Hope for living, loving, and caring with no regrets!

Things to Know About Support Groups

Episode 116

Rayna Neises, ACC, host, reflects on the topic of celebrating the season of caring for a senior adult from last week’s interview (115) with Jenn Chan. Rayna continues with that theme and looks at how this can help caregivers.

[1:47]  There is so much involved in making the milestone decision to become a family caregiver.
[3:00]  Four areas to think about:

    • [3:20]  Do this season the way that works best for you and your family . . . Give yourself permission to find what works for you.
    • [5:41]  Self-care . . . Be kind to your future self.
    • [7:43]  Grief . . . The feeling when things are not what we thought they would be.
    • [11:05]  Resources . . . Take on the label to open the door.
      • [11:21]  Coaching
      • [13:00]  Newsletter
      • [13:17]  www.aseasonofcaring.com
      • [13:52]  Caregiving.com Champion
      • [14:46]  No Regrets: Hope for your Caregiving Season Book Group

[15:43]  Continue to look for what you need to make the caring season the best that it can be.

Transcript

*Transcript is an actual recount of the live conversation

[00:00:00] Rayna Neises: “Every choice we make can be a celebration of the world we want.” that’s a quote by Frances Moore Lappe. You know, When I think about celebrating the milestone of caregivinghood, it just makes me excited. Hi, this is Rayna Neises your host, on A Season of Caring Podcast where there’s hope for living loving and caring with no regrets. And last week on episode 115, I interviewed Jenn Chan. And Jenn has a business called the Senior Shower Project, and she wants to create a society that learns to celebrate caregivinghood. As society that acknowledges the milestone of moving into a season of caring for a senior adults and they celebrate it with a party. Now, Jenn, I’m sure you could tell she’s a party [00:01:00] waiting to happen. Rayna, not so much. 

[00:01:03] But I love the concept. I love the idea of sitting around together with your family and friends, celebrating the choice that you made to make the world that you want for your loved one. When I think about the moments that led up to me, making the decision to become a full-on hands-on caregiver for my dad. I think that’s what it boils down to. It was a hundred percent choice. It wasn’t all my choice. It was my husband and I, and my sister and my aunt and all of those who came around and supported it. But it was such an important choice. 

[00:01:47] There was so much involved in that milestone decision. To get us to the place where we really could honor my dad’s wishes to be at home as long as possible. But it was such an important [00:02:00] milestone that when I think back, if I had had a party. Kind of like a baby shower. You. You know, like we talked about with Jenn. 

[00:02:07] And invited friends and just talked about the changes and the decisions that we’re making, what it would be like? What kind of advice would they give me? What kind of things would they tell me? Most of my friends haven’t faced these kinds of seasons with their parents yet. So I’m not sure what they would have told me. But it’s fun to think about. And because of that, I’ve thought about what would I tell somebody who is just at the very beginning? Whose just now making the decisions to honor that loved one by taking on the label, as Jenn said ,of caregiver. Of making that milestone decision to celebrate a choice that was going to create the world that they want it to be. I think that’s such a beautiful thing to think about. [00:03:00] 

[00:03:00] But as I think about that, I came up with four different things I would really encourage you to think about. And you know, if you’re listening to this podcast, you’ve probably been caregiving for awhile. And so maybe you’ve already thought of these things, but maybe some of them will also hit you in a way that will encourage you. We’ll offer you the hope that I always hope to offer to you. 

[00:03:20] The first one is, I want you to give yourself permission to do this season the way that works for you and your family. It started out saying that but I think it was really important to think about. There are a lot of different personalities. There are a lot of different factors that go into making a decision to be a caregiver. If you’re not hands-on, you’re still a caregiver, even if they’re receiving care from a facility or other family members. You have a role as a caregiver, we talked about that a lot, but you need to give your self permission to do this in a way that works for you. That means considering your family, [00:04:00] your responsibilities, your job. Other people in the family, how it impacts them. 

[00:04:06] It’s a difficult thing to find a way that works for everyone. But I think really understanding that you can make it work the way that works for you is so important. Considering all the options, not just immediately thinking I have to live with them or they have to live somewhere else. Sometimes there is something in between. 

[00:04:33] So understanding that maybe they can stay in their home if they have some additional support. If you bring that caregiver in to just drive. We did that for a couple of years for my dad. We wanted him to continue his physical activity. So we hired someone. Dad hired a lawn guy a long time ago because he wanted to spend more time at the ball field, but maybe that’s something you need to do to take the pressure off of you getting over there to take care of the lawn [00:05:00] or of the concern of having your loved one, do it when they shouldn’t be out in the heat or they shouldn’t be pushing themselves that hard anymore. But give yourself permission to find something that works. 

[00:05:14] Explore all of your options. Is there a day stay program close by? Is there an opportunity for your loved one to go somewhere during the day for lunches so that they can get out and have the socialization that’s so important and have some good nutrition that’s not dependent on you. 

[00:05:33] Give yourself permission to find the things that will work for you and your family. 

[00:05:41] Number two. Self-care. Yes, I’m talking about it again this week. Jenn had a great suggestion of spending time outside going on hikes. And really getting away from the stress of caregiving. I say, find the self-care [00:06:00] solution that works for you. It’s going to be more than one thing. Self-care is a daily habit. It is getting up and getting dressed and approaching your day with a purpose. It is going to bed on time so you can get plenty of rest. It is eating healthy and taking the time to take care of your diet.

[00:06:27] Many of these things slip away when we find ourselves pulled in a million different directions. And I think sometimes we make self-care, seem like it’s an event. One big thing that needs to happen. When actually it’s routines, it’s rhythms, it’s processes in our lives that lend themselves to helping us have a good day tomorrow, 

[00:06:50] Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory and their book Overwhelm, which I highly recommend you read. Talks about being [00:07:00] kind to your future-self. To me. That’s what self-care is? How can I be kind to me tomorrow? That might mean knowing that I need to go to bed a little earlier, cause I have an early appointment. 

[00:07:13] That might mean picking out my clothes before I go to bed or food prep for dinner tonight, before I rush out the door work. Whatever it is thinking about you tomorrow and what you need to have a good day. And be kind to yourself in the future, by doing those things. Maybe that will help you reframe self-care a little bit. How can you be kind to your future self? If you are taking care of you, you are being kind to your future self. 

[00:07:43] Number three. Grief. If you are just in the process of joining in the caregiving group. Or if you’ve been walking this road for quite a long while grief is a companion with you on this journey. Grief is [00:08:00] just the feeling that we experience when things aren’t like, we thought they would be. The disappointment, the frustration, the discouragement. There’s so many emotions that come up when we are caregiving. And I think grief is a big one that we often don’t identify. 

[00:08:23] One of the biggest griefs is letting go of what we always thought it would be. I was only 16 when my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Most of my life, I’ve met milestones. With sadness that I don’t have a mom here. To talk to about them. To call and share the exciting news. Or to have that shoulder to cry on. The grief of Mother’s Day, which is here this weekend is one that visits every year. I miss my mom. I wish [00:09:00] I had my mom here. I wish we had that relationship that allowed me to talk to her and gain her wisdom and walk through life with her longer than the 28 years that I had. 

[00:09:14] So grief has many things, but grief is a part of your caregiving season and you might even be experiencing some grief for how things have changed since you’ve taken on the role of a caregiver. Some of the things that you might’ve had to let go of. or , some of the things that you find yourself missing. 

[00:09:35] It’s okay to grieve those things. It’s okay to understand that it is grief that you’re experiencing. It doesn’t have to be anger. It doesn’t have to turn into resentment. But you do have to acknowledge that things have changed. And if you’re not happy about it explore what you could do differently. Explore how you can hand off some of the responsibilities. So you aren’t [00:10:00] missing so many things that you feel are important. 

[00:10:03] But really making that choice again, to understand that this is a season. And right now it’s not an option. It will be an option again. Once your loved one is gone, or once the situation changes and you have to make some changes or maybe it is right now that time, when you have to make a new decision. When you have to move in a different direction. In order to let go of some of the hands-on responsibilities and let someone else take care of them. 

[00:10:33] I would say it’s really important to be aware of how much grief is a part of your caregiving season. And to give the time to processing the grief that you need to. And if that means you need help doing that. Then definitely reach out and find help for it. But grief is your companion on this journey. Don’t ignore it or pretend like it’s [00:11:00] not there. It won’t be helpful in the long run. 

[00:11:05] The fourth and final thing I want to leave with you today is resources. There are so many resources, and again, Jenn mentioned that by taking on the caregiver label you will find so many resources. 

[00:11:21] One resource that a lot of people might not be aware of or understand is coaching. I am a Certified Coach with the International coach federation. And what that means is I have been trained to be able to come alongside you and help you explore in your heart of hearts what you need to take care of your own wellbeing. That’s our goal, is for you to be seen and cared for and your parents or your loved one to be seen and cared for. Neither of you to be overlooked or neglected. [00:12:00] With a coach, you have this space to able to talk to someone who has no stake in the game. But rather has a heart to listen and to help you discover the best answers for you. So, if you would like to learn more about coaching with me, I would love to be able to talk with you and you can hop on my website and book a time for us to talk about whether or not coaching would be a good fit for you. 

[00:12:27] The opportunity to work with a coach, not only allows you the chance to have space, to think, and to clear your head. But it also allows you to know that there’s someone who’s been before you. And to plug you into resources you might not know about, or just to help you problem solve ideas. It’s an amazing relationship and it’s such an honor for me to be able to do that with clients. So I would love to offer that opportunity to check in and see if maybe that would be something that would work well for you. [00:13:00] 

[00:13:00] I sent out a newsletter twice a month. If you’re not on that list. Join me. Again, a season of caring.com. You can sign up for that free resource. I don’t try to sell in my newsletters. I really want to equip you. And then I share with you other opportunities that we can work together in different ways. 

[00:13:17] At www.aseasonofcaring.com. I have many, many resources there for you, and I want to be a person who offers them to you, but there are so so many people out there that have amazing stuff, and there’s no point in me recreating it all for you. So let’s work together. Let’s find the resources. Go back through the last hundred podcasts and find the resources that you didn’t listen to and pick those up and learn more about some of my guests and what they’re doing to serve and love and care for caregivers. 

[00:13:52] You can also Google for what your struggle is, and you will find resources there. Speaking of Googling for resources. I [00:14:00] have to share with you one new opportunity that I’m excited to have taken advantage of. And that is becoming a caregiving.com champion. There are over 100 champions at this point, and there’ll be growing throughout the year. Our job is to connect to local resources with caregivers and make it simple for you to find the support that you need. As a Caregiving.com Champion, I’m excited to be able to bring local resources to Caregiving.com. So if you’re a service provider and you would like to be listed, contact me to learn more about that, but I know you’re going to find some great resources there. We’re still growing so the lists aren’t very big yet. This is a brand new program, but I’m very excited about bringing this to you. 

[00:14:46] The next resource I’d like to talk to you about is the opportunity for me to support you as you read through my book No Regrets Hope for your Caregiving Season. I would like to offer you the opportunity to walk through No [00:15:00] Regrets. I hope for your caregiving season with me in the month of June and early July and have an opportunity to build some resources with me. 

[00:15:09] Getting a group. Read the book, join the conversation and find some answers to things you didn’t even know you didn’t know. You can find out more at www.Aseasonofcaring.com. I would love to have you be a part of that. It’s free. All you need to do is purchase No Regrets and sign up and we will walk through together having discussions actually have some live Q and a time on zoom a couple of times, as well as some opportunities through Facebook. So I would love for you to be a part of that. It’s one more resource that’s available to you as a family caregiver. 

[00:15:43] If you are listening to this podcast, you know, that there are opportunities for others to support you. And I’m glad that you’re here. And I hope that you will continue to look for what you need in order to make this season the best that it can be. I hope that you found [00:16:00] some interesting nuggets today, as I’ve shared with you the thoughts that I had around celebrating your milestone of caregiving.

[00:16:08] As well as some of the things that I felt like were most important I would share with someone who’s in the middle or just beginning that season. Thanks again for joining me today. And just to reminder, A Season of Caring Podcast has been created for the encouragement of family caregivers. If you have financial, legal or medical questions, be sure to consult your local professionals and take heart in your season of caring. 

*Transcript is an actual recount of the live conversation

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Meet Your Host

Rayna Neises, ACC

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.

Rayna Neises

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