What Party Planning Can Teach Us About Caregiving – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Most caregivers are reluctant to ask for help from others.  Many don’t want to burden family or friends.  Others just don’t like asking for help.  Some caregivers even believe that nobody else is qualified to help.  But building a team of caregivers is crucial, not just for avoiding burnout but also to give your loved one the best quality of life possible.  Who are you excluding from the caregiving experience?

Check out Jen’s story about what we can learn about caregiver support from planning a baby shower:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da-mFVZUB9g

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.

How Reframing The Way You Look At Caregiving Can Reduce Your Stress – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Most people who are caregiving for a loved one feel like they don’t have a choice.  They made a vow when they got married to take care of their spouse in sickness and health.  They say there’s nobody else who would provide care for this person.  They would feel guilty if they didn’t serve as a caregiver.  But what if you looked at caregiving as a choice you are making?

Check out Jen’s latest video on how changing the way you look at caregiving can help you reduce stress:

 

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.

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.

Cruising Through Caregiving Meditations: Have You Checked Them Out? – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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We have a new initiative on our Jenerations Health Youtube page!  If you’ve read Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, you know it utilizes boating and nautical imagery to help you reduce your caregiver stress.  Our new videos offer you brief views of beautiful water and the sounds of the sea.  These short clips allow you to take a quick respite from caregiving at either work or home.

Check out our first two Cruising Through Caregiving Meditations here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pvMVN17abs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKYncS-oVzg

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.

Leading Your Caregiving Crew: How to Better Communicate With Friends & Family About What You & Your Loved One Need – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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If you have a career and are also juggling care for an older or sick loved one, your stress level is likely at an all-time high.  Throughout Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, I encourage stressed working caregivers in the primary caregiver role to view themselves as managers.  Family, friends and paid help supporting you are your caregiving team (much like a staff).  But do you know how to get what you need from your team once they are assembled?  Communicate Like A Leader by Dianna Booher can help.

Because Communicate Like A Leader is a business book, it effortlessly resonates with caregivers who also have careers.  Here are three of Booher’s business tips that can be applied to caregiving:

  1. Coach rather than critique.  Booher discusses how in business we can be quick to criticize rather than coach someone.  The same happens all the time in caregiving.  Stressed-out working caregivers frequently push their caregiving team members away with harsh criticism.  Communicate Like A Leader’s coaching tips will help you empower your caregiving team.
  2. Booher cautions against hoarding information in the workplace.  This is also a major problem for working caregivers.  Working caregivers are often so harried they neglect to share information that will help their crew members more effectively participate in the caregiving process.  For example, give regular updates about changes in medication, treatment plan and diagnoses. Share as much as you are able to with your caregiving team and encourage them to do the same with you.
  3. Embrace the humor. While caregiving can be simultaneously heartbreaking and exasperating, there are moments of levity.   Your Mom with Alzheimer’s disease just hit on your granddaughter’s boyfriend.  Your father-in-law who fell tells you he is “bored” while you wait with him in the hospital emergency department (while you are missing a mandatory meeting at work).   Acknowledging and sharing the humor of such moments can save your sanity.

Particularly for working primary caregivers, embracing business strategies can help streamline the caregiving process, reducing burnout for all.  Communicate Like A Leader is just the business book that can help you do that.

To order Communicate Like A Leader, click here.

 

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.