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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dignity counts

It's important to remember, that as care givers, one of the most important jobs entrusted to us, is preserving the dignity of those we care for.
What do I mean by this?
Well, there are many people who would "de-value" the life of those we care for.  They feel that because someone has less abilities than you or I, that somehow, their lives are not as important.
Really?  How is that?  What are these people doing in their daily lives to make the
planet a better place?
Yesterday, when my wife picked up Taylor from her day program, her pants were down below her diaper.  She had gone on an outing that way.
Now, we're almost certain the person who changed her, would never go out in public like they allowed Taylor to.  Nor would they send their children out that way.
Just because Taylor can't speak, doesn't make it acceptable to make her any less presentable.

Leslie was mad.
But even madder, was Taylor's case worker.  She took it upon herself to make certain that Taylor's dignity was preserved.  She went above and beyond.  VERY inspiring to see a paid employee of the County take someones appearance so seriously!
So when you are caring for an individual that cannot speak, make sure they appear how YOU would want to appear!
They can be the best person THEY can be, without having to look less than presentable.
They are here to help and inspire.....not distract!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Paid care givers....An important component!

Most talk and writing about care giving is about FAMILY caregivers, the biggest population of care givers.
But we are going to devote stories not only focused on the FAMILY care givers, but the paid ones as well.  Most of us that are care givers, share in the care of our loved ones with others.
  • Teachers
  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Respite workers
  • Aids
These people are paid to help in care giving.  But does that minimize their role?
Absolutely NOT.
Yes, there are people who get into the profession of care giving because there's a need, and it's a steady vocation.  But for these people to last, they need to be a special kind of person.  A person who is in tune with special needs, disabled, or the elderly.
When my daughter, Taylor, had the privilege of attending the Special Education program at Palm Desert High, she was exposed to so many care givers, special teachers and aids who went out of their way to make her life great!

This has occurred at MOST of her schools, starting all the way back to Purdy Elementary!
So, we look forward to not only sharing your stories of inspiration that have come from being a care giver, we look forward to hearing your stories of paid care givers that have been a part of your journey...and the inspiration they've provided to you and those you care for!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Make it Happen!

Rosalyn Carter said it best: “There are only four kinds of people in the world – those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers”.
That pretty much says it all.
But it has also been said that there are 3 kinds of people
Those who let things happen
Those who MAKE things happen
Those who asked “What happened”
So which are you?  Are you someone who MAKES things happen?  I think that as a caregiver, it’s important to know that you can sit back and let the system (or lack thereof) take over and ask what happened, OR you can step in and
Be an advocate
Search for resources
Share your story
Help others in their struggle

Here are some staggering numbers:
More than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one.
Caregiving in the United States; National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP; November 2009

The value of the services family caregivers provide for "free," when caring for older adults, is estimated to be $375 billion a year. That is almost twice as much as is actually spent on homecare and nursing home services combined ($158 billion).
Evercare Survey of the Economic Downturn and Its Impact on Family Caregiving;  National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare. March 2009

Absolutely mind boggling when you see these numbers, right?
So why are most of the discussions focused on “poor me?”  Yes, I can attest first hand that being a care giver can be depressing at times, challenging at the very least.  But to go through this journey, and NOT find anything empowering, inspiring or uplifting, means you’re not fully present in the situation.
Find that INSPIRATION by making what you want to have happen, HAPPEN.  Learn from your situation and help others who are having trouble seeing what is GOOD in the scenario.  And SHARE your Caregiver Inspiration!