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Caregiver Wellness & the Honor in Caregivers Asking for Help® Research Report ~ 2020

Caregiver Wellness and the Honor in Caregivers Asking for Help ®Research Report~ 2020

~Abstract~

Caregivers manage the physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs of a loved one or client while managing their own lives, needs, families, and careers. Providing care for a loved one or client can result in chronic stress and compromise the caregiver’s physical-psychological health. Additionally, most caregivers are doing double duty, and as a result, are at an increased risk for adverse physical and emotional health outcomes. In fact, burnout is a major threat for caregivers. This research report is important because the recruitment of quality frontline professional caregivers is one of the most pressing global issues. Data input for this research is from caregivers who took part in an
interactive workshop called “Why We Care, Why We Stay, Why We Leave” facilitated by Dr. Eboni Green.

This research report aims to synthesize the challenges caregivers face in achieving optimum wellness and determine how providers can assist caregivers in accessing the proper supports needed while caring for a loved one or client. Health, social relationships, emotional wellness, pay, and quality of life are areas that require immediate changes. Researchers in nursing, health care administration, and social work need to develop and test interventions designed to maintain and enhance the health and pay of family and frontline caregivers. This research report also provides brilliant suggestions on how an ideal caregiver-friendly health care system should function.

Industry Leaders Share Expert Advice on Caregiver Wellness

"The pandemic has been extremely stressful for all Americans, especially family caregivers. Now is not the time for caregivers to hold themselves to their highest standards. Now is the time for them to cut themselves some slack. Given the circumstances, it is okay for all of us to just muddle through. Good enough is good enough."

Barry J. Jacobs

Barry J. Jacobs

Clinical psychologist and family therapist, Psy.D., Principal Consultant Health Management Associates, a national healthcare consulting firm Find out more here

"Don’t try to FIND time for self-care…MAKE time for self-care. Like other caregivers who are overloaded with responsibilities, you may ask, “How can I FIND the time for self-care?” If you want to relieve your stress and feel better, change the question. Instead, ask, “How do I MAKE time for self-care?”

Jane Meier Hamilton

Jane Meier Hamilton

RN, MSN, Founder of Partners on the Path, LLC Find out more here

“As a family caregiver for my mom, I learned that there is only so much in your control. When you realize what is and what is not, it makes your journey easier, your stress and anxiety less. As an expert in the field and someone who lost his sister who pre-deceased mom and was her caregiver, it is paramount to make a wellness plan for yourself. Do not be too busy taking care of someone else and neglecting yourself.”

Anthony Cirillo

Anthony Cirillo

President, The Aging Experience, Fellow of the American College of Heathcare Executives Find out more here

"Life happens when we least expect it! Reduce your stress with always having a Caregiving Plan B!"

Connie Siskowski, RN, PhD

Connie Siskowski, RN, PhD

President & Founder American Association of Caregiving Youth Find out more here

“How can you flip "I can't" to "How can I?"

Nicole Dauz

Nicole Dauz

Caregiver Advocate & Self-Care Expert Find out more here

"My "tip" is the most basic of them all, but also one of the most important. And that's to, as they say before takeoff, "Be sure to secure your own mask before helping others." In other words, if you want to ensure that you'll be there every day to support your loved one, remember to take care of the caregiver."

Jon Strum

Jon Strum

Podcast Host Find out more here

"Comparing yourself to others is a recipe for disaster. Your experience is uniquely yours. You can get information from listening to others observing how they behave or react and consider advice and feedback. But YOU are the expert on YOU. Be ready to let go of what does not apply and move forward without shame, self-judgment, or guilt."

Stephanie Erickson

Stephanie Erickson

MSW, LCSW, CADTS Find out more here

The best ways to avoid exposure come from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
• Stock up on all supplies: Food, medical, hygiene, and other basic necessities.
• Keep yourselves and your loved ones well hydrated.
• Take your vitamins to support your immune system.
• Avoid crowds as much as possible.
• Clean and disinfect touched items and surfaces using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes.
• Avoid cruise travel, non-essential air travel, and any mass transit transportation.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds. Especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Do not forget your fingernails and thumbs as well.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Free resource:
Grab my FREE e-book!📚 Guidelines to Caregiving 👇www.subscribepage.com/m1c4y9

Tena L. Scallan

Tena L. Scallan

Find out more here

"As a family caregiver, the most valuable tip I learned and want to share with you: Give the same care to yourself as you give to or have given to a loved one or another person. The act of opening your heart to another shows you have the capacity for much compassion. Take time to shed the same love and concern onto yourself. You are worth it."

Carol Marak

Carol Marak

Solo Aging Advisor & Advocate Find out more here

Self-care is essential. Make time for your critical needs, whether that’s sleeping, taking a walk, prayer, or other activities that help you manage stress. Consider communicating your needs to friends and family members who might provide some respite or help with tasks. Finally, I’ve heard that caregiving groups, including those in social media, are a great way to learn about helpful resources. Also visit our resources page https://www.caregiving.org/resources/

Gabriela Prudencio

Gabriela Prudencio

Hunt Research Director, MBA Find out more here

"If you are a family member or friend of an aging person and you will be providing care or support to them, it is critical that you have a conversation (or several conversations) with the aging person as they begin the aging process to determine what their expectations and concerns are regarding their process of aging. Even though aging people may not want to discuss these topics, it is particularly important that the discussion(s) takes place. To whatever extent possible, the care provided to someone as they age should be what "they" want and not what you or someone else believes is what should get. Have the conversation."
"All care givers, whether they are a frontline professional or a family member must attempt to keep the aging person personally involved in their day to day care. As an example, perhaps you could start each session with a conversation with the aging person. It is not even important what the topic of the conversation is. The act of engaging the aging person in a dialogue will help the person to relax and will help them to feel more comfortable with you and what they are experiencing. And always encourage the aging person to participate in their own care to whatever extent their physical and mental condition allows. Anything done by a care giver that helps the aging person to feel more independent and more in control of their situation is extremely helpful."

Jason Kotar

Jason Kotar

Co-Founder Find out more here

"When the pandemic reached its height back in March, I started to change my listening habits on the radio as TV was 24/7 pandemic panic and pain everyday. I dialed into KJoy.98.3 here on Long Island for easy listening on a channel that had large segments of commercial free airtime. The morning host Jamie and John Tesh who has a show called Intelligence for Your Life in the evening. They have literally help me stay sane as I struggle as a caregiver for myself first and then for others near and dear to me. MUSIC is a healing tonic; PLUS seeing my grandkids on ‘Frozen’ Pharmacy Friday to watch movies and have breakfast with them every week ."

Ken Sternfeld

Ken Sternfeld

Concierge Pharmacist Find out more here

"Yoga and meditation are powerful tools that I strongly recommend every Caregiver explore adding to their self-care toolbox no matter their age, gender, race, body size/shape and physical ability- yoga is for everybody. Slow mindful yoga can help Caregivers who experience prolonged chronic stress to learn how to exercise self-regulation and shift out of their sympathetic nervous system to access their parasympathetic nervous system to find “rest and digest.” We spend so much time in our anxiety filled mode of “fight and flight” when we are under immense pressures and competing demands because it is our body’s neurological response to stress. This physiological state of arousal increases the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to protect us from perceived danger or stress."

Jennifer Henius

Jennifer Henius

Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Registered Yoga Teacher Veterans Issues Expert, National Caregiver Advocate Founder, Caregiver Wellness Collective Inc. Find out more here

"As busy as we all are, we must realize that we can do some things. It is not meant for us to do everything. And that is okay."
Promoting Self-Care For Caregivers - Greetings, I’m Angela Mozelle, founder of New Beginnings Today. My mission with New Beginnings Today is to support Baby Boomers as you navigate the new opportunities and changing demands of a maturing age. Specifically, I focus on promoting self-care [reminding you to take good care of yourself] as you’re engaged in providing support, assistance, and … Continue reading "Promoting Self-Care For Caregivers

Angela Mozelle

Angela Mozelle

Founder/Owner Certified Life Coach, BA MA Find out more here

"When caregivers are involved in either a virtual or actual clinic visit for their care recipient, they should identify themselves as THE PRIMARY CAREGIVER to the staff, doctor, visiting nurse, etc. They also should mention to the healthcare provider any health issues they are experiencing resulting from being the primary caregiver for that person."

Dr. Richard Lindsay

Dr. Richard Lindsay

Co-founder of the Lindsay Institute for Innovations in Caregiving Find out more here

"Communication can be a powerful tool for a caregiver. Let your employer know about your caregiving responsibilities. Your honesty may open the door for support if your boss finds ways to accommodate your caregiving role. Inform your employer about your need to take more personal phone calls concerning your loved one and that you will need time off to take your family member to medical appointments. Offer to make up lost time by adjusting your work hours. Ask if you can work remotely. As a proponent of work-life balance, my advice boils down to this. Find that space where work and caregiving can comfortably co-exist. You won't know whether you have a compassionate employer who will work with you on achieving this goal until you communicate about your struggles as an employee who doubles as a caregiver."

Dr. Kyshun Webster

Dr. Kyshun Webster

Founder & Chairman, Compassion Society Benefits Find out more here

"Taking care of someone with this disease is a trial and error process. Perfection is not expected and is not going to happen. We are still learning about the disease and need to be flexible. I highly recommend reading, Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s by Joanne Koenig Coste, it will open your eyes on how to creatively communicate with your person."

Kara Rogers

Kara Rogers

Social Worker, LMSW, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Find out more here

Wellness Resources for Caregivers