Giving You the Support You Deserve


Giving You the Support You Deserve

Many of our CCCs joined a special reception the evening before our Third Annual National Caregiving Conference began.

Shortly after launching in the fall of 1996, a visitor to the website asked me to create a “buddy system” — a way for the visitors to connect and share with each. Jenny, who cared for her grandmother, wanted to spend time with others who got it.

I jumped at the chance to create such connections.

We started simply--by sharing an email message with each other and inviting visitors to the website to join us. I would add the email addresses in our email message and we hit “reply all” to keep in touch.

I soon realized we needed a more efficient system so we moved to a listserv, which automatically collected email addresses and distributed email messages to our group. We continued to use listservs until we moved to a chat about six years ago.

For 22 years, I've connected with family caregivers and former family on a daily basis. (This year's National Caregiving Conference took up a great deal of my time so my daily commitment fell off this fall.) In 2004, I decided to pursue training to become a professional life coach in order to ensure I could provide the best support possible. During the coach training, I received lots of tools and strategies to use with clients. I found, though, that my interactions with family caregivers were most successful when I focused on a three-prong process: Listening, questioning, validating.

I felt empowered when I used the process, that I truly made a difference. Family caregivers felt heard and valued when I applied the process rather than feeling minimized or in need of "fixing." During a caregiving experience, we truly need to be understood and accepted.

When I launched the Certified Caregiving Consultant training program in 2016, I created a training program that focuses on a framework I had developed in 1997 (the six stages of caregiving) and a process to which I had committed (listening, questioning and validating).

This morning, Jeanette Palmer, one of our current CCC students and owner of Right at Home, West Dundee, Ill., sent me a video, below, which does a lovely job of giving an insight into our process. Although we do improve a bit on what's discussed in the video, you'll see why what we do works. Our process, which sounds so simple, takes patience and focus to master. Our CCCs have embraced the importance of our process and practice the process daily. I practice daily, too, as it often does not come naturally. I so believe in how well the process works that students in our training program must demonstrate they can apply the process in order to pass their final exam.

If you need support during your caregiving experience, consider joining our caregiving chats. Beginning December 3, I'm making a commitment to attend our 2 p.m. ET chat so would love for you to join me.

If you would like to experience our process, join our Caregiving Story Project and tell us one of your caregiving stories.

If you would like one-on-one support, hire one of our CCCs.

If you want to support a family caregiver though your own business, consider enrolling in our CCC program or SAGE Giving business development program. So many students tell me that the program changed their world both personally and professionally. The process makes a difference in our relationships and in our work.

We are grateful that we can make a difference in your experience.

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