Hope for living, loving and caring with no regrets!

Benefits of Day Stay Programs

Episode 48

Rayna Neises, ACC, host, introduces her new cohost, Karen Weave, and they reflect on 2020 and what is to come for 2021.

Welcome, Karen! She is currently in a caregiving season helping both her dad and her husband.  Listen to Karen’s story in last week’s reposted interview which was the #1 downloaded installment in 2020 for the A Season of Caring Podcast.

  • 2020 helped us to evaluate what is important and to embrace what matters.
  • “No Regrets: Hope for Your Caregiving Season” will be released in June and is available now for preorder.  Stay tuned as Rayna will be sharing specials for listeners.
  • There is no way to do what you need to do to support a loved one if you are suffering.
  • You do not know what self-care looks like or means if you do not ask the question and really understand what you need and how not having it impacts you.
  • Learn how to embrace all seasons of life by finding the joy in the suffering and recognizing the moments of blessing.
  • Hope is so important in the middle of the season.  Remember there is hope, you will make it, and you can do it without regrets.
  • Opportunity to share your story in 2021.
  • COVID is not going to be over soon, so embrace doing things differently.
  • Legacy building is important, so pick up the camera and capture the treasured moments in pictures and videos.
  • The podcast hit 1,000 downloads!  Thank you to the listeners.  Take a moment to write a review so others will be able to find it too.

Transcript

*Transcript is an actual recount of the live conversation
Rayna Neises: 

Welcome to A Season of Caring Podcast, where there’s hope for living, loving, and caring with no regrets. This is Rayna Neises, your host, and welcome to 2021. We’ve been looking forward to 2021 and getting here for a while now because 2020 has been such an unusual year, but I am also excited to be able to introduce you to my new cohost. As I announced back in November, miss Aly has had a precious little baby girl and she’s loving being a mom and decided to step aside. Last week, you had an opportunity to hear a little more about Karen story as she was the number one listened to podcast in 2020. And so I’d like to introduce you to our new co-host Karen Weaver.

Karen Weaver: 

Hello, Rayna, thank you so much for inviting me and thank you for the great opportunity just to go on this journey with you in 2021, I feel excited. I feel encouraged always by your story. And I’m looking forward to what we will be able to do together.

Rayna Neises: 

I am so excited too, Karen, for those of you that might not have caught last week’s episode, you need to go back and listen. Karen is currently in the middle of a caregiving season and her season actually has been quite a long one in a couple of different relationships, she’s been a caregiver. So she’s been caring for her husband who’s suffered from a stroke as well as having her dad in her home that she cares for, who is on the journey of Alzheimer’s. Karen, share a little bit about what your caregiving looks like right now.

Karen Weaver: 

Oh right now, you know, I was just thinking about that the other day. Just getting through 2020 itself has been amazing. But I was just thinking back on, what have I learned? What has it been like? And it’s been different of course, because we’re in this COVID environment. And I was just laughing at myself at some of the things that I’ve tried to do to help me that probably haven’t helped me that much. For instance, I was thinking about the fact that now I have my husband and my father. I take him to the doctors on the same day. And I thought that’s going to be just such a great thing to do, to take them to the doctor on the same day. However, I’m not, when you can only get so many people in the office at the same time, you have to leave somebody in the car. I mean, it was probably borderline hilarious watching the three of us trying to navigate a doctor’s appointment. Of course, that was the day I also left my ID at home. So I actually could not officially get into the building, but certainly I’ve had some lessons learned. I actually Canceled my caregiving services in March as a result of COVID. But I realize by October that I was not going to survive if I did not go back and get some support in a hurry. So I’m just rethinking some things. And I think sometimes you just have to do trial and error. I mean, sometimes people can tell you things, but it’s nothing like trying yourself. So, I’m in the process of now bringing somebody on board, who’s supporting us like two days a week and hopefully she’ll be able to support us some more starting in January. So exciting times, I think COVID has been. Devastating in many ways, but I also can see the hand of God and can see how many miracles have come out of this situation and how much good people have been able to do that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to do.

Rayna Neises: 

Such a wonderful perspective and listeners, you can tell already that Karen brings that in the trenches experience right now. And I have that experience in caring for my dad for that four and a half years. But I’m on the outside of that after his passing in June of 18. And so I really am excited to be able to add Karen’s perspective to the podcast, to just share with you. What the day in and day out of caring for a loved one, it looks like, and your example was a perfect example of that. We oftentimes think we have great ideas and find ourselves going what was I thinking?

Karen Weaver: 

Absolutely.

Rayna Neises: 

And I learned that you can laugh about it because all of you, you know, if you’re not laughing, you’re crying in the middle of those situations because they really are taxing. So I love that. And I think that’s amazing. I think also looking at 2020 has been an amazing year, like you said, in so many ways of just growth and really having to evaluate what’s important. We’ve had to really step into an embrace this matters, and this is not quite such a big deal. So I think for me, I’ve just been blessed. I started the podcast right before the pandemic started. And so I’ve just been blessed to meet so many amazing caregivers and be able to share their stories. There are so many of us out there that are caring for our loved ones. And this has been such a challenging time to do that. Like you said, those decisions that you have to make is it worth the risk of bringing someone in at the same time as realizing my sanity is worth a lot as well. So I need to find people I trust and I need to build that team. It might look different today than it did a year ago, but it still needs to be a team of people doing it. I can’t do this alone. So I love that, that you’re sharing that and that we’re able to share that encouragement with others.

Karen Weaver: 

Yeah, absolutely. And right. I just, well, to tell you that you have been an inspiration to me on my journey and it was just a blessing that our paths have crossed. And I certainly appreciate you. And what you bring to the caregiving journey. Don’t you have a book coming out, soon.

Rayna Neises: 

I do that is such an exciting thing about 2021. I just cannot wait for our story to get out there. No Regrets: Hope for Your Caregiving Season will be released in June of 2021. And so we do have pre-orders available and I have some special pre-orders coming that I will definitely share with our listeners, but. I just can’t wait to share our story. My dad, my sister, my aunt, just our journey together of those caregiving season and being able to really step out of it and look back and say, I don’t have regards and really feeling the desire to challenge others that are in the middle of the season to consider that thought. Because if it’s not something you think about in the middle of your season, you’re probably not going to accomplish it. You’re probably going to walk away with regrets. And that’s a hard thing to do to live with regret. So, I am really excited about the opportunity to share. Our story, just tips and ideas, stories about my dad and what we were able to do in his care, as well as ideas of how you can care for yourself and the how I cared for myself through that season as well.

Karen Weaver: 

Yeah, and I think that’s such a major piece of the journey is learning how to care for yourself while you’re caring for other people. And sometimes it’s, it’s easy to neglect your self care, but there’s no way that you can actually do what you need to do to support a loved one. If you are suffering. And that may be in many ways. There is, there is a cost if we don’t do the self care, that’s required.

Rayna Neises: 

I know listeners. You’re probably tired. I, in my season, I got tired of hearing about self care. Have to be honest with you. It was just like, everybody kept talking about it. I’m like, I don’t even know what that looks like. I don’t know what that means, but that was part of the struggle for me is how do I negotiate this? What does it mean for me? What. What questions do I need to ask myself? How do I need to really be honest with myself to know what I need? Because self care is not just doing what everybody tells you to do, but it’s really understanding what you need and how not having that impacts you. You know, something as simple as drinking enough water. When you’re not drinking enough water, you don’t realize how important it is, but when you really start measuring your water and gulping it down all day long, if you have to in between potty stops, cause that’s what happens when you first start drinking enough, then when you have a day that you don’t drink enough, you feel it.

Karen Weaver: 

Yes.

Rayna Neises: 

I think all of those important self-care things are those things. When I’m taking care of myself, I feel this way when I neglect it I feel it. And I realize, Oh no, I really do need that. Sleep is another one. So many people don’t sleep just in general, much less when you’re caring for somebody and you’re worrying and those kinds of things. But when you have a good night’s sleep and you wake up rested,

Karen Weaver: 

Right

Rayna Neises: 

that way every day. And if you haven’t, if you’re not doing it, figure out a way to do it.

Karen Weaver: 

Yeah, absolutely. That’s so true. Yes. Taking a nap. And the other thing that comes to mind when you say that, Rayna. Is as I have this thing, I think about with myself, there’s some days. I want to do stuff. I have an agenda, have a plan, whatever, and my body says, you can do whatever you want to do today, Karen, but I’m not going to with you. And that’s what I know that I have missed the mark in my self care.

Rayna Neises: 

Sure.

Karen Weaver: 

Yeah. Yeah. It’s definitely true. I’m fully excited about this year and I, I hope that people will take the time to just make this a part of their daily routine. And listening to the words of wisdom that come from your many, many folks who come with wisdom about what it means to have a life and care, give for somebody with no regrets, because I think that’s huge part of life. And as Christians, we know that this is all a part of the cycle of life. So it’s, it’s really important that we learn how to embrace all seasons of life. I don’t think God meant for us to suffer in some parts. And some parts be good. I think that net for the whole journey to be wonderful, but we have to learn how to change ourselves.

Rayna Neises: 

Feeling both the suffering, the struggle and the joy is one of the keys that in a support group that I lead, we talk about a lot. We can’t really only have one of those things. We find ourselves wallering in the suffering. We find depression. We, everything spirals out of control life is, is just very difficult and that’s a dangerous place to stay. But we want so much just to stay in the joy. We just want to stay in the great times and the celebrations and only there. So we’re like all or nothing. We want all of one and none of the other, when I believe that we are actually supposed to be experiencing it at the same time and learning to find the joy in the suffering, recognize the moments of blessing. Right there. That one little moment. No, my dad might not know my name, but he just smiled at me and it was in his eyes. There’s love there. You can find those things and really learning to live in both brings immense joy and growth more than we ever imagined.

Karen Weaver: 

Absolutely. And it really helps you to appreciate more the joy, the good times when you can see there’s both in, and that’s all a part of life, the balance, the cycle of life. So I think it’s really important to learn how to embrace all the seasons that God allows us to go through and to be able to offer back to others lessons from our journey and be able to take the wisdom of others, so we can incorporate to help us as well. So I think it’s a give and take, and I think that calls us to bear the burdens of one another as the scripture so tells us. For sure.

Rayna Neises: 

And that’s the, that’s what this podcast is all about is coming alongside and saying, I’m farther down the path. Let me tell you what worked for me, what didn’t work for me, and then maybe it will work for you and just be able to offer that encouragement that hope. Hope is so important in the middle of the season, there is hope and you will make it and you can do it with no regrets. And that’s what we’re here to say in the middle of the journey. And on the other side, that there’s hope. You can’t do it alone but that’s what we’re here to tell you about how to share it with you and allow and ask other guests to come and share their wisdom and their journeys. And it’s a blessing to be able to do that. And I’m really excited to continue in 2021, doing that. And I wanted to make an offer to our listeners, you as a person who is caring for someone you love, if you have a story you’d like to share all you need to do is shoot me an email rayna@aseasonofcaring.com. And I would love to talk with you about your story and see if you would be a good fit to be a guest on our podcast. So if you’re interested in that, we’re always looking for new people to share their journey and what they’re learning with you, all of our listeners.

Karen Weaver: 

Absolutely. Yes. And I encourage you to do that because there is nothing like telling your own story. Everybody’s story is. Just their own personal story. And there’s a lesson in it for other people, as well as the lessons you’ve learned yourself. So like Rayna said, it’s all about hope and we know that hope does not disappoint us for sure.

Rayna Neises: 

Very true. So what are some hopes you have for next year, Karen?

Karen Weaver: 

Well, I hope that I will get my caregiver situation, a little more structured and a little more permanent. I was thinking that COVID was going to come to an end, but I’ve come to realize that COVID is just a new part of life. And I need to learn how to work within the new part of life that we are in, the new environment that we’re in. So I hope for that. I’m really. Interested in doing some family. Type activities in a different way. Since we’ve been limited to having this personal interaction, it’s almost like when COVID came up, I stopped many things. And I thought, well, I’ll wait until COVID is over. But now I realized that COVID is not going to be over. So I have to embrace doing things differently and bring my family together on zoom and. You know, things of that. So, so this year, I, I I’ve challenged all my kids. They’re all getting journals for Christmas and I’ve challenged all of them to start dreaming. And, and I really want to fully take some time this year to do more legacy building and things that we can do while my dad is still with us.

Rayna Neises: 

That’s so important. I don’t think any of us realize in the moment how important those little treasures are going to be. And I definitely took the time to enjoy them and did some documenting, but I have noticed I didn’t do a lot of picture taking. And I wish as I look back, I wish I had picked up the camera and done a little bit more of that. The family events, like you said, they just looked different. And so they weren’t a big Christmas. So everybody didn’t get the cameras out and take pictures like that. So, you know, we still did that on a smaller level because he was comfortable on a small level, but we didn’t do it to the big side. So we didn’t think of getting that camera out. So caregivers, I want you to stop and think about what things do you want to have to look back on to remind you. And video is a wonderful, wonderful gift and generations before us, it just didn’t look the same, but I’ll remember one day, my sister and I were taking my dad to the day’s stay after a doctor’s appointment, I believe, and my dad loved Nat King Cole. His favorite song was LOVE. He and my sister had those on her on her playlist. And she would play just the Nat King Cole songs for him when he was in the car. He started singing along and my sister and I joined in and I picked up my phone and videotaped us all, not beautifully singing, but we all three were singing Nat King Cole LOVE. And I ran into that the other day and just honestly wept and just seeing that amazing picture of dad enjoying it and smiling and just singing along. And my sister and I, it was just, it was amazing. I’m so thankful I have that video, but I’m sure there are things like that. Are there things that you document Karen, that you enjoy?

Karen Weaver: 

Yes. Well my dad still plays the piano. Can you believe that? He plays the piano at 91 with Alzheimer’s. And I try to document every time he’s, he’s playing the piano. I, I capture those moments because I, I think they’re treasured moments now, but there’ll be even more treasured later on as life goes on, for sure. So, and then always on his birthday, I used to take his picture and, ask him questions,about his birthday so he usually gets a kick out of it. Like, why don’t you leave me alone? Why are you bothering me? But yeah, but we’ve had some fun. And my husband is really a great support of my dad considering my husband has a lot of physical challenges himself, but when the two of them get together, it is a video show all by itself.

Rayna Neises: 

Okay. Oh, that’s good. And I hope you catch some of that

Karen Weaver: 

Yes, that is probably what I should be working on. Catching does hit. It is some of those moments are just priceless. Listening to my husband, tried to explain something that I’ve told my husband. He’s not going to remember. It’s okay. Let it go. That they have the conversation. Yeah, but he has the conversation anyway. You don’t remember what the Redskins did. Dad, you remember? Don’t you move that player. So.

Rayna Neises: 

Well, and sometimes they do, which is really funny, isn’t it? Sometimes they’ll get one of those thoughts out and it’ll come through. So.

Karen Weaver: 

Absolutely. Yeah.

Rayna Neises: 

So another celebration I wanted to mention it in 2020, it was, we hit a thousand downloads with a season of caring podcast. And that was amazing. I never dreamed. So I’m so excited that we have listeners that are joining us and finding what we’re saying really helpful and beneficial, but we would really appreciate if you would hop on and leave a review wherever you listen to our podcast. If you leave a review that just helps others find us. Letting people know what we talk about. What’s helpful to you gives us feedback, but it also will help other people be able to find the podcast. So we would love it if you would do that. Well, as we close our time together today, I’m just excited to have Karen be my co-host in 2021. And as we bring you some new guests we have authors, caregivers all kinds of different people coming from different perspectives of life. We’re excited to be able to share their stories with you. And again, we invite you to share your story.

Karen Weaver: 

Sounds like a plan. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in 2021 with your season of caring.

Rayna Neises: 

Well, remember this podcast is created for the encouragement of family caregivers. If you have medical, financial, or legal questions, be sure to consult your local professionals and take heart in your season of caring.

Your turn, share your thoughts . . .

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Meet Your Hosts

Rayna Neises and Karen Weaver

Rayna Neises, ACC

Your Host

An ICF Certified Coach, Author of No Regrets:  Hope for Your Caregiving Season, Podcaster, & Speaker, offering encouragement, support, and resources to those who are in a Season of Caring for Aging Parents.

Her passion is for those caring and their parents, that they might be seen, not forgotten & cared for, not neglected.

Karen Weaver, PCC

Your Co-Host

An ICF Certified Coach, Author, and Caregiver Advocate offers a safe space for self-discovery and self-reflection through career and life coaching.

Her passion is to support and empower those navigating change from a holistic perspective.  

Visit Karen's Website

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4 Things you need to know as you begin your season of caring

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