Tech-Savvy Aging and Caregiving - NEW for 2019!
Today, technological advances within the realm of health care, aging, and caregiving are mind boggling. Although the human touch and the need for human relationships will never be replaced by gadgets, apps, or social media (merely my humble opinion!), technology can be utilized to reduce many of the daily tasks that exhaust family caregivers and/or prove problematic as we age. Let’s explore the technological options that could potentially improve the quality of your life and the care provided.
After the Diagnosis
In the aftermath of the diagnosis of a serious illness, we often feel dazed, confused, and afraid. A natural reaction to devastating—and often unexpected—news. Based upon the specifics of our diagnosis and situation, we will confront the challenge, consider the options, and make the necessary decisions. Fundamental to how we move through the process is our attitude toward the illness. Are we fighting the illness? Or, are we learning how to live with the illness? Confrontational or curious? Which attitude serves us better? How does our attitude inform the decisions made?
Caregivers @ Work
Serving as a family caregiver requires our physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial investment. On average, family caregivers provide 20 hours of care/week. And the average duration of care is over 4 years. Additionally, 60% of family caregivers are employed outside the house. No wonder family caregivers are stressed! The good news is that an increasing number of corporations realize the implications of caregiving on their employees. Caregivers @ Work need to explore the resources and benefits offered by their employers to facilitate the caregiving journey.
Caregiving: Hot Topics of Conversation
Whether a caregiver or care receiver, knowledge facilitates our journey of caregiving. Thankfully, there are some exciting developments related to caregiving to report: 1. RAISE and the CARE Act—Evidence that the contribution of family caregivers is recognized and valued. 2. Technology and Aging—The innovative application of technology to facilitate the aging process will change how we care for each other while enhancing the quality of life. 3. Working and Caring—Corporations are doing more to support family caregivers through innovate programs.
CareMaps and More!
Caregiving is a complicated journey to say the very least. Navigating the constantly changing conditions requires not only your time, attention, and energy but also knowledge and a competent caregiving crew. “Smooth sailing” is merely a pipe dream without navigational skills. By taking time to adequately prepare for the journey, you increase the likelihood that your dreams will become your reality. Please join us to learn about beneficial caregiving resources as well as navigational tools to “map out” your caregiving journey: CareMaps, Lotsa Helping Hands, Caring Bridge, and Care-FULL Conversations.
Compassion Fatigue: When It Hurts to Care
As professional or personal caregivers, we witness the suffering of others—physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering. To witness the pain and suffering of others is to be forever changed. Compassionate people bear the suffering of others and often times compromise their own health and well being when they assume too much of the burden. We must always be aware of where we end and the other person begins—thus highlighting the importance of boundaries. We can companion others in life, but we cannot assume the responsibility for another’s life. To do so puts us at risk of experiencing compassion fatigue, a risk for all who care.
Moral Distress: Searching for True North
Amazingly enough, human beings are born with an internal compass designed to keep us aligned in life—a moral compass. Our personal values and beliefs serve to calibrate our compass such that each person has a unique sense of True North. When encountering a situation that requires us to deviate from our aligned position, it is our moral compass that sounds the alarm that something is amiss. Due to the increasingly complex ethical situations in health care, moral distress is frequently experienced by health care providers as well as patients and family members.
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Caregiving in the Twenty-First Century
Caregiving in the twenty-first century is an interesting journey to say the very least! Caregiving today poses different challenges and opportunities than those encountered by previous generations. We’ll consider how the changing nature of families, family legacies of caregiving and illness, and the geographic dispersal of families inform our experience. We can’t anticipate everything that will happen. However, we can proactively plan for the certainties of life. We will age. We will need more help than we ever imagined. Hence, we need to prepare to care for ourselves and our loved ones.