the “right now”; planning is about the thinking ahead. ... Read More »

Let It Snow…


Image by Oregon State University Archives via Flickr I think we’re in for it this weekend. When you’re not out shoveling, you find yourself inside staring at your four walls and your caree. Or, you may be staring at your phone, hoping your caree will be okay. We’ve got some articles to help you weather the storm: Getting Help to Your Caree When Bad Weather Gets in the Way When Housebound, Make In-House Activities Work ... Read More »

Ask Denise: Can We Convert the Garage for Him?


Dear Denise, My brother-in-law suffered a stroke. The doctor said he was bleeding into the brain. After extensive Intensive Care at a Stroke Center, he is now in Rehab. We have been told that he will be there for about 6 weeks…..he seems to be showing improvement already, but the doctor indicates he will need “Assisted Living” for the rest of his life. He is presently 77 years young. He is my husband’s only living sibling and ... Read More »

Ask Denise: We Can Help, If They Would Only Let Us


Dear Denise, My grandfather had two heart attacks after fives years of angina and a previous heart attack within that five year period. He is going to be having a double by-pass very soon. He and my grandmother are in their 80′s and live alone in a little two-story house. Two of my aunts live near my grandparents and my third aunt  lives in the next state. My father lives across the country near my sister. ... Read More »

Seven Lifesavers for Long-Distance Caregivers


Image via Wikipedia By Sheri Samotin (Editor’s Note: On a regular basis, we invite health care professionals and family caregivers to share insights as a guest blogger on As we launch our online support group for long-distance family caregivers, we asked Sheri Samotin, a family transition coach, to share her top tips to help long-distance family caregivers. You can listen to Shari and Denise discuss these tips on Your Caregiving Journey; the player follows ... Read More »

Tax Time Great Time To Update/Review Paperwork


It’s the time of year to be surrounded by paperwork. Since the pile of pile already takes up a chunk of your dining room table, why not review legal documents for you and your care recipient to ensure they are up-to-date. –Will: Experts recommend updating your will every three years. Consider: Are beneficiaries still living? Does the will reflect the correct distribution of all assets? –Durable powers of attorney for health care and finances: Have ... Read More »