Over the last several months I have been co-hosting mini-presentations at various locations in The Greater Tampa Bay area to invite professional caregivers have lunch and learn more about The New Age of Caregiving Symposium and why they would want to attend.
The response has been sensational. I am very grateful. Recently, Jennifer Naster from The Fountains of Boca Ciega Bay in St. Petersburg, FL helped me with one of our mini-presentations at her beautiful community. We had 17 various healthcare professionals attend who represented different aspects of our caregiving field. Such as Bob Nordstrom, an elder law attorney, Robin
Blinder, professional organizer, Ronda Pelusio, admission liaison from a rehab center, Patricia Hall from The Guardian Association, and Chuck Bingham from a senior publication. Individually, we are very purposeful and focused, but when we get together we become extremely dynamic. Our commitment to helping seniors and all types of caregivers is uplifting and powerful. We go the extra mile to help any caregiver in need.
As a group, we believe there are many aspects of caregiving that need to be addressed and many of us as individuals have experienced the hardship of caregiving as well. We get the challenges, the heartbreak, the ups and downs, the twists and turns. In Gail Sheehy’s book, PASSAGES in Caregiving turning chaos into confidence, she perfectly describes how a caregiver named Felicitas began having chest pains and dizziness and tried to pass it off as [Oh! it's nothing. It's going to pass. For five years she never went to see a doctor.] Unfortunately, this is why hundreds of caregivers become ill or die while taking care of a loved one. As Felicitas said, “I wasn’t thinking of myself, just taking care of others.” This is dangerous thinking, but Felicitas is not alone. That is why as healthcare professionals we want to embrace this “new age of caregiving” era and become more conscious of our thoughts and actions that will allow us to take responsibility of how it effects others, as well as ourselves.
It’s time to create the balance of taking care of our loved ones or clients and to circle back and take care of ourselves.