Working With Difficult Colleagues: The 4 R’s And Other Resources – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Last week I had the pleasure of presenting Complicated Colleagues and Maddening Managers: How to Cope and Collaborate with Provocative People at the Virginia Assisted Living Association’s Annual Conference. Working with persons who possess strong personality disorder traits is challenging but there are ways to get along with them while providing great service to your customers. You just have to apply the 4 R’s T that we discussed: Recognize, Restrict, Reduce & Release!

Many attendees from the conference–senior living executive directors and regional/corporate staff from senior living organizations–requested a reading list. All of these books offer insight on how to better collaborate with provocative colleagues in your workplace!

I hope you enjoy these resources. And if you think a presentation on Complicated Colleagues and Maddening Managers: How to Cope and Collaborate with Provocative People would help your workplace, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Jenerations Health Education!

Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified (Friedel)
Borderline Personality Disorder: New Reasons For Hope (Mondimore)
Disarming The Narcissist (Behary)
DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association)
Splitting (Kreger & Eddy)
The Gift of Fear (De Becker)
The Mirror Effect (Pinsky)
The Narcissist Next Door (Kluger)
The No Asshole Rule (Sutton)
The Wisdom of Psychopaths (Dutton)
5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life (Eddy)

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.

Five Secrets Caregivers Wish Healthcare Professionals Knew – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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How much do you know about the caregivers of your patients?  Here are 5 secrets caregivers of your patients are desperate for you to know:

Secret #1: They’re stressed…probably more than you think.  Most caregivers are juggling multiple priorities and usually have little experience navigating the complexities of the healthcare system.  While  formal assessments like the Caregiver Strain Index and the Caregiver Reaction Scale can help you understand specific stressors they are facing, one simple question can quickly uncover their stress level.  Ask the patient’s caregiver to assign a number to his or her stress level (0-low through 100 (high).

Secret #2: They often feel stuck.  Most caregivers report feeling like they don’t have a choice—caregiving is an obligation.  They also often feel trapped with tunnel-vision about what a “good caregiver” is and feel like they have to live up to that image.

Secret #3:  They are constantly being hit with surprises.  There are often unrealistic expectations for how long the caregiving experience will last (usually longer than expected).  Sticker shock occurs over what insurance does not cover.

Secret #4: They feel their loved one’s situation is special.  Of course healthcare professionals recognize that each patient and caregiver’s situation is unique.  But caregivers appreciate when the healthcare professional acknowledges and validates the distinctive circumstances their family is facing.

Secret #5: They need us to be sensitive in the way we communicate with them.  While we must be candid about healthcare information, it will benefit the caregiver as well as the patient if we are culturally and generationally sensitive in conversation.  It’s also critical to breakdown technical healthcare terms and jargon into language the caregiver can grasp and apply to their loved one’s situation.

If you’ve been a caregiver, what else do you think healthcare professionals should know about your experience?  If you are a healthcare leader, how is your organization meeting the needs of your patients’ caregivers?

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.

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.

Secrets To Keeping Your Job When You are Caregiving At Home – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Are you one of the nearly 20% of Americans who works at a job while caring for a loved one at home? Caregiving for a loved one is stressful enough, but trying to manage a full or even part-time job simultaneously can be downright grueling. Here are five tips on how to balance caregiving while keeping your employer happy.

1.  Don’t expect your employer to anticipate what’s going on. While most employers know what to expect when an employee has a new baby, they have no idea how to support an employee who is caregiving. When an employee becomes a parent, maternity, and even more recently even paternity, leave is the norm. Typically there is a workplace plan in place because this type of leave is expected. Many bosses, even sensitive ones, are less experienced in anticipating the countless challenges caregivers of older loved ones face.

2.  Make an appointment with Human Resources.  What support can they offer? Many organizations are required to offer Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) but are there other benefits available through the workplace health insurance plan or an employee assistance program? Perhaps your employer would be open to flexible hours, telecommuting, an abbreviated work week or longer sabbatical if you need more time off than FMLA can provide.

3.  Keep communicating with your employer. If your manager agrees to change your work duties or schedule to accommodate your caregiving, make sure you honor this agreement fully. Keep your employer abreast if you are not going to be able to hold up your end of the deal for any reason. Document your conversations so you can refer back to them if there is ever a problem on either end.

4.  Don’t quit your job before thinking it through. Many caregivers take early retirement or quit their job entirely to take care of an older loved one. While this might be the right decision for you and your family, it is important to seriously consider the financial and emotional consequences. It may be much more cost-effective in the long term for you to keep working but hire help for your loved one.

5.  Seek help outside the office. While it’s helpful if your employer understands your caregiving challenges, you will likely benefit from support outside the workplace. While your coworkers and boss may be accommodating you, they should not be a dumping ground for all your stress.   Consider whether you could use the assistance of a non-profit that specializes in your loved one’s health issue.  Some examples include the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org); American Heart Association (www.heart.org); American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) and the Anxiety & Depression Association of American (www.adaa.org).

 

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 Kind of Team Member Do You Want To Be? – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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If you are a working caregiver, you probably are experiencing a significant overload of stress.  How do you talk to your boss about it?  What resources are available to help you?

If you are an executive or a manager, you will have staff who are caregiving for sick or disabled loved ones at home.  Don’t you want to be the boss who they can approach and work out a reasonable plan so staff can remain productive at work while meeting their family obligations?

Check out Jennifer FitzPatrick on ABC’s Good Morning Washington.  She discusses how to manage career and caregiving; reducing caregiver stress; and how companies who support working caregivers can increase employee loyalty:

http://wjla.com/features/good-morning-washington/how-to-avoid-caregiver-burnout

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.