10 Frequently Asked Questions About Caregiver Support

 

Caregivers and aging adults frequently ask questions about caregiver support groups and courses on the Internet. Below are Pamela’s responses to ten frequently asked questions about caregiver support.

Caregiver Stress

Caregiver stress is a daily fact of life for many caregivers. Because caregiving tasks take a great deal of time, effort, and coordination, many caregivers are rarely able to take a break. Caregivers struggle to balance caregiving with work, caring for families, caring for aging parents, going to school, and other activities. Caregiver stress can lead to caregiver burnout.

Caregiver burnout leads to a closed mind. A closed mind avoids possibilities. Focus remains on problems that are believed to be unsolvable. The result is unnecessary suffering and pain for the caregiver and the care receiver.

Caregiver Health Concerns

Many caregivers experience health worries in addition to worrying about the health of loved ones. Feelings of overwhelm, frustration, impatience and guilt are often experienced by caregivers. Caregivers are at higher risk for illness and depression versus non-caregivers.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Participation in caregiver support results in solutions, confidence, and better caregiving situations.

Concerns of Aging Adults Who Need Care

Aging adults who receive care experience similar concerns. Many feel like they are a burden to families. Loss of control and independence is a concern that complicates family caregiving relationships.

Care receivers have a choice to make. Give up or participate equally with caregivers to improve day to day situations. Caregiver support is equally beneficial for aging parents, spouses, and others who receive care to find solutions and maintain a positive perspective.

How to Regain Control and Balance in Caregiving Situations

For all of these reasons and more, participating in caregiver support groups and courses and identifying caregiver resources is critical to regaining control and attempting to balance caregiving situations.

Pamela D. Wilson, the caregiving expert, has been the support for caregivers and aging adults for the past 20 years. Her mission is to reach as many caregivers and aging adults as possible through online caregiving courses to make caregiving better by avoiding the unexpected.

1 What Can Caregivers and Aging Adults Do to Prevent Stress and Burnout? - Read More

The first frequently question about caregiver support is usually about stress related to the role of caregiving. Both the caregiver and the aging adult experience high levels of stress related to caregiving activities and needing care.

Family and Friend Support

To prevent stress and burnout, caregivers and aging adults can call on family and friends for support. Neither caregivers or aging adults want to ask for help or feel like a burden to others. This means that the idea of “asking for help” may be dismissed. When help is requested and the response is no, caregivers may hesitate to ask for help again.

In many caregiving situations, one family member bears the major responsibility of care. In this situation, caregiver stress and caregiver burnout are very common. Family disagreements happen when siblings or others complain about the care provided but fail to do anything to help.

Caregiving Groups and Courses Help Prevent Stress and Burnout

All caregiving situations benefit from seeking out formal caregiving groups or courses before the stress becomes unbearable and problems many. Course and group participants understand the stress of caregiving and are empathetic. No worry exists about being labeled a complainer. Talking about caregiving feelings and how to make caregiving situations better is the goal. Few people truly understand what it’s like to be 24/7 caregiver. Pamela understands. 

There are also other actions that caregivers take when caregiving becomes too much. Preventing stress and burnout is one of the more frequently asked questions by caregivers who are wondering about how to manage caregiving and find caregiver support. Pamela’s courses help caregivers successfully manage the emotions and stress of caregiving. 

2 What Types of Caregiver Support Exist? - Read More

The second most frequently asked question about caregiver support is “what types of caregiver support exist?” There are many, Since the focus of this website is online caregiver support and courses, these subjects will be the topic.

Online Caregiver Message Board or Forum

One method of online caregiver support is a “caregiver message board or forum,” that is free of charge. For the most part, these are unmonitored sites where caregivers can post questions and other caregivers can answer. Some sites are monitored to make sure that the content is appropriate and respectful. Few sites are monitored by professionals who have the expertise to respond to the questions posted. 

Online Caregiver Support Group

Like the online caregiver message board or forum, an online support group may be monitored or unmonitored. Most groups are free of charge. If monitored, the monitor may be a caregiver who has become a leader within the group. The idea of these groups is similar to the caregiver message board or forum where caregivers post questions and others in the group respond. This type of group, when not monitored by a professional can feel like a poor use of time because no real information or solutions are provided. 

Membership Caregiver Support Group

A membership support group is usually a group monitored by a professional with an associated monthly fee that pays for the professional’s time to respond to questions and to monitor the group. Of caregiver message boards, forums, and online support groups, a membership group hosted by a caregiving expert offers the most value to caregivers and aging adults.

When organized well, the membership caregiver support group has a privately hosted website that provides access through an email address and a password. The better groups confirm that all participant information remains confidential and is not provided or sold to any third parties. This provision of confidentiality avoids group participants from being solicited by services marketed to caregivers and aging adults. 

Online Caregiver Courses

The Internet has abundant free information. Unfortunately, much of the generic information is just that — generic — it does not really provide more than basic information that many caregivers already know.  This result is a concern by caregivers and aging adults of whether an online course environment will offer any real information, solutions, or value. 

Online caregiver courses offered by a caregiving expert offer value. For the majority of her career or for 20 years, Pamela D. Wilson was on 24/7 providing direct care to aging adults and supporting caregivers. Specialists exist in many areas of life. Caregiving is no different. Caregiving experts save families worry, time, stress, and money. 

Pamela’s expertise is truly one of a kind as she served as a care manager, court-appointed guardian, medical power of attorney, financial power of attorney, personal representative, and trustee. In her work, Pamela came across situations that many caregivers will experience. 

Pamela’s two courses, Power of Attorney, and Stay at Home are popular subjects for caregivers and aging adults. 

 

 

 

3 Does My Information Remain Confidential? - Read More

The third frequently most asked question about caregiver support — and a very important question is “does my information remain confidential.” This is important since many caregiving sites on the Internet make money by being a placement service or a referral website. When clicks occur on these websites or email information is provided, the user agrees — knowingly or unknowingly — that their information may be provided to third parties for advertising purposes.

There Is No Advertising on Pamela’s Website

If you notice, there is no advertising on Pamela’s site. Pamela does not allow guests to contribute to blog posts. This protects the information of visitors to the site so that they are not solicited by companies attempting to sell caregiving products.

Your Information Remains Confidential

When you visit Pamela’s website, join the caregiver library, subscribe to the newsletter, join a membership support group, or take a course, your information remains confidential. Pamela is not a caregiving agency that sells outside services. Pamela is not a caregiving placement agency. Pamela is not a referral website.

Pamela’s Mission Is to Protect Caregivers And Aging Adults

Because of Pamela’s 20+ years of caregiving expertise and her mission to support caregivers and aging adults, she wants to protect visitors to her site and participants in her courses. All of the content on Pamela’s website and in the materials that she produces is written by Pamela. There are no ghost writers or contributors to any information on Pamela’s site or in her book, The Caregiving Trap: Solutions for Life’s Unexpected Changes. 

Her mission is to help caregivers and aging adults avoid the pitfalls and traps of caregiving that include solicitations by placement agencies and referral websites. And additionally to protect from the pitfalls of all of the unexpected situations that happen in caregiving.

4 How Do Online Caregiver Support Groups and Courses Work? - Read More

The fourth most frequently asked question about caregiver support is “how do online caregiver support groups and courses work?” For the purpose of this response, the answer will relate to how do these two elements work on Pamela’s confidential website.

Pamela’s Monthly Online Caregiver Support Group

One day each month, usually the first Saturday (but this may vary), Pamela hosts a free online caregiving support group. Anyone can join. The online caregiving support group is hosted on an Internet platform that allows live communication. Users must register to join the online caregiver support group which is also called a caregiving webinar.

Once on the webinar platform, users may pose questions in the chat for Pamela to respond. A topic of the month is chosen based on questions posed to Pamela in other groups and courses. The topic of the month is addressed, any other questions are answered, and the webinars are then saved so that they can be watched later by persons who wished to join but were unavailable at the time of the live broadcast. 

Pamela’s Online Caregiver Course Programs

Pamela’s online caregiver course programs are paid courses based on Pamela’s 20+ years of experience in the caregiving and aging fields. The information offered in the Power of Attorney course and the Stay at Home course is extensive. 

Workbooks in PDF version, as well as recorded webinars and other information,  is offered. Depending on the course, Pamela also provides participants with the opportunity for live question and answer sessions. Specific goals are identified for each course so that participants end the course by accomplishing a specific goal that was self-identified at the beginning of the course. 

And The Three Questions Most Commonly Asked

1 Are the courses simple?

Pamela’s style of teaching and creating course information makes the course information simple and easy to use. While some of the ideas or concepts may be complicated or as Pamela says, “medical speak,” she explains the information in the simplest of terms. The courses are made simple and easy to use.

2 Can I Do It?

Yes, you can do it. The only way the courses won’t work for you is if you don’t do the work. if you believe that it is meaningful to care for aging parents, spouses, and loved ones the work will take care of itself. You will succeed. 

3 Will Pamela Help Me?

Pamela has been teaching and inspiring caregivers, aging adults, and professionals for years. Her commitment to helping others succeed is at the root of her success. Pamela will go above and beyond to make sure that participants in her courses receive the help that is needed. 

Coming Soon – A Membership Ongoing Monthly Support Group

For participants of Pamela’s courses who desire the ongoing ability to work with Pamela to manage care situations, a membership ongoing monthly support group is in the works. No specific timing has yet been announced. 

 

5 What is a Caregiving Webinar? - Read More

The fifth most frequently asked question about caregiver support is “what is a webinar?”  Pamela’s caregiving webinars are both educational and involve direct online contact with Pamela.

To answer this question it may be easier to watch Pamela’s webinar called, “What is a Caregiving Webinar.” In this webinar, Pamela explains basic information about webinars, the type of information offered, and how to sign up.

By watching this webinar, you will have the real-life experience of attending one of Pamela’s webinars.

 

6 What If My Computer Skills Aren't Great? - Read More

The sixth most frequently asked question about caregiver support is “what if my computer skills aren’t great?

You don’t need any fancy computer skills to join Pamela’s groups or to take a course. You do need a computer with an Internet connection and speakers so that you can hear the webinars and participate in the question and answer sessions.

Beyond this, all course documents are provided in Microsoft Word or in a PDF document. If you do need help or have questions, Pamela or her team will respond. 

7 Does My Personal Information Go Anywhere Else? - Read More

The seventh most frequently asked question about caregiver support is “does my personal information go anywhere else?” The answer is no. Your personal information does not leave Pamela’s website.

Course or Group Participation

However, if you take a course or participate in a group, you are sharing your information with other program participants. If there is information you do not want others to know — do not share it. 

If you get to know others in a course or program you can choose to share information with each other outside the course. Information shared within the course membership site remains on the site. However, remember again that if you post information it is shared with other participants in the programs. 

8 Is Caregiving Support Affordable? What's The Cost? - Read More

The eighth most frequently asked question is “is caregiving support affordable, what is the cost?” The cost depends on what you value. 

Pamela places a high value on health and well-being. Her mission is to help as many caregivers and aging adults as possible. Because of Pamela’s mission, her courses are offered at a substantial value compared to her hourly consultation rate or to the cost of other caregiving expenses. 

Skyrocketing Costs of Care

If you had to private pay for a day of care in a nursing home, the rate ranges from $300 to $500 a day. If you chose to pay for 24-hour care in your home through a caregiving agency at $27 per hour, the daily rate would be $648,  The rate for one month in assisted living ranges between $4-10,000 depending on the type of care needed. 

Pamela’s Mission

Pamela’s mission is to reach as many caregivers and aging adults as possible to help reduce the risks of unexpected caregiving situations and the pitfalls involved in navigating the healthcare system. The introductory price of her Stay at Home Course is $597 or $1.63 per day.

The goal of the course is to help aging parents and loved ones Stay at Home and avoid or delay costs of care that relate to hiring in-home caregivers or moving to a care community. 

What Do You Value? Things or Family?

Society today values new cars, electronics, jewelry, nice clothes, sporting equipment, Starbucks coffee, and other items that are “wants” instead of “necessities.” Caregiving is a family matter. Power of attorney is a family matter. Keeping loved ones at home is a family matter.  

According to Pamela, we can either live a good, long life that focuses on the quality of life and well-being or we can experience suffering and be a burden to our families. 

The cost of the course is the value that you place on the life of an aging parent, loved one, or yourself. Only you can decide. 

9 What Will I Learn That I Already Don't Know? - Read More

The ninth most frequently asked question about caregiver support is “what will I learn that I already don’t know?” This is one of Pamela’s favorite questions.

It is important to note that Pamela also believes that humor belongs in caregiving. Specifically for the reason that sometimes caregiving situations can be so frustrating that if we don’t laugh, we may cry. Pamela also believes in being positive — instead of negative — and that a solution exists for every problem if we are persistent. 

You will learn to take caregiving seriously but not so seriously that more worries and stress are created. Additionally, are other answers to the frequently asked question about what you will learn that you don’t already know. 

Caregivers Don’t Know What They Don’t Know

Here’s some tough love. Caregivers think they know it all. They don’t. The proof is in this quote from a caregiver to Pamela.

“When it is happening you can’t see the forest for the trees. You just cope. Once it is over you see a million things you could have done better. ” P.G.

Unless You Have Healthcare and Caregiving Expertise – And Maybe Not Even Then — You Will Learn From Pamela

Prior to Pamela being a caregiving expert, she experienced the death of a sister, both parents, and a brother. During the time of caregiving for her parents, the family struggled to make the right decisions. Pamela even had a sister who was a nurse. 

As the quote above states, when you’re in the thick of family caregiving situations it is difficult to see clearly and you do the best you can — which may not be the best for loved ones. Love only goes so far. Caregiving requires a wide variety of skills that it is difficult to gain unless you have extensive work in the healthcare and caregiving industries. 

Don’t Let This Happen To You Or A Loved One

Here is another quote from a caregiver to Pamela:

“Thanks for that good advice, unfortunately, it comes too late for my 86 year old brother who passed away recently after a hip fracture and both orthopedist refusing to do any surgery. The resultant pain and loss of walking after 8 weeks of healing were horrible and he fell again and could not get to his oxygen and died!”  E.S.

20 Years Solving Caregiving Problems

Pamela takes the direct approach to solving caregiving problems. She has experienced thousands of situations and solved thousands of problems. If Pamela isn’t the right match for you – find another expert to help. The bottom line is that you get help before an unfortunate caregiving situation happens that results in loss or grief. 

 

10 How Do I Sign Up For Online Caregiver Support Or A Caregiving Course? - Read More

The tenth most frequently asked question is “how do I sign up.” That’s the easy part. 

Sign Up Here

You can sign up for one of Pamela’s courses by clicking on the link on the information for the course page or in Pamela’s store. The links are posted below:

Pamela’s Power of Attorney Course Page

Pamela’s Stay at Home Course Page

Don’t wait to sign up. The introductory course prices will not last forever. 

Other Caregiver Support Programs and Caregiver Resources Are On The Main Page of Pamela’s Website

The main page of Pamela’s website has links to her caregiving library, newsletter, the monthly free support group, and other information. Don’t wait to get help. Take action to avoid unexpected caregiving situations and pitfalls today. 

Caregiving is a family matter. 

 

Gain Confidence. Build Hope. Find Meaning.

Caregivers want better caregiving situations. It takes action to gain confidence and to build hope. Without a path forward caregiving situations and relationships remain stuck in frustration and struggle.

Pamela’s online caregiver courses are transformational with the goal of getting caregivers and aging adults from where they are today to where they want to be. The information is more than educational. Pamela inspires and helps participants make caregiving relationships meaningful. 

Here are four practical ideas to move caregiving situations forward to meaningful. 

Take Responsibility

Taking responsibility for all aspects of caregiving situations can feel like a heavy burden especially if you are the main or the only caregiver. By saying “the responsibility ends here,” you are restating your commitment to care for loved ones, to avoid excuses, and to do whatever it takes to succeed. Caregiver support results in being success focused rather than failure focused.

Create Realistic (Not Unrealistic) Expectations

By trying to do it all and not asking for help, caregivers create unrealistic expectations and then feel like a failure when things don’t go as planned. When caregiving ends, relief from the hard work of caregiving begins.

Many caregivers look back and realize they were on “auto-pilot” trying to make it through the day. Clarity is gained about what could have been done better if the need for help could have been acknowledged. Don’t be an enemy to yourself or your loved one. Ask for help. Get help today. 

Dwell on Solutions Not Problems

It is easy to fall into the path of negativity where there is no hope. Caregivers refuse help. Caregivers refuse helpful ideas. False beliefs exist that better situations are not possible. All things are possible. Solutions exist. But not until the mind opens to new possibilities and the potential of change. Resistance creates unnecessary problems and struggle. It’s time to end the struggle and find balance in caregiving. . 

Avoid Blame

How many times do we blame others for our present situation? There is no room for blame in caregiving. There is only responsibility and accountability. If you want your situation to improve take action. Acknowledge that help is needed. Become open minded. Closed minds focus on the past not the possibilities of the future. Grow, learn, gain confidence, build hope.

Pamela D. Wilson, MS, BS/BA, CG, CSA is a national caregiving expert, advocate, and speaker who solves caregiving problems. Since 1999, she has been a direct service provider as a court-appointed guardian, power of attorney, and care manager. In response to the need for accessible, accurate, reliable, and trustworthy information Pamela offers online caregiving support and programming to solve caregiving problems, advance healthcare literacy, and promote self-advocacy. She collaborates with professionals in the areas of estate planning, elder law, and probate, financial planning, and healthcare to raise awareness of and sensitivity to family caregiving and healthcare issues.

© 2019 Pamela D. Wilson, All Rights Reserved.

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