Socializing as a caregiver
Caregiving can be the most difficult task on earth. As a caregiver, you spend most of your time helping a loved one. Or should I say, all of your time? With so much to complete in one week, you barely have time for yourself. Before you can take good care of others, make sure you take care of yourself first. Your health, happiness, and social life is important. Caregiving can take a toll on ones social life and many relationships fail because of it. Oftentimes caregiving takes away from quality time spent with friends, relatives, and partners. This results in frustration, depression, and isolation. All of these feelings can be avoided if you can get some help with your caregiving. It wouldn’t hurt to ask someone for a hand. I know, it is easier said than done but this way, you will have some time to take care of yourself and interact with others.
Socializing as a caregiver is important to maintain. Not only are you a caregiver but you’re also a friend, partner, and family member to those who love you. If things become too busy and you cannot make it to a social event, a phone call or an email is also great. Even dinner at your place with whoever you want to spend time with would be a good idea. You can also write down a couple of places that you would like to visit and when you get a chance, take the time to explore these places. Life is short and you should never constrain yourself.
Taking care of people you don’t get along with
No matter what you do, no matter what you try, you just tend to always bump heads with them. Yes, I’m referring to family members. A bigger challenge unfolds when you have to take care of a family member you don’t get along with. The duty of a caregiver already has its stresses and burdens and helping someone who is hard to deal with will make matters worse. Honestly, caregiving can also be much easier if you have a great relationship with your family member. It is hectic to spend most of your time with someone you don’t get along with. Remember that this is someone who needs your support and help, so try to figure out why you don’t get along with your relative. Also, come up with ways that would improve the relationship.
Relatives who suffer from health issues, mental illnesses and physical disabilities may take their frustration out on you as the caregiver. Even though that is unfair, it happens to people all the time. It is okay to ignore certain things especially if it will affect your mental well-being. Things to ignore is verbal abuse and aggressive demands. You can push name- calling, cursing, and being told what to do underneath the rug. On the other side of the coin, you shouldn’t ignore physical assault. Letting your relative know that physical abuse is not acceptable is necessary. Who would want to take care for someone who physically attacks them? It will make it difficult for you to accomplish your day to day goal as a caregiver.
As I have stated earlier, caregiving has its burdens and obstacles and helping a difficult relative makes matters worse. Make sure to spend some quality time by yourself. This can help you get your thoughts together and prepare you for the next days ahead. It also best to get advice from family members and friends on how to deal with this challenge.
Smoothies are the perfect drinks to make as the weather gets warm. They are quick and easy to prepare and so healthy! Oh, yeah, I can’t forget to mention how delicious smoothies are. Keep that blender handy!
This smoothie is made in no time. Be sure to have coconut milk, a banana, a mango, and strawberries.
Image credit: Rodale’s Organic Life
This delicious kiwi smoothie is made with honeydew, an apple sugar, and lemon juice. Be free to add ice cubes.
Image credit: Fitness Magazine
Peanut butter and bananas taste fantastic together. All you need is skim milk or soy milk, and a banana.
Image credit: Fitness Magazine
This is something different! You need soy milk, canned apricot, orange juice, nuts, and toasted wheat.
Image credit: Fitness Magazine
This all around smoothie is so healthy! It is made with milk, yogurt, honey, banana, protein supplement, strawberries, and flax seeds.
Image credit: All Recipe
Are you thinking about becoming a professional caregiver? If so, I will provide you with the steps I took to become a professional caregiver. Since my experience does not reflect what all home care agencies expect, I will also discuss steps outside of my experience.
Here is what I had to do
- Signed up for training (the training was free)
- Attended an orientation
- During the orientation I was given a competency exam.
- Went to a short interview that was no longer than 30 mins. The interviewer asked me for my resume and why I wanted to work for the agency.
- Within two weeks, I attended the first day of training. The training was a month long.
- Throughout the training, I was quizzed at the end of each week based on the lesson plans. The lessons were based on health, nutrient, diseases, mental illnesses, disabilities, medications, medical terminology, and safety.
- In the middle of the training I was told to get a physical exam and a random drug test.
- I also had to perform hands on exams such as hand- washing, bed baths, bed- making, dressing, transferring patients, and taking vital signs.
- At last, in order to earn my home health aide and personal care certificate I had to accomplish one more step. I participated in a adult daycare facility, where I was assigned to one patient from the hours of 9-5pm. I interacted with the patient, engaged in activities, and assisted my patient in the restroom. It was also my job to feed my patient breakfast and lunch.
There you have it, as the training came to an end I was so excited to start. I was sent to a client’s home within one week after the training.
Now I will be providing you with a list of steps that other home care agencies might require.
- Typically a high school diploma or experience is not required but depending on the state you live in requirements varies. Be sure to get information on that before applying for a professional caregiver position.
- You can apply online and once you receive a phone call, you’ll bet set for an interview
- Training is mandatory ( some agencies may charge)
- Training may be similar to my experience
- Some states require at least 75 hours for training
- A certificate is given at the end of the training
Anxiety disorder is a common mental illness that affects many people worldwide. Seeking help is important in order to encourage and maintain a healthy life. You can do this by building important relationships, visiting a psychologist, and being gentle with yourself. One of the best techniques of dealing with anxiety is to relax and breathe, reminding yourself that everything is going to be okay. Believe it or not, well known people suffer from anxiety, such as the singer Adele and the actress Whoopi Goldberg. Remember that you or anyone you may know who suffers from anxiety can get through this.
Hey guys, since the weather is getting warm, I have created a list of delicious avocado recipes. You can prepare these inexpensive and healthy meals in no time!
This yummy meal will only take a couple of minutes. It is made with lemon touched greens, smoked salmon, and slices of avocado. This is similar to a salad. You would love!
Image credit: Cookin’ Canuck
If you’re interested in trying new things, be ready to prepare delicious corn cakes. This meal includes bacon, cornmeal, pepper, olive oil, and eggs of course.
Image credit: How Sweets Eat
Burritos are hard to resist because they are so delicious. Now, imagine adding in some avocado. Yummy yum! Make sure to have tortillas, eggs, beans, cheese, lime, and seasons of your choice.
Image credit: Gimme Some Oven
Are you looking forward to preparing a simple and tasty lunch? Well, this avocado sandwich is what you need. It literally takes about 10 minutes to make. You should have lemon, mayonnaise, black pepper, and salmon.
Image credit: Eating Well
This is another quick dish that only takes 10 minutes to prepare. You can choose seafood, tuna, or chicken salad to stuff the avocados with. It’s all up to you, enjoy!
Image credit: Eating Well
If you are a chili person, then you should definitely consider making this dish. All you need is five ingredients, which is chicken broth, chicken, beans, salsa, seasoning. Preparing this meal takes no longer than 15 minutes.
Image credit: Gimme Some Oven
We all know that dinner takes a little longer to prepare. This delicious meal takes 20 minutes to make. Be sure to have romaine lettuce, corn, beans, seasons, olive oil, lime juice, and of course avocado.
Image credit: Health
This well flavored chicken salad is made with boneless chicken breast, olive oil, and lime juice. Mango and avocado makes the meal even more scrumptious.
Image Credit: Health
If you like seafood, you would love this dish. You should also consider the fact that tacos are so simple to make. Be sure to have tortillas, shrimp, lime juice, black beans, season, and avocado.
Image credit: Health
Mother’s day is arriving and I always do something special for my mom. Although, I still plan to do something for her, I would like to take this time to appreciate other incredible women in my life. Below are six amazing gifts that I wish to give to these women.
1. A beautiful mug
Every week, I visit the renal dialysis center with my client. In this small unit, people are coming in and out helping and visiting their family members. There is this one lady named Ms. Rose, she is the sweetest lady on earth. Although, she spends an enormous amount of time caring for her husband, she still cares for others in the center. For instance, she is always eager to help people who are in wheelchairs with their coats. Ms. Rose is also very attentive, she listens to me whenever I talk about school. During our conversations, she tends to be so engaging. On top of all this, she is very encouraging. I adore her and I know she loves coffee, so, I want to give her this lovely mug for Mother’s Day.
2. Victoria Secret treat
In my old neighborhood, Ms. Davis lived on the fifth floor of my apartment building. She took great care of her mother, who happens to be bed bound. Ms. Davis somehow did not let her burdens get the best of her. She always kept a smile on her face and greeted my family and I. Even though, I moved, we still keep in contact. She sends kind words to me every now and then. Due to her kindness, I would love to give her this body lotion, body mist, and a wash set that comes from Victoria Secret. This gift also includes a purse. She would be more than happy to receive this as a Mother’s Day gift.
3. Sparkling pendant necklace
Whenever I take the time do laundry, I head over to the local laundromat. Washing a lot of clothes is such a draining task but the woman who works there makes my duty enjoyable. Her name is Lucy, Lucy is so lovable. She always helps me with no problem and her jokes are super funny! Lucy is a mother of four children and she explains to me how difficult it is to raise them. Since she is such a wonderful woman, it would be my pleasure to give her a rose gold butterfly heart pendant necklace.
4. Mom picture frame
I once visited my aunt Wanda, who lives in New Jersey. She is by far the nicest woman, this picture frame is one of the gifts that I would give to her. Wanda is a caregiver for her son who suffers from a developmental disability. The last time I stopped by her house, she had so many pictures of her family. She stated that pictures reminded her of good times. This bronze picture frame is a gift that I know for sure she would like.
5. Comfy pillow
My best friend is an amazing mother of a two year old boy. She works extremely hard throughout the week and she also studies. She frequently complains to me about how tired she is. She also suffers from headaches. The only advice I can give her is get some rest. I must give her this stripped pillow that saying ” home is where your mom is.”
6. Relaxing bath soak
Of course I had to add my mom to the group of women I would be giving gifts to. My mother has four children, although, we all are grown, she will sacrifice anything for us. She works full-time and still makes sure there is a cooked meal waiting for us before our arrival. She loves taking baths because to her that is a method of relaxation. I am definitely going to give her this aqua bath soak.
Oftentimes it can be challenging to take care of children with special needs or disabilities. Here is a list of inspirational books that will give caregivers techniques on how to cope with such situations.
by Rachel Adams is a beautifully written book as Rachel explains the first three years of her son’s life, who was challenged with down syndrome. Throughout this book Rachel is honest, funny, and smart. Interesting enough, Rachel is a scholar of disabilities and she expresses her concern toward the medical community. The medical community oftentimes only see children who suffer from special needs as patients or bearers of a medical condition. This book is recommended for mothers and families who have children with special needs.
by Jennifer Graf Groneberg is written with honesty, love, strength, and hope. Jennifer shares her experience of raising twins boys, one who has been diagnosed with down syndrome. Jennifer expresses her ups and downs to her readers. You wouldn’t want to put this book down as she writes from the heart.
by Michele Gianetti is an inexpensive read as it conveys love, devotion, and faith. As Michele learns that her daughter is diagnosed with dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder, she gives turns to God. This book is recommended as Michele shares her struggles and heartbreak of her daughter’s first few years, including the joyful moments that is to come.
by Kerry Cohen is a quick and pleasant read. Kerry touches base on the hardships as a mother and wife while caring for a son Ezra who challenges with autism. Kerry is a brave writer who reveals her emotions toward Ezra different ways and the time spent with therapists.
by Mia wyn is a uplifting book written in a poetry style filled with hope. When Mia discovers that her son Joe is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, she tries everything to get her son to make progress. Nia devotes her life to Joe even when the doctors told her that it would be worthless. This book is written for anyone who is overwhelmed by obstacles.
by Shonda Schilling and Curt Schilling is a great read as husband and wife shares their story of caring for their son’s Asperger’s syndrome.
by Elizabeth M. Bonker , Virginia G. Breen is a spiritual journey between mother and daughter. Although, Elizabeth has autism and cannot speak, she will guide you with her poetry. Elizabeth and her mother Virginia are strong and determined as they challenge obstacles. This both is recommended due to its inspirational impact.
No one could ever be prepared for caregiving but with traumatic brain injury, a level of unrivaled intensity comes with the territory. These books offer insight, guidance, and support for caregivers of husbands.
by Lee Woodruff, Bob Woodruff is an amazing memoir of love, hope, and strength. Bob experienced a tragic accident that resulted in brain injury. With the help of Lee who is Bob’s wife, he was able to recover. As a caregiver to her spouse and a mother of four children, Lee deeply expresses her emotions throughout the ups and downs of this event. This book is recommended to caregivers and family members who may know someone that is suffering from brain injury. You might end up reading this book for a second time, that’s how great it is!
by Rosemary Rawlins is a touching story that reveals emotional healing, family love, and passion. After Rosemary’s husband Hugh gets hit by a car while riding on a bicycle, he suffered from traumatic brain injury. Rosemary tries her best to preserve her family as she copes with this life changing experience. This book is awesome as Rosemary writing style would make you feel as though you’re a part of the journey!
by Casey Bachus is a touching story as the author channels her love and faith for her husband. Casey’s life changed dramatically when her husband got into a car accident, which led to a traumatic brain injury. With Casey’s spiritual and inspirational guidance, this book is recommended to anyone that may be dealing with hardships and most importantly spousal care for brain injuries.
by Dora Barilla is an inexpensive book that will give you insight, hope, and inspiration. Bill who is Dora’s husband, was in a tragic accident when he got hit by a tour bus. As he suffered from traumatic brain injury, Dora’s world was turned upside down. This empowering story explains Bill’s miracle recovery. With Dora’s honesty and encouragement, you will love this it!
by Barbara Stahura is a memoir that touches base on joy, honesty, and courage. With humor, Barbara gives details about her husband’s near-fatal motorcycle accident and his recovery of brain injury. She expresses her deep fear toward the next step of her husband’s recovery. This book will literally make you laugh as Barbara share things that many authors do not.
I love a good self-help book! Here are my favorite self-help books for caregivers.
by Carolyn A. Brent is an inexpensive must read. Carolyn explains her caregiving story as she took care of her father with no one to help her. This book is passionate as if offers guidance and support to caregivers and those who may become caregivers. Overall, this book is a valuable resource that is highly recommended for caregivers.
by Martin E.P Seligman is a very good read. This book demonstrates the best way you can create your happiness by focusing on positivity and strengths. Throughout this book, there are exercises that will prepare you to live your life at it’s full potential. This book is worth reading!
by Derek Doepker is a pleasurable book that will motivate you to think positive. With Derek’s amazing writing style, he will make you feel good about yourself even during your downfalls and hardships. This book is definitely passionate and inspiring!
by Panache Desai is a book you will not put down. This book will change your life as it is written from the heart with love and care. Panache details throughout this book that it takes 33 days to discover who you truly are. While reading this book, you can defeat your fears, negative emotions, and doubts. This amazing book is highly recommended!
by Richard Carlson will help you get through the day as you deal with others. This book will direct you to lead a calm and stressless life. Richard also reminds readers to live in the present moment. This amazing book that offers advice is recommended to everyone!
by Julie Kuebelbeck is a short read that is comforting and charming. This book encourages caregivers to care for themselves as they care for their loved ones. Readers will be able to cope with stress and heal while grieving. You will not regret reading this book!
I am a Polynesian woman, wife, mother & grandmother(Tutu) who is now a transplant of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I stopped working at my job of 15 years in 2012 to be a caregiver to my 9 year old grandson, Xavier whom my husband and I adopted in 2009. I have a positive attitude most of the time
Besides “caregiver,” what other identities do you have? (ex. Parent, gardener, manager, dog-lover)
Gardener, dog-lover, cat-lover.
Who had the biggest impact on shaping who you are today?
What’s a personality trait you have that you really value?
I love to laugh.
What’s your mantra?
Just for today, I am happy.
Who are you caring for? What is your caregiving story?
My 9 year old son, Xavier. Xavier was born in 2005, my 17 year old daughter did not tell me she as pregnant until she was 5 months along. She would come home drunk repeatedly. After extensive visits toKennedy Kreiger Institute, and other health care providers, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, therapists, etc. Xavier is currently diagnosed with: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, ADHD Hyper activity combined type & Sensory issues. He started taking medications to regulate his behavior, however his body has a difficult time tolerating the meds therefore causing Xavier to be expelled from School in the first and second grades. Kicked off the bus. The public school system is not equipped to handle Xavier. They would call me everyday while I was at work from 2008 to 2012. I would meet with them, with negative results. I had parent advocates, attorneys and other agencies helping me to no avail. Xavier was placed in a behavior management school with less children, however he would be placed in a locked time out room which caused his behavior to escalate. Started monitoring refined sugar in his diet, as well as dyes and going organic when possible. 2012 Xavier was placed on Home and Hospital by the Judge at mediation. The tutors are required to come to your house and teach child for 2 hours a day however, they would arrive at 3pm when Xavier would be tired so that didn’t work. Bottom line, they wanted Xavier in residential treatment at 6 years old. His Psychiatrist and Therapist both STRONGLY DISAGREED WITH THIS DECISION. So I quit my job and started homeschooling Xavier and took him to therapy 2x a week. 2013 enrolled Xavier in behavior therapy that he attended every 2 weeks which was a 3 hour drive to Baltimore. Changed his meds. Sept 2013, pursuant to Kennedy Kriegers Request, placed him back in Public School….same outcome. by Oct 31, 2013 I was back to homeschooling again. Discontinued our care at Kennedy Krieger and could not find any Psychiatrist to administer medication on the Eastern Shore so I wouldn’t have to travel so far. He was on a waiting list from Oct 2013..so by May of 2014…he had no meds.and he became so aggressive that we had to get him to a residential treatment center in Newark, DE to get him settled on meds..So he stayed there for 6 days for get meds in him…then I finally got a psychiatrist and therapist close
What was your greatest caregiving lesson?
I need to take care of myself.
What do you wish you were told before you became a caregiver?
What advice would you give to other caregivers?
Take care of yourself.
What’s your best piece of advice for life in general?
What’s been the hardest part of caregiving for you?
What’s the most rewarding part of caregiving?
I learned to slow down and recognize what is really important in life.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Tell myself: Just for today I am happy.
What’s the last thing you do at night?
Listen to meditation music to charge my battery.
What keeps you up at night?
Undone Housework and bills.
What motivates you?
What’s the best tool or strategy you’ve found to help you with caregiving?
Forgive myself if I don’t get everything done.
In ten words or less, what has caregiving taught you?
Life is short, live, love, laugh!
What’s your best habit?
What do you do when you have 15 minutes of free time?
Sing or meditate.
What do you think makes a life well lived?
Spending time with family.
What question do you hope an interviewer would ask?
I dont like interviews.
In a poll of 600 caregivers, 87% of respondents said their top concerns were Medicare and Medicaid, health care reform, and the economy. This comes as no surprise, since caregivers are one of the largest underfunded, under-supported, and unrecognized groups in America. Even with a population of 65 million, family caregivers are barely addressed in the political arena. According to Margo E. Schreiber, former director of the Illinois Department on Aging, this is because caregivers most likely aren’t active advocates– they are so immersed in their day-to-day responsibilities that they forget they can have enormous political clout. Suzanne Mintz, co-founder of the National Family Caregivers Association, believes many family caregivers don’t connect their circumstances to a larger societal issue.
However, that doesn’t mean the family caregiver isn’t a force to be reckoned with, politically speaking. The hardest-working and successful caregiver advocates were formally caregivers themselves. In addition, nearly half of Americans who vote at election time are over the age of 50, many of them already involved in caring for another and aware of the issues the population faces. Often legislators and politicians are witnesses or participants in care for a loved one.
Eighty percent of long-term care in this country is provided by a family member, saving the country billions of dollars in healthcare costs. Our country would collapse financially without family caregivers.
Since family caregivers are serving the community, that community should ensure that caregivers have jobs when they are ready to return to work, health and disability insurance throughout their time of service, the ability to save money for retirement, and approval and collegiality from their community. – Joanne Lynn, Sick to Death and Not Going to Take it Anymore!
Imagine if 65 million caregivers created their own political platform, like they did in Australia? The needs of family caregivers aren’t specific to that demographic– most of our nation faces severe economic insecurity and lacks the resources to provide for the future generation. Medicare is facing insolvency. Caregivers, as a unified force, have a tremendous influence– it’s time we leverage it.
The U.S Department of Labor is debating whether home care workers should be exempted from minimum wage and overtime benefits. Until now, Congress has kept home care workers from receiving minimum wage and overtime pay. Home care workers log long hours as they care for the elderly or the disabled. Despite the important nature of their work home care workers are being legally categorized as a type of babysitter.
Home care workers are beyond babysitters, they provide specialized support and medical care for people who are unable to care for themselves. Home care workers are also very dependable for people who may have busy family members who aren’t available at important times during the day. If the decision is made to rule out minimum wage and overtime pay for home care workers, home care will be a much less attractive field in an area that is already struggling to attract and retain workers, leaving the elderly or the disabled to be forced into institutions.
Just as the home care businesses thought that they were thriving, the federal court is attacking once again. Journalists Roginson and Sieve stated on that the court abandoned the DOL’s rule on overtime pay and minimum wage for home care employees “The court’s December 22, 2014 ruling in Home Care Association of America V. Weil (no. 14-cv- 967) vacates the new regulation and means that the Amendment will not take effect on January 1, 2015, unless it is stayed or otherwise reversed by an appellate court.” For the meantime, the court’s ruling is on hold.
Since then, The Department of Labor appealed the court’s ruling. The Department of Labor is working to secure both the employees and home care businesses. The Department of Labor is quoted saying that it “…issued the Home Care Final Rule to extend minimum wage and overtime protections to almost 2 million home care workers.” Until now, home care workers have been excluded from overtime and minimum wage benefits because their work is not recognized as a significant industry. The ongoing debate that will determine the future of home care pay relies on where the their role and the nature of their work will ultimately be placed at the U.S labor level.
The elderly and the disabled truly rely on home care workers. They rely on home care workers to assist them with necessary activities of daily living (ADLs) including walking, feeding, medicating, toileting etc in addition to providing meaningful emotional support and other assistance. Home care workers are also key players in preventing accidents, as they maintain a clean and safe environment in living spaces. They play an important role keeping families updated of their love one’s health conditions. In addition to these duties, home care worker often schedule regular medical appointments and assist with other common day tasks around the house. In addition, there are moments when the elderly or the disabled simply need someone to talk to. It is common that the elderly and the disabled face burdens and suffer from depression or loneliness.
President Obama demands that home care workers earn a raise, however, the court ruling is hindering any changes. Visit Fortune.com’s home care wage coverage for more details. The home health aid industry is growing rapidly to respond to increasing health needs. It would appear detrimental to the industry, the economy and care recipients should the legislation not be passed to increase their wage benefits.
Home health workers are critical players on the frontlines of caring for an aging population and for providing people with disabilities with a life of dignity and meaning. In order for these wage changes to take place, legislators and judges will need to continue to stand up and continue to protect the legislation they’ve endorsed.