Tips on How to Maintain Your Loved One’s Dignity – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C, CSP

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When caring for a loved one who has dementia, it sometimes may seem like he or she behaves as a child. But persons with dementia are grown ups who have lived full lives and should be treated as such. For tips on how to maintain your loved one’s dignity when their decision-making diminishes and behaviors are challenging, check out our FREE Virtual Book Club for Dementia Caregiver’s 3rd session below. It’s based on Chapter 3 of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One and co-sponsored by Hilarity For Charity and Oasis Senior Advisors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP12ZiS4AQw&list=PLg3pcgWyEPY9VdBxI16KjcfRw32F0ZfTx&index=4&t=2519s

To sign up for future sessions and to have these recordings automatically delivered to you via e-mail, click here: www.cruisingthroughcaregiving.com.

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Promises Made, Promises Broken – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C, CSP

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Last week during our Virtual Book Club for dementia caregivers, we discussed why promises in caregiving are made and if they are ever a good idea.  Often, particularly in dementia caregiving, promises have been made that feel impossible to keep.  What should you do when you find yourself in that situation?  Check out Week #2 of the Hilarity For Charity/Oasis Senior Advisors Virtual Book Club for dementia caregivers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMSjtxK8JDs&list=PLg3pcgWyEPY9VdBxI16KjcfRw32F0ZfTx&index=3&t=14s

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Entrepreneurs Who Are Also Family Caregivers Series – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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This article is the first in a five-part series about successful entrepreneurs who are crushing it in their businesses but also managing the tremendous additional challenge of caring for a loved one.

4 Ways To Balance Business And Caregiving From A Savvy Female Entrepreneur

Leadership and motivational speaker Pegine Echevarria, CSP, MSW (www.pegine.com), an entrepreneur, found herself caregiving for her mother over the last several years. Here’s what working caregivers—particularly business owners—can learn from Pegine’s experience:

  1. Look for windows of “downtime.” Pegine takes advantage of the fact that social media posts can be done anywhere. Pegine’s social media efforts often lead to media interviews. While much of caregiving is hands-on and must be done with your full attention, there are periods of “downtime” as a caregiver. Social media posts can be done while in the waiting room of a doctor’s office or when you are on hold with an insurance company. Consider where your “downtime” as a caregiver is and try to be productive during that window.
  2. Work smarter, not harder. Pegine decided to focus more strategically on working with fewer, better-paying clients. In what way can you as a business owner work smarter instead of harder? Do you need to set better boundaries with your staff or customers? Do you need to charge more so you can work less?
  3. Invest in some quality paid caregiving help. Just as business owners rely on staff and contractors, working caregivers need to outsource too! Pegine recommends communicating regularly and honestly with those paid helpers. Of the assisted living staff who now take care of her mother, she says, “I think of them as part of the team.”
  4. Limit activities not absolutely essential to building your business, providing good care to your loved one, or taking care of yourself. Several years ago, Pegine made the difficult decision to resign from the National Speakers Association (NSA) National Board of Directors. “Hard, really hard decision and the right one,” she says about this choice. Sometimes as successful business owners who are also working caregivers we need to make hard choices to put some activities on hold. What do you need to let go from your schedule?

Check back next week for another article about an inspirational business owner who is also a working caregiver!

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

What About Me? Getting Your Needs Met When Someone You Care About Has Dementia

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“You’ve got to join their world.” That’s the advice that professionals like me tell caregivers about their loved ones who have Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. Persons with dementia are continuously losing the ability to communicate and remember. Their behavior is often odd or even embarrassing. Their personality changes.

Best practices for joining “their world”– Don’t correct them. Don’t argue. Go with the flow.

And you finally have adapted. You now get it. You’ve stopped arguing with your Dad when he thinks it’s snowing on a beautiful Autumn day. You no longer expect your husband to remember to lock the door. You accept that your best friend of 40 years now thinks you are her mother.

But by graciously adapting to the world of a person with dementia, you are also likely missing aspects of the old relationship you had with that person.

What if your Mom was your primary confidante? What if your husband was the person who always made you feel safe? What if you and your best friend used to laugh for hours over inside jokes?

As important as it is to join the world of a person who has dementia, it’s also critical to acknowledge the losses. While nobody can or should replace your friend or family member, think about how you can get some of those neglected needs met. Who can you confide in now? Who will help you feel safe? Who can you laugh with?

For more tips on getting your needs met when you are caring for someone with dementia, check out my new book, Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One. To download a free chapter check out www.cruisingthroughcaregiving.com.

How To Stress Less When Different Generations Live Together

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Decades ago, it was common for 2, 3 and even 4 generations to cohabitate. While it’s less common now, moving in with family members of other generations still occurs because of caregiving, culture, financial issues or logistical reasons like relocation. Here are three tips for making the experience as low stress as possible:

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