Pamela D. Wilson – How I Help Caregivers, Corporations & Groups
How I Help
Consumer Caregiver Support Groups and Courses
Pamela supports family caregivers and aging adults through online caregiver support programs and groups. The website offers extensive information through The Caring Generation library, a newsletter, online support groups and courses. Media includes caregiver videos, The Caring Generation radio program, and Caregiving TV on the Roku Channel.
Advocacy and Awareness
Pamela partners with local and national corporations interested in reaching caregivers to raise awareness of the role of caregiving. Advocacy support includes advocating for better care and advocating against elder abuse. Awareness campaigns for brand awareness include speaking, media, and sponsorships.
Employer Caregiver Support
Working employees who are caregivers face signifiant challenges. Pamela partners with corporations to provide and develop programs to support working caregivers to balance work and being a caregiver. The goal is to reduce absenteeism and help caregivers reduce stress by gaining confidence to manage work and caregiving.
Speaker for National Conferences
Pamela is an enthusiastic and entertaining speaker. She deliver keynote and sessions at national conferences on a wide variety of caregiving topics. More information is available on the Speaking Pages. To watch Pamela in action you can check out her Caregiving Videos and her Media Page.
Online Caregiver Support Programs and Groups
Pamela D. Wilson is a one-of-a kind expert providing caregiver support programs and groups. On this website you will find real solutions and practical steps to solve simple and complicated caregiving problems. If you have searched online for caregiver support programs and groups, you know it’s easy to become lost and feel frustrated by general or vague information. Caregiver support and answers to specific problems are here.
Live experience with the loss of a sister, both parents, and a brother led Pamela on a mission to become a caregiving expert. Twenty years of being on call 24/7 is the substantiation for the caregiver support programs and groups offered by Pamela. It’s time for caregivers to access online support that is valuable for the caregiver and aging loved ones.
End Worry About What Might Happen Tomorrow
Caring for for aging parents, a spouse, or family members is stressful. Aging adults (we’re all aging) are interested in information and tips for a healthier and happier life. Caregivers worry about what might happen tomorrow. Worry exists about the unexpected. Participation in caregiver support programs and groups removes the worry and results in better care for the caregiver, aging parents and spouses.
The Caring Generation library and radio program offer caregiver caregiver support and solutions. Pamela’s professional and personal caregiving experience sets caregivers at ease knowing that they have a trusted advisor and a caregiving advocate to lessen the stress and anxiety of caregiving situations.
Solutions for Family Caregiving Problems – Online Live Support Programs and Groups
Caregivers want real answers to real problems. They want direct access to a live caregiving expert and proven,not generic,solutions. Help is here to ease the frustrations, anxiety, and uncertainty of caregiving.
Caregiver support programs and groups offer practical step-by-step information and direct contact with Pamela in live support programs and groups. Participants get their questions answered. Pamela’s broad and extensive experience over 20 years allows her to respond to all aspects of caregiving.
Are You A Helper or a Caregiver?
Caregiving is role that includes a wide variety of tasks. Twenty years ago when Pamela was caring for aging parents, the term caregiver did not exist. There were no discussions about caregiving or what caregivers did. Today the word caregiver is more recognized however the role is not widely discussed.
Because caregiving is considered a family matter, and the healthcare system pushes responsibilities back to family caregivers, significant gaps and a lack of caregiver support exists. Family members helping loved ones, worry about advancing health conditions. Stress results from talking with medical and healthcare professionals. Making mistakes that harm loved ones is a concern. Caregivers feel depressed and suffer from poor health. Worry exists about paying for care.
The way to know if you are a helper or caregiver is in the level of responsibility you take not only for completing tasks but more importantly in helping loved ones make care decisions and advocating for care. The act of completing tasks does not always include problem solving, evaluating information, advocating, and planning for care.
What Does A Caregiver Do?
Caregivers have a never ending to do list. Tasks include helping with activities of daily liviing. Providing support with failing health means providing hands on care. Family caregiving interactions can be uncomfortable and difficult. Caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia becomes more challenging with time. Loved ones want to stay at home.
Over time, caregivers become involved in coordinating medical care and making care decisions. Paying for care becomes a concern when aging parents need more help than the family can provide. Problem solving, estate planning and financial planning have their own complicatons. Caregivers can feel hopeless about all of the skills needed to responsibly help aging parents and spouses.
Caregiver suport programs and groups offers hope and help when situations feel out of control. The best time to seek caregiver support is long before it’s needed. Why allow a caregiving situation to turn into a crises situation, when you can prevent the crises?
At the right is a photo called “Me and Billie”, a woman and a delightful friend who changed Pamela’s life and career to the role of a caregiving advocate in 1998. Volunteering to visit Billie game Pamela the confidence to leave a corporate marketing career for the world of caregiving.
Caregiving: The Love-Hate Relationship
Pamela’s 20+ years of professional caregiving advocacy and the loss of both parents, a brother, and sister before the age of 40 is confirmation that caregiving challenges run from one extreme to the other. One day, caregiving is a blessing and a reward; thoughts of not doing everything possible for a loved one are non-existent.
The next day, caregiving catastrophes become overwhelming. Caregivers try to navigate healthcare issues, manage emergencies at the house, pay for care, and hold down a job.
Caregivers become overwhelmed, depressed, and physically ill by continuing to believe that they can do it all. Many caregivers are drowning in responsibility. They feel unable to take a break. Caregiving burnout is the result. Caregivers rarely have a back-up plan. If something happens to the caregiver, what happens to the person who needs care? Your husband, wife, aging parent, or loved one depend on you.
Caregiver Emotional Crises
Stress resulting from the role of a caregiver can push the limits of trying to remain positive. Why do bad things happen to good people? When will caregiving get easier? The emotional and physical health of caregivers wears down trying to juggle all of the tasks to ensure a loved one receives care.
Daily battles with insurance companies, physicians, in-home care agency, and care community staff become the norm instead of the exception. Hypersensitivity and anxiety are the result of midnight and emergency phone calls that are never good news. Hearing a loved one get up from bed at night and wander about the home becomes a concern.
Spouses, experiencing loss, miss the daily routine and companionship of marriage, when providing 24 hour care for a husband or wife becomes the daily routine. When a spouse passes away, the stress of caregiving transfers to the stress of having to start all over again but not knowing how.
Dealing With Stubborn Aging Parents
Aging parents and spouses who refuse care are common. “I don’t need any help,” is a repetitive response. Anger and frustration are felt by caregivers who realize the situation must change. When attempts to convince a loved one to accept help are unsuccessful, temporarily walking away or refusing to help may be the catalyst that results in change.
Situations become stuck when we feel aging parents, spouses, and family refuse to change. Rather than looking for change elsewhere, we must look for change within. The solution is changing caregiving behaviors. Blaming others is no solution. Beating ourselves up for things we did or didn’t do, won’t solve the problem.
Loving ourselves more than being attached to blame creates positive change. By finding the self-discipline to stop rescuing and to stop controlling caregiving situations, caregivers gain confidence, self-esteem and return to self-love.
Loving ourselves, allows us to care for ourself and to help others. These are the benefits of caregiver support programs and groups.
Becoming Emotionally Hooked
Caregivers become emotionally hooked to situations by becoming stuck in mental and emotiona ruts. Encouraging loved ones to solve problems can have positive results. Giving up control can be beneficial. The “superman” complex of caregivers who rush in to save the day removes choice and responsibility from an aging parent and a spouse.
Co-dependent relationships are damaging. By taking over, loved ones become more dependent on the caregiver.
Disagreements between aging parents and adult children can be challenging. In the most advanced situations these disagreements are played out in the court system. There are times when court proceedings are necessary to prevent a controlling family member from harming a loved one.
Other proceedings are based on turf battles and interest in money. Situations that have played out in the public eye involve celebrities like Glenn Campbell, Casey Casem, Pat Bowlen owner of the Denver Broncos, and Peter Falk. These situations have the potential to permanently destroy family relationships.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and dementia places additional stress on a caregiving situation. In the early stages, life may continue in a normal routine. As memory loss increases a sense of being tied to the home occurs. Loved ones cannot be left alone because of safety concerns. Emotional losses occur.
What was a marital partnership transitions to a situation of total care. Time devoted to caregiving ends friendships and participation in social activities. Caregiver support programs and groups help caregivers who feel isolated and alone know that there are others in similar situations.
Advocating with healthcare professionals who are biased against care for older adults diagnosed with dementia can feels like a hopeless situation. In Pamela’s experience, elderly adults diagnosed with dementia are often refused care by physicians and skilled nursing communities.
It takes a strong advocate to support dignity and desire for care. Family caregivers without a caregiver support system may feel timid about advocating for care. Pamela helps caregivers create a strategy for success.
Costs of Care
Medicare does not pay for in home care. Costs of care are skyrocketing and out of control. The hourly rate for in home caregivers has increased 30-50% in the last 10 years. Costs for assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing facilities increase an average of 6% per year.
The repeated statement by healthcare professionals that sends caregivers off the deep end is “your parent needs 24-hour care.” Maybe and maybe not. When caregivers know how to manage care, there are many options for this type of situation.
Take this recommendation with a grain of salt. The healthcare professional is more likely interested in limiting their liability if a loved one goes home and an accident happens.
Assisted Living and Senior Care Communities
Imagine this, the doctor at the hospital tells you that your parent can’t return home. The only option is for mom or dad to go home to live with you. Shock and panic set in. Thoughts of a life disrupted occur. Where will mom or dad live? In your extra bedroom?
It may be likely that this recommendation is not an overnight revelation. You’ve been watching the change in health of your parent and had no idea how to approach a care discussion. You knew something was wrong but were afraid to speak up.
This hesitance and fear is part of being an inexperienced caregiver. You don’t know what you don’t know so you let things ride. Not talking about concerns don’t make them go away. Sweeping concerns under the rug until a crisis occurs results in more work and hardship.
If you don’t know this now, caregiving situations will not get easier. Are there solutions? Of course. Solutons exist when you take the step to access caregiver support programs and groups. There are times when only an assisted living or senior care community is the option.
Having the Talk
Remember when your parents had the sex talk with you? Is it time for you to have the hygiene talk, or the it’s time to give up the car talk. There is a time when the elephant in the room can no longer be ignored. Concerns and risks eventually ballooned out of control. Roles reverse and adult children accept the role of a caregiver and a parent for parents. Why didn’t anyone tell us about this when we were younger?
You notice that your parent is unable to remember to change clothing, manage incontinence, or take a shower. Sense of smell has declined to the point that body and household odors are unnoticeable.
Vision may be so poor that looking in the mirror is pointless. The appearance of your once smartly dressed parent is embarrassing. Mention of these concerns may result in acknowledgement or violent denials and refusals.
These hot potato subjects are included in Chapter 7 of Pamela’s book, The Caregiving Trap: Solutions for Life’s Unexpected Changes® Many of the items discussed on this page are in the book, in the FREE caregiving library, and featured in my monthly newsletter, and discussed in Facebook support groups.
Caregiving is a blessing and a curse. Things will go wrong. Poor decisions will be made. Little details will be missed that could have totally changed the outcome of a situation. Caregiving responsibilities are bigger than one can ever imagine—it’s a dark and bumpy road out there.
Caregiving doesn’t have to be this difficult. The role of caregivig can be easier when you access caregiver support programs and groups.
Physical Care: Mobility, Nutrition, Medications and Other Daily Challenges
Aging comes with an increase in difficulties managing activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). These are the activities of bathing, dressing, continence, eating, toileting and transferring. Other activities like managing medications, paying bills, keeping a calendar, making nutritious meals, doing laundry, and housekeeping tasks also fall into this category.
Physical and health diagnoses make it more difficult to complete tasks that were once completed automatically. Alzheimer’s and dementia destroy organizational abilities. Overnight you’re being told by doctors that your aging parent has a syndrome called “failure to thrive”. This means that body systems are beginning to shut down as the result of overall neglect.
By taking Pamela’s online careguver courses and participating in the groups, this information is shared so that instead of being surprised, you can take action to avoid health declines. You will learn to take better care of yourself by learning more about the experiences of aging famly members.
Noticing Early Signs That Loved Ones Need Care
Poor walking ability, balance, and gait results in potential falls. Some older adults who fall and break a hip die within a year. Many cannot return home from the hospital. There are many early signs that a loved one needs care. The devil is in the details to pay attention to these signs and then to know what questions to ask and what actions to take.
How long has this situation occurred without notice? Is it possible to reverse? In many cases yes, when care plans and support are put into place immediately. Waiting results in a slippery slope to the end. By taking action when little concerns are noticed it is possible to prevent more serious care situations.
Elder Law, Healthcare, and Financial Planning
Elder law, healthcare, and financial planning are important specialties associated with caring for a loved one. Poor legal, healthcare, and financial literacy is common in caregiving situations.
By planning ahead and becoming aware of all of the things that happen, many of the common disasters can be avoided or at least managed. Click on this link to read more about power of attorney. Articles in the subject of healthcare and financial planning are in the library and will help you think about subjects you may have not considered.
Predicting the Future
While it’s impossible to predict the future in caregiving, it is possible to plan for the unexpected and make contingency plans. Life rarely goes as planned. Tips, secrets and formulas exist to make the journey easier. Old systems of one way communication to receive caregiving support will become a way of the past.
Caregiver support programs and groups are easily accessible. The information offered on this website solves caregiving problems.
I’m Pamela D. Wilson. I solve caregiving problems. I know that trying to solve problems and receiving generic information is more frustrating than helpful. I’ve lived through horrible and challenging caregiving situations in my families and with my clients. Being a successful caregiver takes everything that I’ve leanred in the past 20 years.
You’re in the right place to receive answers and solutions to caregiving problems and aging concerns. Let me know how I can help you.