How 26 Caregiving Experts Help New Caregivers With Covid-19

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Caregiving Experts

Caregiving Experts on Covid-19

Caregiving Experts and Caregivers are in unprecedented times with a disease that has no cure and unfortunately, we are in a new normal with this.  They can be overwhelming enough without Covid-19, but not impossible.  Here are some of the top Caregiving Experts to help you now!

Caregiving Expert – Tena Scallan

Caregiving Experts

I’m a caregiving expert, virtual assistant, and adviser with 25 + years of experience who can help with the many problems facing today’s home caregiving. I’ve dedicated my life to working in the healthcare field specifically with caregiving.

It’s my passion to help everyone that is caring for a parent or relative both near and far.

Check out her website at Https://www.theultimatecaregivingexpert.com

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

As a caregiving expert, I have dealt with many, many problems and when I was a new caregiver, I was very clueless.  Here is my expert advice on caring for your senior loved ones. If boredom is a problem, here a few suggestions to help you stay sane.  And finally, if you are having a hard time finding things to cook, check out how to stock and stay healthy during Covid-19.  I hope this has helped you out as a new caregiver, if you have additional questions, you can go to my website directly and ask for more help.

Caregiving Expert – Joan Lunden

Caregiving Experts

Joan Lunden is an award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, and women’s health & wellness advocate, Joan Lunden has been a trusted voice in American homes for more than 30 years. For nearly two decades, Lunden greeted viewers each morning on Good Morning America bringing insight to the day’s top stories. As the longest-running female host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 5 presidents, 5 Olympics, and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families, and their health.

Lunden continues to be one of America’s most recognized and trusted personalities. She is the host of Washington Post and Cleveland Health Clinic’s podcast, Caring for Tomorrow, and the upcoming PBS series, Second Opinion with Joan Lunden.  Her newest book, Why Did I Come into This Room?: A Candid Conversation About Aging is a New York Times best-seller.  Recently, Lunden became an ambassador for the Poynter Institute’s program, MediaWise for Seniors, which aims to educate them on media literacy. On her website JoanLunden.com and social media, Americans interact with her every day about health, wellness, caregiving, and boomer/senior information.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

The pandemic has certainly brought a lot of nervous times for caregivers. I would advise a new caregiver to learn as much as possible, but also to remember to take time for themselves and not let their health decline. This is so often a problem for caregivers. Finally, this is not over until it’s over, so we all must remain patient.

Caregiving Expert – Amy Goyer

Caregiving ExpertsAmy Goyer is AARP’s Family and Caregiving Expert and author of Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving. A passionate champion for caregivers, she has been one her entire adult life, caring for her grandparents, parents, and sister. Amy has more than 35 years of experience working in the field of aging, and she shares her personal caregiving journey as well as practical, actionable tips for caregivers in her columns and videos. Connect with Amy on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and amygoyer.com. Find more great caregiving tips, tools, and resources at www.aarp.org/caregiving.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

Stay connected to other caregivers. Caregiving is always isolating, and during COVID-19 it is even more isolating. It’s essential to connect to others who “get it”. Since going to support groups in person isn’t possible, it’s vital that you connect online in Facebook groups, online support groups, and other social media, or via telephone support groups. Talk with friends on the phone, or text. Problem-solve, vent, laugh, cry…you may be alone physically, but you can have a sense of togetherness. You don’t have to be without support. It can make all the difference.

Caregiving Expert – David Nassaney

Caregiving Experts

Dave Nassaney is the founder of davethecaregiverscaregiver.com. Also, host a popular iTunes podcast called, The Caregiver’s Caregiver Radio Show, and a best-selling author of my 3rd book, “It’s My Life Too! Reclaim Your Caregiver Sanity”. I have appeared on over 25 TV morning shows so far during my National book and media tour. And even spoke at Harvard with Suzanne Somers and NASDAQ in New York.  Sharing my all-important message, “How to Prevent your loved one’s illness from actually killing you!” I am also a caregiver to my beautiful wife, Charlene, since 1996.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

The best piece of advice I can give a caregiver who is also dealing with the coronavirus is to not let fear get the best of them.

Continue to make decisions based on logic instead of emotion. For example, if your loved one falls and needs an x-ray to find out if anything is broken, then take them to the ER and get an x-ray.

Do not let the fear of getting them infected with Covid-19 in a hospital setting cause you to make a worse mistake of not getting a bone set or a needed surgery that will keep your loved one from the pain of getting a staph infection, or a deformity from not taking care of a broken hip.

Don’t let the fear of getting infected by COVID-19 trump any other rational decisions that need to be made.

Of course, you want to do the common sense things, like change your clothes when you get home from being outside, shower, wash your hands, avoid touching your face, or hugging and kissing your loved one, since anyone who is a-symptomatic may still have the virus and transmit it to others.

And by all means, have fun, enjoy this time together, play games, laugh, look through photo albums, listen to your favorite music together, go on walks together, etc.

Caregiving Expert – Susanne White

Caregiving ExpertsSusanne White is the founder of the Caregiver Warrior. She was blessed with the opportunity to care for her parents and ventured out on a caregiving journey that would change her life. She blogs about this journey on her website, caregiverwarrior.com, and shares her experience, strength, and hope with others so that they too may survive caregiving with grace and empowerment. Follow her on Twitter   LinkedIn  Facebook  Instagram

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

The one piece of advice I would give new caregivers when dealing with covid19 is not to do it alone! Caregiving takes a village! Asking for help and building a team are two critical steps to ensure the health and well-being of both the caregiver and those being cared for. If you want to go fast go alone if you want to go far go together!

Caregiving Expert – Jeffrey Fry

Caregiving Experts

Jeffrey Fry has over thirty (30) years of work experience beginning in the high-tech industry, and over the last 10 years, helping over two dozen startups initiate, develop, and market their products and services. Mr. Fry is a huge advocate of personal empowerment, and during these past 10 years, he has helped numerous individuals achieve their dreams of success both personally and financially.

Mr. Fry is the instigator behind Well Beyond Care. It came about when he needed to find in-home care for his mother, Gladys, in Virginia after his brother died.  At the time, Mr. Fry was living in Austin, Texas.  The experience was less than palatable and often left his mother without care.  When he moved his mother to Texas, who was experiencing the onset of dementia, he found that the private duty agencies were taking more than 65% of the hourly rate and giving the caregivers barely over minimum wage and determined “enough is enough.”  He felt that this is just wrong in so many ways and that there had to be a better way to do this. At that time, he promised to his now dearly departed mother that to honor her he would develop that way. That is when he formed Well Beyond Care in November 2014.

In addition to being a co-founder of Well Beyond Care, Mr. Fry operates Profit Prophet, a consulting concern aimed at helping startups move from concept into revenues and profits; and has managed SEDA RICO and Firefly Funds, two investment companies. Mr. Fry re­ceived his BS in Electrical Engineering from Lafayette College and attended St. Edwards University as part of his Masters of Business Administration studies.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

The best advice I can give is to wash your hands, eat well, get outdoors, and keep a healthy immune system.

Caregiving Expert – Elizabeth Miller

Caregiving ExpertsElizabeth Miller is a wife, mother, full-time employee, family caregiver, author, and Certified Caregiving, Consultant. She obtained a B.A. in Journalism from Penn State University and has worked in corporate IT and strategy roles for over 20 years. Elizabeth’s personal experiences caring for aging parents with chronic and terminal illnesses as well as caring for a sibling with developmental disabilities inspired her to create Happy Healthy Caregiver in 2015. Through her consulting services, podcast, book, and online community, Elizabeth helps family caregivers integrate caregiving and self-care with their busy lives. Elizabeth has been a presenter at the 2016-2019 National Caregiving Conferences. Her story has also been featured in Woman’s Day and the Marietta Daily Journal. She is the host of the Happy Healthy Caregiver podcast on the Whole Care Network, author of Just for You: a Daily Self-Care Journal, and facilitates an Atlanta support group for family caregivers called the Atlanta Daughterhood Circle which was featured in the Washington Post.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

My COVID-19 advice for a new caregiver is to adopt a caregiver mindset around the Serenity Prayer (see attached). Particularly during this pandemic, there is so much out of our control. As family caregivers, we can do our best to manage expectations and reduce risk but ultimately, we must learn to let go of what we can’t control and give ourselves a bit of grace.

Caregiving Experts

 

Caregiving Expert – Rosalind Jones

Caregiving ExpertsRosalind Jones of thecaregivercafe.net is an award-winning professional speaker, and 3-time Amazon Best-Selling Author is a virtual caregiver coach dedicated to taking a proactive approach to work with caregivers and their loved ones positively impacting their quality of life. She also serves as an advocate, crisis counselor, and healthcare intervention. In addition to running Jacksonville’s Best Caregivers, Rosalind uses her experience and education to provide training to new caregivers and their family members so they can best care for their loved ones.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

The COVID-19 global outbreak has all of us realizing what’s important and how quickly life can change. The virus has emphasized how critical it is to have legal documentation for a medical emergency or hospital stay. As caregivers, we often put it off. However, COVID-19 has proved that legal documentation is just as essential as the care we receive in the hospital. These documents 1.) POA  2.) DPOA 3.) Will 4.) Trust, will allow someone to help with financial or medical decisions when it becomes necessary. This list will only cover the basics and shouldn’t be considered as legal advice.

Caregiving Expert – Bobbi Carducci

Caregiving ExpertsBobbi Carducci of the imperfect caregiver.com is a frequent presenter at national and international caregiver conferences, including several keynote presentations. She is the author of two books for caregivers and the co-host of the podcast Rodgerthat.show, the podcast dedicated to guiding you through the heavy haze of dementia. She is a Certified Caregiving Consultant, A Certified Caregiving Educator, and a Caregiver Support Group Leader. Bobbi connects with her audience with compassion, knowledge, and humor to show caregivers that they are part of an army of millions standing shoulder to shoulder despite the distance between us.  www.RodgerThat.show  www.Bobbicarducci.com

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

My advice for a new caregiver dealing with Covid-19 is to take advantage of social isolating and if other family members are at home during this time. put them to work doing things that will take some of the workloads off you.  They can prepare meals, go to the store, sit with the one needing care so you can get a shower. Take this time to get them on board to help regularly.

Caregiving Expert – Melissa Comeau

Caregiving Experts

Melissa Comeau is honored to serve as the Director of the American Red Cross Military and Veteran Caregiver Network.

Her book Sleeping with the War was published in 2015 and has brought the family and caregiver perspective to life after combat.  Melissa served as a Fellow for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. She has a long history of providing peer support to military families and is supporting efforts at Blue Star Families, Psych Armor, and the Military Family Advisory Network.

Melissa was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee for Veterans’ Family, Caregivers, and Survivors at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. She is a recognized advocate for the military and veteran community with a career supported by an MSM in Information Technology and Project Management.

Her education and background have made her a valuable resource and a pioneer in the development of technology to support caregivers.  Melissa is invested in the long-term care of our Nation’s heroes as well as their families, children, caregivers, and survivors.  She is also the spouse and caregiver of a combat-wounded United States Marine.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

Self-compassion is a gift in caregiving.  There will be times you will feel like you are doing everything wrong and the challenges are too great.  I hope that you will be comforted by always doing the best you can in the context of COVID-19. Please remember to take care of yourself with self-care and self-compassion.  Know that you are making a difference for your care recipient and if you need help reach out.

Caregiving Expert – Joy Loverde

Caregiving ExpertsJoy Loverde is the author of “Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old?” and “The Complete Eldercare Planner.” Visit Joy’s website at www.elderindustry.com.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

It is a frightening time. All of us are watching COVID-19 headlines and wondering, “What is going to happen next?” The same holds for eldercare. Uncertainty in both situations is here to stay. We family caregivers may choose to catastrophize into overwhelming dread and panic. Or we may decide to manage anxiety and fears.

Plan for what you can. Start the process by engaging in three critical questions with your elder as soon as possible – How will you finance your long-term care? Where is the best place for you to live in the long run? Who is your Power-of-Attorney?

Caregiving Expert – Breeda Miller

Caregiving Experts

Breeda Miller of breedamiller.com works with organizations to support professional and family caregivers. Her self-care strategies help caregivers care better for others, reduce stress and burnout.  A professional speaker, award-winning author, and family caregiver, Breeda cared for her mother for 8 years including hospice care.  Watch my viral video that has helped 1.5 million viewers ease anxiety.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

One of the hardest things about caring for a person with dementia is that every day is different.  What worked yesterday, probably won’t fly today.  Their skills deteriorate and your frustration level elevates.  Try to approach each day with good humor – pretend it’s a “Day at the Improv”.  Step into their reality, don’t waste your precious energy trying to bring them to your reality.  As long as they are safe, go with the flow.  If they are talking to you as if you are a different person, play along for a bit, and then suggest an activity or a snack.
The three challenges you need to know are exhaustion, frustration, and isolation.  The first two you need to find ways to help minimize. The last one, isolation is especially difficult at this time of CoVid19.  The lack of respite care is a massive problem and one that does not have a simple solution.  If you have another family member who is conscientious about their contact outside their home, you may be able to arrange a time to get out and go for a walk or paddle in a kayak or something else that will help you take care of yourself.  It’s more important than ever to learn to Take a Break Before You Break.  It’s not selfish, it’s survival.  You need to be your best self and if you are worn out, cranky, and stressed you won’t be able to provide the care your loved one needs.

Caregiving Expert – Karen Lake, R.N.

Caregiving Experts

Karen Lake of www.health-at-home.ca proudly works as a professional Caregiving Consultant and Care Navigator; she was called to offer this service to families after working as a Registered Nurse in Home Health Care for 20+years.

She has a special passion for supporting, guiding, and directing family members to be the best they can be in their caregiving role, to help them make informed choices, to be prepared, and to confidently navigate the complex issues that come with caring for a loved one.

Karen has seen the emotional struggles that family members face as they attempt to balance caregiving with the other demands of life; children, career, retirement, and illness. And so, she has made it her mission to serve and support family members of aging loved ones in the Fredericton area, and beyond.

Gathering her years of experience and expertise, she has carefully crafted comprehensive programs that are tailored to meet each family’s specific needs.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

Don’t (try to) be a HERO.
This is not the time to try to “do all the things”. We have been overwhelmed on social media by so many things that we “should” be doing: online yoga, meditation, baking, cleaning, organizing, home improvement projects, on and on…
My advice is to just focus on one thing: what is the one thing each day that you can do just for you?
  • Morning prayer/gratitude?
  • Long walk outside?
  • Spending a few quiet moments with yourself listening to your favorite music?
Just find your one thing and don’t be so worried about trying to do “all the things.”
You have permission to nurture yourself first so that you are in the best position to nurture others.

Caregiving Expert – Eleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D.

Caregiving ExpertsEleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D. of eleanorfeldmanbarbera.com and author of The Savvy Resident’s Guide. She is a licensed psychologist and long-term care industry expert, combining her training with decades of experience to offer innovative solutions to problems affecting cost and quality of care. Dr. Barbera counsels older adults and their families as they navigate aging and the healthcare system speaks internationally on aging and mental health issues and is the writer of the award-winning McKnight’s LTC News column, The World According to Dr. El, which offers a mental health perspective on a medical environment.Dr. Barbera has authored a large-print guidebook for residents and their families, The Savvy Resident’s Guide, contributed to AMDA The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine’s Younger Adult in the Long-Term Care Setting manual, written a chapter in Bullying in Older Adults, and has a chapter in the forthcoming tentatively-titled book Ageing Concerns Globally. She is a past columnist for iAdvance Senior Care (formerly Long-Term Living Magazine) and her work has been featured in AMDA’s Caring for the Ages magazine and has been seen in USA Today, AARP, Kaiser Health News, and Next Avenue.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

As a psychologist who has witnessed the impact of social isolation on COVID patients and others, I encourage caregivers to be sure their loved one has a cell phone and charger with them in case they need to go to the hospital. To reduce the likelihood of loss, label both phone and charger with their name and with your name and phone number. Maintaining telephone contact will help both of you, but if that fails, ask the hospital or rehab facility to have their psychologist meet with your loved one so that there’s steady monitoring of their emotional well-being while their physical health is being attended to. If there’s no psychologist, ask for visits from clergy or recreation staff.

Caregiving Expert – Pamela D. Wilson, MS, BS/BA, CSA, NCG

Caregiving ExpertsPamela D. Wilson, MS, BS/BA, CG, CSA is a national caregiving expert, advocate, and speaker. Wilson hosts The Caring Generation® radio program, is the author of The Caregiving Trap, and offers caregiver education programs for corporations. She may be reached through her website www.PamelaDWilson.com or by calling 303-810-1816.

 

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

Covid-19 and caring for an elderly parent can feel overwhelming, scary, and intimidating. Don’t think that you have to know everything—seek information and education today —don’t wait. When I ask caregivers why they waited to contact me before becoming burned out, their response is, “it wasn’t that bad until now—now it’s really bad.” This was after seeing me at a speaking event, visiting my website multiple times, carrying my business card in their wallet for a year, and having friends tell them they need to get help. Becoming exhausted and burned out results in health issues for the caregiver and inadequate care for elderly parents.

Caregiving Expert – Anthony Cirillo

Caregiving Experts

Anthony is Global Practice Partner for Global Institutional Solutions – Healthcare and the president of The Aging Experience. He is also the creator of the Caregiver Smile Summit, a virtual, video-based, on-demand program that features experts across the spectrum of caregiving. Anthony is a member of the Nationwide Financial / National Council on Aging Health and Wellness Roundtable and a member of the Bank of America Elder Care Policy Roundtable. Anthony is a monthly contributor on The Charlotte Today program, a monthly contributor to US News and World Report,  a former blogger for Huff Post 50, and the former about.com / Very Well expert in Senior Care.

He is on the national board of Senior Net and a former executive board member of the Dementia Action Alliance. In his home community, he participates in Huntersville CARES, a dementia-friendly community initiative, and is the board chairman of the Lake Norman Family Health Clinic.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

The best advice for any caregiver new or otherwise would be to take care of your health and make time for yourself. Do not socially isolate. Stay in contact with friends virtually or otherwise. Meditate. Breath. It’s a process and you will get through it. Hand in hand with taking care of yourself is reaching out and asking for help from friends, family, the community. And ask your employer about the benefits you could be entitled to as well. Self-identifying as a caregiver in the workplace is a double-edged sword, but the issue of family caregivers especially during this time, has been elevated and employers are becoming more receptive.

Caregiving ExpertsCaregiving Expert – Dr. Jill M. Bjerke, BS, DC, CAPS

Dr. Jill Bjerke is the founder of Home Transition Solutions Group, LLC, and the creator of the first aging in place, senior safety home check mobile app, Silver Spaces, first released in 2015, and being re-released in 2020 as a highly expanded and detailed home assessment tool. She an internationally recognized aging in place consultant, keynote speaker, author, thought leader, entrepreneur, and change agent, and is known for crafting solutions that provide positive results.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

Caregiving is not a one size fits all scenario because the person being cared for can have a myriad of different reasons for needing care and the caregivers are incredibly diverse people.  So many caregivers do not realize that there is a wealth of resources to guide them no matter the situation.  Locally (Area Agencies on Aging, social service agencies, senior groups, support groups), state-based (AARP state organizations, state ombudsmen and oversight, and national (AARP, national organizations).  There is a support group online for almost every area of caregiving to let that person know they are not alone.  Reaching out is not easy sometimes, but it can provide the support that caregiver needs to support the person they are caring for!

Caregiving ExpertsCaregiving Expert – Carol Bradley Bursack

Carol Bradley Bursack is a veteran caregiver and an established columnist. She is also a blogger, and the author of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. Bradley Bursack hosts a website supporting caregivers and elders at www.mindingourelders.com.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

If I were a new caregiver facing this I’d be frantic, too. It’s okay to feel that way at first but then you’ll need to make a plan.
Try to balance the fact that while COVID-19 kills a larger percentage of older adults than younger ones, there are other considerations. One, of course, is that the disease symptoms can be truly awful, so this argues for extreme caution. However, loneliness can also be miserable and even kill, as can confusion and other signs of dementia. So, like everything we do as caregivers, we must balance risk versus the benefit. How is your loved one doing with limited in-person contact? Can this be sustainable without undue harm? Or do you need to take more of a risk of infecting them with COVID-19 than a perfect scenario would advise because they are declining or even in danger without your in-person attention? Of course, taking care not to expose yourself unnecessarily can make this decision easier so keep that in mind as everything opens up.
My heart is with you even more than in the past since COVID-19 has complicated an already complicated, emotional caregiving journey.

Caregiving ExpertsCaregiving Expert – Nichole E. J. Ruffin

Nichole E. J Ruffin of Caressence Therapeutic Massage is a graduate of North Carolina A&T, State University, BS (Chemistry), and of  Potomac Massage Training Institute (PMTI), in Silver Spring, MD. She is a nationally certified and licensed massage therapist and a professional member of the American Massage Therapy Association. With 28 years of Medical experience including medical technology, cardiovascular invasive technology, and education. She is currently teaching massage therapy at PMTI, as well as the owner of Caressence Therapeutics. LLC for 14 years.

With a wealth of knowledge in anatomy and physiological allopathic medicine, Ruffin treats clients from a holistic preventative approach. Through massage therapy, she treats your body as a whole to create an inner balance so that your body can be better prepared to ward off ailments. From Massage therapy, Certified Essential Oils Wellness Advocate,  corporate chair massage, AromaTouch Technique, and Manual Lymphatic Drainage, Ruffin can bring your body into your euphoria.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

There are multiple pieces of advice that I would give a new caregiver when dealing with COVID-19, but since I can only give one I would say ask for help.  You are not alone. Help may not come from people you expect.  Some family and friends may say no, but don’t stop asking for help.

Ask, Seek, Knock

Matthew 7:7-12

 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Caregiving Expert – Donna Thomson

Caregiving Experts

Donna Thomson cares for her son Nicholas (29) who has severe disabilities and for her Mom who is 96.  She is the author of The Four Walls of My Freedom (House of Anansi Press, 2014). And blogs regularly at The Caregivers’ Living Room (donnathomson.com). Donna advises on research projects related to caring across ages and abilities. And teaches families how to advocate for help at home.

 

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

The Coronavirus pandemic is hard on everyone, but especially on caregivers. Many canceled paid home helpers due to safety concerns. Of course, caring alone can lead to loneliness for everyone in the family. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about hidden community resources during Covid19. Where can we look for companionship, respite, home help, and just plain fun? Here are a few ideas that every caregiver can explore in their neighborhood.
1) Many children and teens are off school and their parents are looking for ways to keep them active and engaged. Offer your loved one as a source of personal history or skills training that can be shared online. Intergenerational learning is enriching and fun! Perhaps a loved one can help a local teen whose first language is not English to practice conversation skills. Or grandchildren might be available now for help with yard work or dog walking. If you have a green space, offer it to neighbors to cultivate as a way to grow vegetables and friendship!
OR
2) Host online lessons for relatives and friends in passing on Mom’s family recipes or host a Zoom call in which Grandpa can display his war medals and tell the stories behind them.
3) Consider the resources in your community that you might have frequented before COVID. Today, seniors centers, libraries, cultural centers, and arts facilities have moved their programming online. If anything, the programs are richer and more varied than before!
And finally,
4) It’s a blessing that the summer is upon us. Summer weather gives us all a chance to go outside. Sit in the shade, and from a safe distance, enjoy conversations with neighbors. Look for opportunities to share stories over a cool glass of lemonade.
In a way, the pandemic has been a great equalizer for families giving care. Suddenly, folks of all ages and abilities crave the closeness of friends and family. We all realize that we need each other and we crave the human connection that seemed a given, just a few months ago. Communities have rallied to coordinate efforts for neighbors to help neighbors, so now is the time to seize the opportunity for caregivers to take the lead on intergenerational connections.

Caregiving Expert – Connie Chow

Caregiving Experts

Connie Chow, founder at DailyCaring offers practical answers to the questions that family caregivers encounter every day as they care for their older adults. Visit the website to get solutions for day-to-day challenges, help with important care decisions, and advice on how to plan for the future. And sign up to get the latest senior care tips delivered to your email inbox — free!

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

Caregiving in the time of Covid-19 certainly brings additional challenges.
Since coronavirus will be with us for quite a while, it may not be realistic for seniors and caregivers to stay completely isolated until an effective vaccine is available. Now, families must balance the risks of virus exposure against the benefits of spending time together or going out.
So, it makes sense to focus on reducing exposure risk and on the activities that are most important for the quality of life. It’s also a good idea to speak with your older adult’s doctor to get their recommendations for the level of risk that seems reasonable, given the circumstances and their medical history.
It’s also important to remember that reopenings are based on economics and not on virus activity. Unfortunately, the new coronavirus is still circulating throughout the United States and making people sick. That’s why it’s helpful to keep an eye on the number of local cases, hospitalizations, and positive testing rates to understand the level of risk in your area.
Managing these added considerations on top of everyday caregiving tasks is stressful and tiring. Do your best to get help so you can look after your well-being too. Lean on family and friends, consider hiring caregiving help, join a virtual caregiver support group, use delivery services for essentials, and seek out local volunteer programs that help seniors.

Caregiving Expert – Phyllis Ayman

Caregiving Experts

Phyllis Ayman is an expert Speech/Language Pathologist, Certified Dementia Practitioner, Trainer, Manager, and holds a Certification in Montessori for Dementia. She has worked in approximately 45 skilled nursing/short-term rehabilitation facilities and is a staunch advocate and outspoken proponent of the need for improved and more dignified quality of care and respect for the over 1 million people who reside in the over 15,000 nursing homes in the US.

She is the principal owner of Phyllis Ayman Associates, passionate about preparing families so they can make more informed care decisions for their loved one’s care by providing valuable information from the unique inside perspective from her work in all of these facilities. Also, she has started a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money towards purchasing iPads and mobile devices to facilitate vital virtual visits for nursing home residents who are now isolated from their families and loved ones due to the coronavirus.

Phyllis is the host of Voices for Eldercare Advocacy on the Voice America Empowerment Channel, are a proud board member of the Massachusetts Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (MANHR) and an advisory board member to Olive Community Services, a 501 (c) 3 in Fullerton, CA. She is the author of 2 books and several articles in national publications.

GFM page link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/senior-connections-matter

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

Banning nursing home (NH) visitation has left residents and families isolated from one another which can adversely affect well-being. Moreover, the new caregiver, unfamiliar with the NH environment, may face anxiety about their loved one’s care and worry about the effects of him/her feeling isolated and lonely. Maintaining a family connection with nursing home residents has been challenging.

Virtual visits help mitigate these issues. Some suggestions:

  1. When having a virtual visit, ensure it’s conducted in the privacy of the resident’s room.
  2. Various staff members may conduct visits: social workers, recreational staff, and CNAs. If you’re concerned about the person facilitating the visit, sense discomfort from your loved one, feel you’re seeing something concerning, contact the social worker, director of nursing, or administrator as soon as possible.

Caregiving Expert – Jacqueline Marcell

Caregiving Experts

Jacqueline Marcell was so compelled by caring for her “challenging” elderly father and sweet mother (both with undiagnosed dementia) she wrote, “Elder Rage, or Take My Father… Please! How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents.” It’s a best-selling Book-of-the-Month Club selection written with LOL humor and receiving numerous Celebrity Endorsements. The Audio version is in her voice. She is also a caregiving consultant and award-winning national speaker on eldercare and breast cancer, which she survived after caring for her parents. ElderRage.com  Facebook LinkedIn

 

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

Covid-19, or as Mom would say, “This Too Shall Pass!”
Dearest Caregiver, I know you are applying all advised COVID precautions for safety, as well as eating and sleeping perfectly and exercising in your spare time (ha!), but I really want to encourage you to program your mind with positive energizing thoughts for… SANITY! (No, you have not lost that yet.)

Ohhh I remember how difficult that is at first, so if you just can’t think of anything nice to say… here, start with the only thing I could think of when I was taking care of my parents… “still breathin’!” And, if you practice deep breathin’ you’ll reduce those pesky stress hormones so you don’t get sick too, which is what happened to me after my five-year caregiving journey (the most challenging heart-wrenching experience of my life), which I know you totally get and are nodding now.

Think about your parents, grandparents, and countless ancestors who survived horrific challenges—or you would not be here. Draw on their strength and perseverance as you decide to boldly go where you have to go each day.

Create an easy mantra-like: I will probably survive this… no, no. OMG, I sure hope I survive this… nooo. I WILL survive and thrive this! Yes, say it all the time, over and over, mind over matter, program it in. As soon as the negative thinking starts, which is so often does (I just can’t do this, I’m too ___, I’ve never been good at ___, (blah blah blah), yell “CANCEL” and immediately go back to repeating your mantra. You’ll feel a difference in your attitude and mood right away—it’s really pretty cool. I still use it—do it with me!

Also, resolve to keep searching for those elusive Silver Linings of overlooked opportunities. How can your experience help others who are in even worse situations? (I know, I didn’t think that was possible at the time either.) Little things you learn the hard way can become huge blessings for others. I know you’ve thought and said many times: “If I only knew then what I know now, OMG!”

Seek and ye shall find creative ways to “pay it forward” so your family and friends and those who come after you will be proud of your creative compassion to help others, as well as your resilience in thriving through an incredibly difficult historic time, and that you did it with grit, grace—and humor! (Safe xox)

Caregiving Expert – Gary Barg

Caregiving Experts

Gary Barg is a noted speaker, writer and publisher on caregiving issues since 1995. He is also the  Founder and Editor-In-Chief of the first national magazine for caregivers, Today’s Caregiver. As well as the original online caregiver community, caregiver.com.

Today’s Caregiver magazine and caregiver.com combine information, advice, and reader’s stories. With interviews with celebrity caregivers such as Leeza Gibbons, Rob Lowe, Dana Reeve, Barbara Eden, and Debbie Reynolds, among others. Gary created The Fearless Caregiver Conferences, hosted across the country. Which brings together caregivers to share their knowledge and experience and wisdom. His books include The Fearless Caregiver, filled with practical advice, poetry, and inspirational stories and Caregiving Ties that Bind with many of the over 150 celebrity caregiver cover interviews that he has conducted. His newest book, You Are Not Alone, shares with the advice and wisdom learned from family caregivers at over 280 Fearless Caregiver conferences held since 1998.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

We may not be able to spend as much time in person with one another as we did before Covid-19, but please realize that you are not alone.  There is a lot of support online from local and national healthcare agencies using chat, various platforms such as Zoom and Facebook Live and we have even written a book highlighting advice we have received from family caregivers at the Fearless Caregiver conferences called You Are Not Alone: Real-World Solutions for Family Caregivers ”.  We will all be able to get together at support groups and conferences once again, hopefully soon.

Caregiving Expert – Lori La Bey

Caregiving Experts

Lori La Bey is the Founder of www.AlzheimersSpeaks.com Lori La Bey is a passionate and inspiring keynote speaker and the founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks, a Minnesota based advocacy group and media outlet making an international impact by providing education and support for those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia’s. Her own mother struggled with dementia for over 30 years. Her radio show is also believed to be the first program dedicated to dementia in the world, along with the first webinar series called, “Dementia Chats™,” whose experts are those diagnosed with the disease.

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

I recommend caregivers stay calm while focusing on what each can still do independently as well as together.  Be vigilant about maintaining your relationship.  Our connections are critical so please don’t let a medical condition take that from you. I encourage people to connect not only to resources in your area but around the world. As everything doesn’t have to be in your backyard to be helpful.  Connect with people on a similar journey to yours as you will get insights, advice, and support that are priceless and will lift you when down and empower you to be your best.

Caregiving Expert – Linda Burhans

Caregiving Experts

Author, Speaker, Radio Show Host, Linda Burhans is ever awed by the strength, resilience, and commitment of the caregivers she meets and seeks to remind them that they are not alone. Help is available and it is okay to accept that help. Caregivers that seek to take on everything on their own often decline in health. The most important thing she teaches is that caregivers need and deserve the time and space to take care of themselves.

Whether you read her books or meet Linda in person, you will quickly realize that she truly lives by her mission. “To acknowledge and appreciate all caregivers as they care for those who can not care for themselves. I intend to empower the caregiver, ease their burdens and help them find the joy in the journey through education, comfort, and support”

Please join us Saturdays at noon on WTAN 106.1FM or 1340AM in the Tampa Bay Area. You can also tune in LIVE on YouTube or Apple iTunes at Connecting Caregivers Radio or LIVE on Facebook at Linda Burhans.  Podcasts of every show and other resources can be found at LindaBurhans.com

What advice as a caregiving expert would you give a new caregiver when dealing with Covid-19?

During these difficult times do your best to maintain a calm demeanor. Be reassuring in your manner and have calm conversations with them as often as possible. Frequently remind them that you’re there to assist with their needs, whatever they may be. Be patient for it will probably be necessary to repeat yourself often throughout this ordeal. You mustn’t get yourself into a frenzy. The calmer you appear, the less unnerved they will become. 

Join a support group. Family caregiving is hard, even in the best of times. Now, you may be caring for a parent who is in a nursing home and assisted living facility. But whom you have been unable to visit for weeks and you may not able to visit for months more. You feel anxious and guilty.
Don’t try to manage this by yourself. Find others in the same situation and talk about it. Share ideas and, perhaps, a virtual shoulder to cry on.  There are many online support groups available.
Friends or relatives also can provide you some virtual relief with Zoom, FaceTime, or even just a phone call.
CAREGIVERS – YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Conclusion

With all the uncertainty, I hope this has given you much comfort to care for your loved ones.  You are not alone and we are here for you to help you through caregiving.  Our aging loved one and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.  But with proper knowledge and care, we will get through this.

 

Caregiving Experts

2 thoughts on “How 26 Caregiving Experts Help New Caregivers With Covid-19”

  1. Hi Tena, thanks again for inviting me to help our dear caregivers, whose jobs are even more challenging during this historic time. You have put together such a valuable resource, congratulations!

    Reply

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