Island Treasures for Caregivers Podcast - Full Episodes
Welcome to the Island Treasures for Caregivers podcast page listing all the full episodes since the podcast originated in October 2020. The topics vary, but all the podcasts relate to caregiving and provide encouragement, hope, information, resources and support for caregivers. I have enjoyed getting to know each guest and wish to publicly thank them here for sharing their stories, wisdom and insights on the Island Treasures Podcast. I also want to thank the Whole Care Network for including the Island Treasures Podcast on their network. Thank you!
You Just Have to Love Me: A Mother's Caregiving Journey
Aired September 1, 2023 • 1:00:29 minutes
Heidi Rome, is a speaker, advocate, mentor, perspective re-framer, and mother of two sons, one with severe autism. Author of You Just Have to Love Me, she understands how to overcome overwhelm, as every step of her journey requires changing the narrative. As founder of Moms Spectrum Oasis, Heidi builds awareness and the humanhood issues around what true inclusion and loving kindness actually mean.
In this episode, Heidi touches on the realities of being in a life-long caregiving situation for her son who has severe autism. She emphasizes the importance of creating supportive and safe communities for those with severe autism. She speaks about feelings of grief, and how she had such a sense of relief when she was given the message from her son, Ethan, that she didn’t have to fix him – she just had to love him, and how this led her to explore what love really means.
Heidi’s observations translate into other lessons as well such as the “Win/When Skillsets” and her two questions that love asks that provide a gentle yet effective approach for those who may not know how to help in a given situation. By using these questions: “How Can I Be of Service?” and “What is Needed?” all of us can step-up and be of service. By choosing love instead of fear, Heidi reminds us that by using compassion and curiosity we can become part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Heidi shares so many lessons and insights in the episode that are applicable to those of us who are caregivers, teachers, therapists, friends, or anyone who works with or interacts with vulnerable individuals.
If you’d like Heidi to speak to your community, she is available for speaking engagements and can be reached through her website.
A Caregiver's Journey Into Brain Inflammation - A Wake Up Call For Us All! - Sandra Strauss
Aired August 4, 2023 • 58:34 minutes
Sandra Strauss provides a message of hope in these inflammatory times! She shares what she learned during her long and at times agonizing journey as a caregiver for her late husband both in her book and now in this episode.
Sandra Strauss is an author, speaker and wellness champion who is passionate about inspiring dynamic destinies of health and wellbeing. Over decades, she has tracked a wide range of issues promoting countless ways for optimizing health in a world out of balance. As a senior, well-seasoned with a dozen years of caregiving for neurologically impaired loved ones, provided her with important perspectives on today’s health issues as well as strategies to support and sustain vibrant living.
As a wellness champion, and author of several books, Sandra advocates smart choices that support wellness and wellbeing. In her most recent book, A Toxic Brain: Revelations from a Health Journey, Sandra unpacks the complexities encountered while unraveling the causes of her late husband’s mysterious illness. She details her unrelenting pursuit for answers regarding her husband’s acute disabling illness, and the paradigm shift needed for resolving many of today’s 21st century health issues. Recognizing the power of information and lifestyle choices that can transform health destinies in today’s inflammatory times, Strauss sounds the alarm as a wake-up call for us all.
From her experiences, Sandra is compelled to share an all-too-familiar path that millions find themselves traveling now as caregivers. As an endurance run of body, mind, and heart, she also speaks about the challenges of caregiving for neurologically impaired—family dynamics, relationship changes, care issues, legal consequences, and support strategies–to assist others in navigating through the many challenges that accompany these and other chronic illnesses.
In an earlier book, Get Along with Anyone, Sandra offers strategies for creating dynamic relationships at work, home and beyond. Strauss’ philosophy for aligning with the heart’s desires, as well as navigating life’s inevitable twists, turns, and unexpected realities, is showcased in a collective work, Dancing through Life with Guts, Grace & Gusto!—Fancy Footwork for the Woman’s Sole.
A Toxic Brain: https://lnkd.in/gv8M4CN2
Equipping Family Caregivers with Strategies, Tools and Insights
Aired July 7, 2023 • 49:16 minutes
Hearing from a friend about the resources and programming offered by Denise M. Brown I knew I had to meet her and check out her Caregiving Consultant programs for myself as I was just starting my own business at the end of my social work career.
In the episode you will hear directly from Denise about her own business and its origins, as well as her caregiving story. First, here’s a more information about Denise: Denise supports individuals managing difficult life experiences with coaching, planning and training. Through her work, Denise helps clients find hope, possibilities and a path forward.
Denise began helping individuals who care for a family member in 1990 and launched a business to help them in 1995. She created one of the first online caregiving communities in 1996 which she managed until its sale in 2020. She now develops and delivers training programs for the workplace and for individuals who want to coach family caregivers. More than 400 individuals from eight different countries have enrolled in her training programs offered through her company, The Caregiving Years Training Academy.
Denise developed several concepts, including The Six Caregiving Stages, The 12 Caregiving Fatigues and The 17 Caregiving Systems, which both explain the complexity of a personal caregiving situation and inspire interventions to better support family caregivers.
For 18 years, Denise led Lunch and Learn workshops at employers located in the Midwest on behalf of Employee Assistance Programs and Work/Life Benefit companies. Her seminars consistently were rated “Excellent” or “Very Good” by attendees. Her workshops provide insights to help attendees manage their work/life balance, their stress and their caregiving responsibilities.
Denise is the author of several books that provide insights, comfort and hope to those who care, including The Caregiving Years, Your Guide to Navigating the Six Caregiving Stages and After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again. Her free resource, A Workbook for Your Workplace Wellness, helps individuals who care, grieve and work.
Denise began helping her parents in 2004 after her father’s bladder cancer diagnosis. Her mom, who had Parkinson’s disease, died in August 2022, one year to the date after Denise’s brother died. She continues to care for her father who is 91.
Next Avenue named Denise a 2017 Influencer in Aging, one of “50 advocates, researchers, thought leaders, innovators, writers and experts who continue to push beyond traditional boundaries and change our understanding of what it means to grow older.” Her insights have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, US News & World Report, USA Today, SmartMoney.com, Time magazine and Chicago Tribune.
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Phone: 773-343-6341
Check out these links:
• Caregiving Reflections, a weekly newsletter: https://denisebrown.substack.com/archive
• Caring Our Way: https://join.caringourway.com/
A Caregiver, a Life Coach and a "Mompreneur"
Aired June 2, 2023 • 47:40 minutes
Natalie Hankins joins me in this episode to share her caregiving story which spans 29 years and is still continuing. She is a caregiver for her now-adult children; as her son has autism and her daughter has Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome. Natalie championed through caregiving, finding the therapies that would work best for them including the Relationship Development Intervention by Dr. Steven Gutstein and the Visualizing and Verbalizing, Language Comprehension Program by Lindamood-Bell.
She is proud of her 2 adult children and states she is living her purpose as a busy ‘mompreneur’.
Natalie is a Life/ Business & Mindset Coach and was first certified as a life coach in 2018 from the Robbins-Madanes Center for Strategic Intervention (one of Tony Robbins’ companies) and completed a second certification in mindset coaching in 2021 from The Life Coach School. Natalie loves serving ‘mompreneurs’, women entrepreneurs, and moms who have children with special needs. She loves to help other busy entrepreneurs achieve their business goals in less time so that they have more time to enjoy their lives. To learn more about Natalie, visit her website.
Rising to the Occasion of Caregiving
Aired May 5, 2023 • 56:37 minutes
Toni Gitles, founder and CEO of Caregiver Empowerment, Heart Light Enterprises LLC shares her 14-year caregiving story and provides a continuation of our conversation from her first appearance on the podcast in Season #2 in the episode entitled “And Then I Danced”.
Toni shares that caring for a family member is a act of love that comes from the heart and she talks about the importance of relationship, communication, happiness and love – all important to help make the experience into a journey of connection, advocacy and discovery.
Toni is an international speaker and has contributed to three books on caregiving and lifestyle management. She has authored a new book 21 Mistakes Caregivers Make and How to Avoid Them: Solutions and Strategies to Reduce Stress and Increase Happiness, available September 2023.
In her free time, Toni enjoys gardening, playing with her Maltese dog, and competitive ballroom dancing. She is co-founder of the Dementia-Friendly Dining in Central Florida and co-ordinates caregiver conferences on Dementia-Friendly Cruises. In 2022 she received the Emerging Leadership Award from the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America.
Therapeutic Journaling Through Caregiving
Aired April 7, 2023 • 58:32 minutes
Lori Ramos Lemasters shares how she relied on therapeutic writing as one of her coping strategies through her 8-year caregiving journey. Lori was caregiving for her mom who had suffered a massive stroke, and that meant Lori also took on caregiving responsibilities that her mom had been shouldering for Lori’s step-dad who was on dialysis for three of those 8 years. And to do this Lori didn’t hesitate to relocate to another State away from her own family.
Using therapeutic writing, or journaling to process her emotions helped her turn the challenges of caregiving into a positive caregiving experience which she now looks back on as a beautiful experience. She has become a certified Journal to the Self ® Therapeutic Writing Instructor and teaches the techniques she found so useful for her own journey, including the Unsent Letter, Perspective Write and Character Sketch along with tips and prompts to help get folks started journaling.
In addition to the journaling, Lori offers tips to caregivers including ways to reengage folks into a support team and having a list available of tasks folks can choose from when they offer to help – as accepting help is vital when caregiving, and Lori’s book title “You’re a Caregiver, Not a Saint: Yeah, Write!” reminds caregivers that they don’t have to be a saint and do everything themselves.
Lori is the founder of Care Partners Resource and Consulting and is a writer, with publications under the last names of Lemasters and Cavallo. She has partnered with many local and national organizations to teach therapeutic journaling to caregivers. She created Caregivers Tuesday Talks Outside the Box and in conjunction with AARP Care-FULL Conversations both are available on Care Partners Resource YouTube Channel. You can obtain a copy of Lori’s book from Amazon or through her website where you can also check out her many resources and links to social media.
Could It Be Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus?
Aired March 3, 2023 • 54:23 minutes
Have you heard of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus or N.P.H.? In this episode we hear what it is and how it was the diagnosis long-sought after to provide the answers for Tracy Crump’s mother’s symptoms.
Tracy is a former Intensive Care Nurse, caregiver for her mother, father and then her mother-in-law, and now she is a published author who knew something wasn’t making sense when her mother was mis-diagnosed with dementia. Through perseverance and advocacy, Tracy researched, did her homework and prayed as she followed-through with appointments and testing for her mom’s diagnosis of N.P.H. and with the right treatment her mom made an amazing turnaround.
Tracy did not lose sight of doing what she loves while caregiving and has written an award-winning book, Health, Healing, and Wholeness: Devotions of Hope in the Midst of Illness. She understands the burdens and joys of caregiving and has contributed 22 stories to Chicken Soup for the Soul (R) books. She also conducts writing workshops, freelance edits, and proofreads for Farmers’ Almanac. Her most important job, however, is Grandma to five completely unspoiled grandchildren.
You can visit Tracy’s website for more information and to read her blog.
A Flood Amidst Caregiving
Aired February 3, 2023 • 56:35 minutes
Roxane Anderson is a registered social worker in Canada and published author whose most recent book “Moving the Flood” is a memoir and a promise fulfilled that she had made to her late husband, John.
Roxane had found herself taking on more and more caregiving responsibilities as her husband’s health worsened; but she had not expected to take on the caregiving role for her husband. They were a team in all aspects of their lives: working to get answers about John’s health as well as experiencing a flood and threats of subsequent flooding; and in earlier days restoring cars.
Roxane faced each challenge (the flood, John’s diabetes, mitochondrial myopathy, and the neuroendocrine tumours) with fortitude but not realizing the cost it was having on her own wellbeing until she ended up in a hospital emergency room.
Roxane now recognizes the need for self-care and imparts her wisdom and compassion on others she encounters in their caregiving roles.
She views caregivers as first responders who follow the guidance of the operator at the other end of the phone when calling for help; and reminds us that we need to receive and accept that guidance.
Here’s an excerpt from “Moving the Flood” (2022) “During the months that followed, I walked a road that had no end in sight. Yet the scenery along the way was filled with treasured memories. The passage of time did not lessen the grief. Instead, I learned how to keep company with it. I had endless help from my wide support network. When life’s problems no longer seemed like catastrophes, I returned to the manuscript. I had made a promise to John to complete this work. It is done.”
For more about her books or to contact Roxane visit her website Roxane Anderson
Pharmacists: The Best Kept Secret
Aired January 6, 2023 • 50:41 minutes
Dr. DeLon Canterbury shares his caregiving story of how he and his family cared for his grandmother and how, when her mild dementia symptoms intensified, they needed to facilitate her move from her care home to where they lived. It turned out the changes in her symptoms and behaviours were due to a medication she had been given that had an F.D.A. warning to avoid being given to patients with dementia. And it was a pharmacist who identified this. This is just one example of the work pharmacists do to support caregivers and why they are, as DeLon states, the best kept secret for caregivers.
He shares what he does now through his company: GeriatRx which is a pharmacist-led medication management company that focuses on helping overwhelmed caregivers stop their loved ones from being overmedicated using genetic-drug screening, deprescribing, and health cost savings strategies. The company specializes in developing medication action plans for patients of all ages, but with a specialty in Geriatric care. Unlike your traditional pharmacist, they develop a three-month strategy to address overmedicated patients using a holistic and evidence-based approach in accordance with your prescriber so that there are no gaps in communication of care.
DeLon, as the founder of the Deprescribing Accelerator, envisions all pharmacists and senior care providers as Deprescribing Advocates and coaches professionals how to integrate, leverage, and monetize Deprescribing into clinical practice! The Deprescribing Accelerator trains passionate nurses, pharmacists, and prescribers on how they can be serve our overmedicated seniors by increasing your revenue’s practice with referrals and a value-based, sustainable care model within your business.
As you listen to this episode you’ll hear several aspects that contribute to making Pharmacists the best kept secret in the world of caregiving, such as helping the patient find cost savings; navigating the health care system; reducing harm; and providing advocacy.
Introducing Joe & Bella
Aired December 2, 2022 • 50:28 minutes
In this episode Ben Graham, Vice President of Brand Development and Marketing at Joe & Bella, tells his caregiving story, which starts with his grandparents no longer being safe in their home. The family moves the grandparents into Assisted Living where they are befriended by fellow-residents of the home – Joe and Bella! Ben, along with his family, provided care for his two grandparents for nearly a decade as they lived in Assisted Living and Memory Care.
Having Joe and Bella help with the transition to living in a care home certainly made the move easier than it could have been on Ben’s grandparents and Joe and Bella became like family over the years. Their names became the name of the clothing company which creates innovative and fashionable adaptive apparel.
Joe & Bella was recently awarded as the Up-And-Comer Award for Chicago’s startup community by Chicago Innovation; “Most Innovative Older Adult Clothing Brand: 2022” by Global Health, and “2022 Best New Apparel Brand” by Boomer Venture Summit.
Joe & Bella’s first adaptive clothing line, CareZips, won the 2022 “Best New Product” award by Today’s Caregiver Magazine and Caregiver.com.
To hear more about CareZips and the Everyday Freedom Pants and to read Bella’s Blog check out Joe & Bella
Aired November 4, 2022 • 53:34 minutes
Debbie Compton is a three-time caregiver for parents with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and vascular dementia. She’s a Certified Caregiving Consultant, Certified Caregiver Advocate, keynote speaker, and author of 6 books geared toward caregivers and seniors.
Debbie has been a Community Educator for the Alzheimer’s Association since 2017 and is the founder of The Purple Vine, an organization created to spread awareness about all forms of dementia.
Her mission is to empower caregivers with the tools needed to reduce stress, find more joy, and live their best life.
Debbie is a wife, mother of 4 children and 6 amazing grandchildren. She lives in Oklahoma City.
The Unplanned Journey
Aired October 7, 2022 • 47:57 minutes
Breeda Miller is a story teller and a caregiver who is able to share her caregiving experience through the lens of story and good humour.
People who care for others are often the worst at caring for themselves. Breeda calls herself a recovering caregiver, caring for her mother for 6 years, including hospice care in her home. She is a professional speaker and a wonderful storyteller. In fact, her stories have been broadcast on The Moth Story Hour on NPR and one of her videos went viral (in a good way) and got over a million views. She is able to combine stories with creative problem-solving ideas. She has found that good humor is the secret sauce to her success and to yours. She has written two award-winning books all about self-care.
After two successful books and years of professional speaking Breeda has recently done something that scared the living daylights out of her. She has written and performs a one-woman play, called Mrs. Kelly’s Journey Home. It’s the story of her family’s immigration from Ireland and her journey as her mother’s caregiver as she developed dementia. It’s filled with heart, humor and lessons about what really matters. She’s a native Michigander who lives with her family, including two adult sons with cognitive impairments in a drafty old farmhouse with a spectacular screened porch, her personal refuge.
For more information on Breeda, her play and resources, check out her website
Stop, Pause and Reflect
Aired September 2, 2022 • 46:44 minutes
Jodi Kay Benusa is an Independent Geriatric Consultant who is a licensed social worker. She has been providing care in various ways throughout her entire life and it came as no surprise that she would enter the field of social work.
Jodi works hard to preserve the rights of aging adults so they can live their best life through the toughest of times and she does this by asking questions so she can tailor her services to the needs of her clients. She is a problem solver who enjoys breaking through barriers to meet client goals.
Jodi shares her own experience with burnout and how she is now able to recognize the warning signs and how to take steps to avoid burnout.
Jodi introduced me to the term ‘compassionate scientist’ where exploring our reactions in situations helps us extend compassion to ourselves and others; simply, by stopping what we’re doing, taking the pause and being compassionate instead of defensive.
Click here to visit Jodi’s website
Moving Forward After Caregiving
Aired August 5, 2022 • 57:01 minutes
Licia Thompson has been a caregiver for both of her parents, separately, and at different times throughout her adult life while she simultaneously worked in corporate America and was a single mom. During this time she was in “Go Mode” and just kept on dealing with all the tasks at hand because that is what you do in “go mode” – and she learned the hard way that neglecting self-care and ignoring warning signs of her own health had its consequences.
Licia’s parents have now passed and she has written her book “When Your Soul Whispers”. She combines her caregiving skills, lessons and insights with her leadership and coaching skills in her work as a ‘reinvention strategist’ as she helps folks redefine their values and move forward after life’s transitions, including caregiving.
You can find out more through Licia’s website liciathompson.com
Telling the Full Story of Caregiving
Aired July 1, 2022 • 57:24 minutes
Dave Iverson is a writer, documentary film producer/director and retired broadcast journalist. When Dave was 59, he moved in with his 95-year old mom Adelaide when she could no longer care for herself. His new memoir Winter Stars: An Elderly Mother, an Aging Son and Life’s Final Journey tells the story of the 10 year caregiving odyssey they shared until her passing at the age of 105.
Dave has produced and reported more than 20 documentary specials for PBS, including the Frontline film, “My Father, My Brother and Me” which explored his family saga with Parkinson’s disease. He’s served as a special correspondent to the PBS NewsHour and hosted local PBS and NPR programs for 35 years at Wisconsin Public Broadcasting and at KQED San Francisco. Dave is also a founding member of The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Patient Council.
His awards include a national Emmy, four regional Emmys and numerous film festival citations. Winter Stars is Dave’s first book.
This episode was a conversation that helped shine a light on the truths of caregiving: its rewards, opportunities, lessons and challenges on a personal level and also at the broader level. Dave helps us pull up the blinds to see what is really before us in caregiving.
You can obtain a copy of Winter Stars: An Elderly Mother, an Aging Son and Life’s Final Journey from Amazon.com or your favorite local bookstore. Royalties from book sales will go to support three organizations: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Dance for Parkinson’s and Avenidas, an eldercare support organization in the San Francisco Bay Area.
You can visit Dave’s website: www.daveiversonauthor.com
Nurturing Caregiver Wellbeing During and After Caregiving
Aired June 3, 2022 • 56:53 minutes
When today’s guest first appeared on the Island Treasure podcast, she was actively caregiving for her 99-year-old father. Shortly after the podcast aired, he passed away, and she found herself needing a re-set. You’ll hear about the “reset trip” Theresa Wilbanks was able to take – spending time in nature and practising self-care strategies!
Theresa has written and published “Navigating the Caregiver River: A Journey to Sustainable Caregiving” a book she describes as a big hug for family caregivers as it provides strategies to help caregivers with their emotional wellbeing and provides practical and supportive approaches for caregiving. For more information on Theresa’s book and her 12 Sustainable Caregiving Strategies visit her website SustainableCaregiving.com
During this episode the idea of Self-Caregiving arose which is now the basis for a new limited podcast series called “Self-Caregiving Strategies” which will be co-hosted by Theresa Wilbanks and Alison van Schie and will be available (July 5th, 2022) on the Whole Care Network.
Building the Unbreakable Caregiver
Aired May 6, 2022 • 1:11:01 minutes
This “fabulous” interview with Loretta Veney builds on a caregiving relationship spanning 16 years. During those years my guest discovered a unique approach to enhance the relationship between herself and her mom who had dementia. LEGO had been a part of their lives before caregiving and turned out to be an effective and enjoyable communication tool through which Loretta continued to communicate with her mom. This interview was recorded on International Women’s Day – which turned out to be an appropriate day to learn about the significance of the day as it relates to “Wonder Woman”.
Loretta Woodward Veney is an inspirational speaker who has delivered more than 300 speeches and presentations on dementia and caregiving since 2014, offering a wealth of information, encouragement and humor to her audiences. Loretta is the author of Being My Mom’s Mom, Refreshment for the Caregiver’s Spirit, and Colors Flowing from My Mind. In 2006 after her beloved mother Doris was diagnosed with dementia, Loretta began learning everything she could about the disease becoming a fierce advocate for her Mom in the process. Loretta and her Mom have been featured in articles in the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, The Washington Post, The NY Times, AARP Caregiver Stories, as well as a PBS special. In 2019, Loretta was selected as Trailblazer of the Year by Johns Hopkins Medicine. In November 2021 Loretta and her Mom were featured in Episode 6 of Season Four of Robin Roberts Thriver Thursdays series, which previewed on Good Morning America during National Caregivers Month. Loretta’s Wonder Woman Mom’s 16-year journey ended on January 31, 2022.
Who Am I Hurting?
Aired April 1, 2022 • 23:39 minutes
From Chicken Soup for the Soul’s “Navigating Eldercare & Dementia: 101 Stories for Family Caregivers, compiled by Amy Newmark, copyright 2021 – today’s episode features the reading of “Who Am I Hurting?” by its author, Brenda Leppington. As her mother’s caregiver Brenda learned many lessons. She shares what brought more meaning into their visits. Simple things that we often take for granted.
Hearing the story read by Brenda gives the story an increased layer of richness as it not only provides important take-aways that can help present caregivers, but it also connects the listener to their loving relationship and what made it so.
Helping Families Soar
Aired March 4, 2022 • 43:20 minutes
Mike George is a speaker, author, and co-Founder of Soaring Families, an organization he and his wife created to help family caregivers navigate the complex world of care through the development of a reliable support network and a trusted team of competent people who share their vision of care.
As a caregiver himself for nearly 3 decades, Mike intimately understands the burdens of supporting the primary care of a loved one. But he also knows the tremendous fulfillment it can bring. This lived experience was the inspiration behind the creation of The Soaring Families Way™, a proven model that guides families in creating the best home care experience, and generates positive change for everyone involved in the caregiving journey.
Listen as Mike shares his inspirational 30 year journey as father and caregiver for Ben and be sure to check out the Soaring Families’ website at Soaring Families and you’ll find Ben’s story on the “About Us” page.
The Happiness Crusade
Aired February 4, 2022 • 49:22 minutes
Are you wishing you could travel, perhaps like you used to do before caregiving? Well, this episode will introduce you to the possibility of doing just that. Listen to Kathy Shoaf as she shares her own caregiving story and as a registered nurse (geriatric neurology specialist) how she found a way to help folks enjoy life and have happy times through her business Elite Cruises & Vacations Travel www.elitecruisesandvacationstravel.com
Kathy and her company believe that travel is for everyone! Since 2005 they’ve been helping clients across the nation take their dream vacations to some of the most beautiful spots in the world; specializing in accessible travel and ensuring that every moment of their trips can be enjoyed without restrictions. Their custom cruises and travel events cater to those with diagnoses such as Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS, Diabetes, etc., as well as their caregivers and family members. The link that follows takes you to a video, perhaps we could call it a teaser, that aired October 2021 in both audio and video form. https://youtu.be/MSV7-VJ1pGc
Kathy Shoaf, RN BSN ATP, owner of Elite Cruises and Vacations, is uniquely qualified to understand travel challenges and develop effective solutions. She has 20+ years of clinical and management experience in Geriatric, Neurology, Rehabilitation, and Senior Housing as a registered nurse and adaptive technology professional. She is a Certified Dementia Educator, A Certified Accessible Travel Specialist, a Fellow at the American College of Healthcare, an Athena Nominated Senior Care Advocate, and an American Express Travel Agency Award Winner. She personally accompanies each and every cruise group and sometimes even brings her parents along!
The Brave Caregiver
Aired January 7, 2022 • 46:50 minutes
At the beginning of this episode Jennifer warns that her caregiving story is long! She has over 10 years of personal caregiving experience caring for her parents and grandfather. She has dealt with caregiving issues related to veterans, organ transplants, in-home caregiving, home modifications for aging in place, assisted living and hospice. Professionally, she is a certified life coach through The Life Coach School, as well as a Certified Caregiving Consultant, Educator and Support Group Facilitator through the Caregiving Years Training Academy. She launched her own business, Brave Caregiving, in 2019, where she helps caregivers who are struggling while taking care of their aging parents. In addition, she has over 4000 hours of coaching experience working for The Life Coach School as a contracted coach for their Self Coaching Scholars program. Prior to caregiving, Jennifer was a Director of a community-based behavior management service for adults with intellectual disabilities at the Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis (IABA). Her 20+ years at IABA gave her extensive knowledge of challenges facing families with children and adult children with disabilities, as well as how to navigate the state funding in California.
Aired December 3, 2021 • 49:41 minutes
A beautiful conversation with Beth Douglas about caregiving for her parents and what she is now doing to encourage folks to capture the stories of their loved ones.
Beth lost both of her parents to dementia-related illness and decided to use her skills to spread awareness and help caregivers as well. She is a writer and marketing communications professional with a passion for communications in the area of healthcare, senior care, and dementia education. She resides in FL and continues to be an advocate for quality care for the senior community.
Beth speaks about incorporating Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care in her own experiences of redirecting, using physical touch, eye contact and using a calm and reassuring tone of voice.
No Time for Burnout!
Aired November 5, 2021 • 58:19 minutes
An episode filled with insights and resources. You’ll want to pay close attention if you are a caregiver for a veteran, or if you are a veteran yourself.
Zander Keig is an award-winning speaker, educator, author, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker with many distinguishing accolades including: 2020 NASW National Social Worker of the Year. Zander is a first-generation American of Mexican heritage (Latino), and a post-transition transsexual man. Zander is a Coast Guard Veteran and the primary caregiver of his elderly Veteran father who is diagnosed with Dementia. Zander fills this episode with his own experiences that offer take-aways for all of us. He is applying the teachings of the DAWN method from an earlier episode and seeing first-hand the positives this strengths-based approach provides.
As a retired social worker I was excited to ask Zander about being the 2020 NASW Social worker of the year – and as he shares his experiences and resources it was not surprising he received many nominations from his peers.
Skills Retained: Strengths-based Approach to Dementia Care
Aired October 1, 2021 • 56:20 minutes
In this episode you will hear about the strengths-based, person-centered approach to dementia care from my guest Judy Cornish.
Judy Cornish is an author, founder of the Dementia & Alzheimer’s Wellbeing Network (DAWN®), creator of the DAWN Method® of dementia care, and a retired elder law attorney. Her two books (The Dementia Handbook and Dementia With Dignity) take person-centered dementia care from theory to practice by identifying the skills not lost to dementia. Through DAWN, Judy Cornish provides online training programs for families and professional caregivers, as well as certification courses for agencies and facilities. Her goal is to see dignified dementia care and aging in place become available for all.
This strengths-based approach offers the listener the opportunity to choose to look at dementia from a functional and experiential perspective instead of focusing on what the person with dementia can no longer do because of the skills they have lost. Judy offers meanings and suggestions to help us understand how to lessen our guilt, stress, conflict, pain and exhaustion as caregivers by recognizing the skills that are still present in our loved ones or care recipients who have dementia.
For more information on the Dementia & Alzheimer’s Wellbeing Network® (DAWN) and the DAWN Method® contact email@example.com
And her social media links:
A Parting Gift
Aired September 3, 2021 • 43:27 minutes
From a caregiving perspective, Arlene Jacobs talks about the benefits of pre-planning final arrangements and how to broach those difficult topics. Arlene was a full-time caregiver for her son who passed away at 18 months of age. She was then the caregiver for her mom and talks about her mom’s situation and how she was able to prepare for her passing; and now Arlene continues to be the primary caregiver for her father who is 103 years of age. Arlene shares what she learned when she went to pay for her son’s funeral with the intention to use his life insurance. This podcast contains considerations regarding how beneficial it is to keep the lines of communication open with your family and why it makes sense to give “A Parting Gift” for your family. You can reach Arlene at Arlene.Jacobs@DignityMemorial.com
Through the Lens of a Long-haul Caregiver
Aired August 6, 2021 • 50:54 minutes
Meet Chandra White-Cummings, a self-described long-haul caregiver with vast experiences from her own caregiving journey of 33 years and counting. Chandra delves deeply into lessons about the ethos of care emphasizing how important it is to care for others. She couples her experiences as a long-haul caregiver caring for her chronically ill son, caregiving coach for a second son; and caregiving partner with her mother; with her certification from the Trauma Healing Institute to facilitate trauma healing groups. If you have experienced trauma especially in caregiving, this episode is for you as you will hear how Chandra helps folks mine through the layers of pain caused by trauma, including catastrophic and repeated trauma, with the goal of healing.
Chandra is a professional writer and editor and 2020 Caring Across Generations Care Fellow. She exemplifies her belief in the importance of caring for others by sharing her wisdom and insights on Island Treasures through many nuggets -including how important it is for folks to retain their own identity and not lose themselves completely in their caregiving role and responsibilities.
You can connect with Chandra by email at Caring4ourfamilies@yahoo.com.
Start Strong as a Caregiver
Aired July 2, 2021 • 50:36 minutes
Erin Galyean, author of “Badass Advocate: Becoming the Champion Your Seriously Ill Loved One Deserves” shares her insights from lessons learned as her sister and dad’s patient advocate. Erin’s experiences and professional skills equipped her to create strategies to help other patient advocates and caregivers build on the foundation she has laid so they can start strong in their caregiving journeys. Caregiving is hard and Erin’s passion is to reduce the stress for others by sharing what she has learned. She invites the listeners to cherry-pick from her strategies to tailor their approach to individual caregiving situations. This episode will help prepare the listener, whether a patient advocate, a caregiver, or future patient advocate or caregiver to start strong when the time comes.
The Caregiving Cape
Aired June 4, 2021 • 51:03 minutes
Chris Maclellan, founder of the Whole Care Network shares his story about his heartfelt caregiving experiences for his partner, Richard, through to the next chapter of his caregiving journey where he is now advocating for all caregivers.
As a family caregiver advocate, Chris reminds caregivers that we know our loved ones best – we are their Chief Everything Officer (CEO). He also reminds family caregivers that caregiving is all emotional and when we focus intensely on our care partner/loved one we often neglect ourselves. Being a CEO or wearing a Caregiving Cape does not mean we can do it all ourselves; and what better place to obtain supports and resources than through reliable and credible information from other caregivers and their stories.
The importance of conversations and relationships are both topics we discuss in this episode. Listen to Chris speak about a unique caregiving approach he implemented and how this approach provided an opportunity for difficult conversations to take place during the vulnerable yet trusting “poop-a-rama” conversations.
Growth in Caregiving: Healing through Trauma
Aired May 7, 2021 • 45:19 minutes
Lisa Kendall, the caregiver to caregivers and social worker specializing in gerontology, brings a wealth of knowledge as she speaks about challenges during caregiving. Not every caregiver’s relationship with their care recipient is idyllic. There may be painful family functioning in your past and adverse childhood experiences that impact the adult child when called upon to provide care. If this is the case, how can you cope with caregiving when there is pain in your past? Lisa explains how to promote healing and growth, reminding us that growth comes in many forms, such as gaining the ability to set boundaries or being assertive when expectations are made. There is hope after trauma and you will hear how it is possible to grow and heal through trauma informed approaches that can help you not only survive but thrive after trauma. Relationships are key for support, especially for caregivers, and care partnerships are a great example of caregiving relationships where everyone in that relationship has the opportunity to give and to grow. If there’s pain in your past and you’re called upon to be a caregiver for someone who caused that pain, this is the podcast for you. If you need more information from Lisa, her website is www.LisaKendallConsulting.com
The Dementia Puzzle
Aired March 31, 2021 • 47:03 minutes
The Dementia Puzzle is an idea that originates in this episode as a way to understand what is going on as you travel through caregiving for your loved one with dementia. This episode highlights the bond of a mother and daughter relationship, and speaks to the reality of the changes and losses caused by the slide of dementia. You will meet Sue Johnston as she recounts her experiences through the stages of caregiving and as she offers suggestions for the listener to consider for your caregiving journey.
And Then I Danced
• 57:03 minutes
For Toni Gitles her 14-year long experience as her mother’s caregiver provided opportunities to learn how to become a powerful advocate and how to apply her skills to make it the best journey possible. She did this while intentionally creating moments both Toni and her Mom would treasure. Toni learned the importance of many things such as listening to her intuition and being honest about her feelings. Toni provides helpful ideas for any caregiver to adopt and I suggest taking notes from this podcast to help in your own caregiving journeys. Toni’s website is Heart Light Enterprises.
"Doesn't Know Me"
Aired Feb 19th, 2021 • 41:07 minutes
This episode came about because of the original song “Doesn’t Know Me”, by Pat Thibodeau. Pat is a singer/songwriter and a friend of mine and I had reached out to ask her to write a jingle for the podcast. What she wrote surpassed my expectations with the creation of “Doesn’t Know Me” – a song about the losses of Alzheimer’s disease. Pat’s father had Alzheimer’s and the family of 10 siblings rallied around him and their mother following his diagnosis. I invite you to hear Pat’s account of the family’s journey together with her original song. If you’d like to listen to more of Pat Thibodeau’s music, check out her YouTube channel by searching her name.
The Musician's Daughter
• 46:33 minutes
Four Hugs A Day
Aired Jan 15, 2021 • 58:11 minutes
Today Anne Sands takes us along on an emotional roller coaster. Her husband Stu has been diagnosed with dementia. Throughout her caregiving journey Anne has learned a lot and wants to help others by advocating that they get their loved one into the medical system as soon as possible so they are eligible for supports, respite and day programs, and placement in residential care. Stu was on the list for placement and when one of their two selected places had a bed available, she made the difficult decision to accept it. Her preference is to have Stu transferred closer to where she lives when a room comes available. When Stu first went into care, during the pandemic of Covid-19, he had to be isolated for the first 2 weeks. Since that time, Anne hasn’t been able to see his room; and visits are limited to once a week for 45 minutes. Communication with the care home’s psychiatrist has been very informative, validating and reassuring. The time that she can now spend with her husband is drastically reduced compared to the time they spent together as husband and wife prior to Stu’s placement. This has not been the only change, and Anne talks candidly about a new reality that has developed in their relationship. Her approach to the shocking news she received from the residential care home is positive, exhibiting loving care and concern for her husband’s needs and well-being. For herself, the days are long and she is looking forward to golfing season. She has many supports, yet she experiences significant deficits, stressing that caregiving is draining, aging, exhausting and emotional as can be. To top it all off, she feels hug deprived. She introduces the refreshing song and concept of “Four Hugs a Day”, by Charlotte Diamond. Anne ponders, what’s next for her and shares her caregiver tips whilst reminding all of us not to lose sight of our own lives.
Four Hugs a Day by Charlotte Diamond and Earl Robinson Copyright: Charlotte Diamond Music 1985 SOCAN As recorded on “10 Carrot Diamond” www.charlottediamond.com
Empowered By Positivity
Aired Dec 22, 2020 • 47:20 minutes
Meet Brenda Blais Nesbitt. She has been the caregiver of her daughter, Nikki, for over 27 years. Nikki is medically fragile with her severe disability, and Brenda is her voice and loving caregiver. Through her caregiving journey, Brenda has learned how to advocate effectively when the odds sometimes are stacked against them. She understands the stresses involved in navigating the healthcare system for a child with severe disability and offers information on how to prepare for the child transitioning to the adult world of healthcare.
Brenda recognizes how important it is to look after yourself and to set boundaries especially with supports coming into your home. Brenda is a Certified Caregiver Consultant, a Board Certified Patient Advocate; and has her own company Coaching for Caregivers Canada where she is a coach for others who may be facing a similar journey. Listen in to hear how Brenda imparts her experiences and shares her wisdom.
The Caregiving Coin
Aired Dec 8, 2020 • 43:05 minutes
The caregiving coin has two sides: one side represents sacrifice and the other – payoffs, gifts and benefits. Ten years ago Alice and Cori asked Alice’s father Doug if he’d like them to be his Long-Term Care Plan. He said yes and for the first five years lived with them during the winter months while maintaining his residence in Calgary the rest of the year. As his health needs increased, Alice and Cori took on caregiving full-time, with Doug relocating to the Island. Doug turned 102 this summer. This caregiving story is one of mutual respect and highlights what it takes to make such a heartwarming arrangement for caregiving and how it works for all the parties involved.
When Winning is Losing and Losing is Winning!
Aired Nov 25, 2020 • 42:09 minutes
Sustainable Caregiving CEO Theresa Wilbanks shares strategies she has identified through her caregiving journey for her father who is now 99 years old. Her insights include the importance of self-care, mindfulness and setting boundaries. When she faces a new caregiving challenge, she explains how she is driven to find a solution often through trial, error and tears; and from the solution come the strategies that she willingly shares with other caregivers. Theresa talks about “when winning is losing” and “when losing is winning” and provides the word picture of taking off the battle armor. She reminds us of the importance to keep the overall objective of caregiving in mind and to view each obstacle as an opportunity. Caregiving is hard, but she has information to help navigate the journey. Listen in to hear the fresh perspectives that Theresa shares… and learn about the “Jenga Tower”!
Life does not end with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's
Aired Nov 7, 2020 • 49:37 minutes
Dennis Dulniak joins me to talk about his experiences as a caregiver of his wife of 47 years, Nancy. He shares how full and rich their life was together before the diagnosis, and how they adapted to make it as full and rich as possible after the diagnosis. Dennis speaks candidly about the need for supports as a caregiver and the value of taking care of yourself in order to be an effective caregiver. Dennis provides a wealth of resources and information that he has pulled together during his journey.
A love story
Aired Oct 23, 2020 • 36:32 minutes
Listen to Roy’s journey. A journey of love and commitment that continued through health issues for his wife that changed their circumstances but not their love and committed relationship to one another. Roy shares his experiences through the trying times of Covid-19 as a caregiver.