Pamela D. Wilson – The History of The Care Navigator
The Care Navigator and Beyond
My business, The Care Navigator, where I solved caregiving problems for families and served as guardian, power of attorney, and care manager blessed me in the second decade of my caregiving career from 2007 to 2018. Wonderful staff supported me in this endeavor to become a well-regarded source of support for caregiving clients and their families.
The clients, and their individual backgrounds, added so much to my life. The life lessons learned from these older adults remain with me today along with sweet memories. During this time, two other milestones were accomplished, an unexpected opportunity to produce and host a radio program, The Caring Generation®, that continues today, and a plan to write and publish a book, The Caregiving Trap: Solutions for Life’s Unexpected Changes.
During these years, from 2009-2011 I produced and hosted The Caring Generation® radio program airing on 630 KHOW-AM in Denver on Sunday mornings. The guests who offered their time and expertise for the program were amazing. The listeners who called with questions confirmed the need for solutions to caregiving problems. You can listen to these interviews and new shows from the radio program in podcast form on my website or on your favorite podcast apps on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spreaker.
The listeners of the radio program re-ignited the fire for me to finally finish the book I had been writing for the previous 10 years. After the repeat questions about when I would write the book, I finally committed and finished the book after ten re-writes, negotiations about type size, and debates over the name. My book The Caregiving Trap: Solutions for Life’s Unexpected Changes®, was born in 2016. How time flies!
Pamela D. Wilson – In Home and Family Services, Inc.
Prior to owning and operating, The Care Navigator, from 1999-2007, I owned and operated, In Home and Family Services, a company that provided in-home caregivers for older adults and care management services. Through this experience, I learned first hand about the day to day stresses of family caregivers who worked and cared for loved ones. We helped adult children caring for aging parents and spouses caring for spouses, many diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.
The clients of In Home and Family Services who entrusted their care to us wanted more services. While they wanted in-home caregivers, the caregiving path kept leading forward to other needs as the health of loved ones changed. The next steps of looking at adult day programs, assisted living, skilled nursing facilities, memory care, powers of attorney, and end of life care followed. Clients were hesitant to find someone else to help when they felt I had the expertise that was needed.
Clients wanted help finding the perfect assisted living community. Concerned about the care of loved ones living in skilled nursing communities, family caregivers wanted an advocate. Clients who needed 24-hour in-home caregivers asked me to supervise the care. Clients asked for assistance completing and submitting Medicaid applications.
We worked with the Veterans Administration to complete and submit Aid and Attendance applications. Medical power of attorney and guardianship questions were asked. The needs of the caregiving families grew and grew. One thing led to another, and the next door opened for me to create The Care Navigator that led to the creation of The Caring Generation.
Pamela D. Wilson, The Caring Generation® – Solutions and Support for Caregiving Problems
Life has a way of continuing to push us forward to the next path even when we may not exactly know what doors the next path will open. One of my favorite quotes from Emerson:
“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”
In July of 2018, I took another path, changing directions in response to requests to support caregivers with education and support on a national basis. The clients of The Care Navigator were transferred to a company offering similar services in the Denver area.
If you’ve been looking for me at The Care Navigator I’m no longer there. I’m here fulfilling a new mission.
The need for expert caregiving advice is great. Caregivers have no idea what to expect on the caregiving path. Family caregivers are dedicated to caring for aging parents, spouses, and other family members not realizing the costs to physical and emotional health and financial well-being.
A quote by Henry David Thoreau sheds light to the cost of the caregiving path:
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Thoreau
Statistics confirm that caregivers pay a high price emotionally, physically, and financially for the years spent caregiving. Caregivers become sicker than for the person for whom they provided care. When the time comes to care for the caregiver, healthcare needs may be significant and retirement resources may not be sufficient to support the skyrocketing costs of care. Women caregivers pay the greatest cost for their years of dedication. Many end their lives in nursing homes on Medicaid.
Caregivers Are Drowning from the Stress and Anxiety of Caregiving
Caregivers are emotionally exhausted, drowning from the stress and anxiety of caregiving. Many caregivers have little family support and take the path on their own. Others have family members that use scorched earth tactics that divide families. These relationships are never repaired.
Because of the last 20 years of caregiving advocacy and my years of personal experience with the loss of family members I’ve experienced all of the twists and turns on the caregiving path.
“I see the future and know what happens that caregivers don’t because of being emotionally overwhelmed” – Pamela D. Wilson
Working with the healthcare system is challenging. Bias exists against care for aging parents and spouses. Caregivers with loved ones diagnosed with dementia have an even more challenging path. Advocacy is necessary.
The caregiving path, rather than becoming easier, requires greater advocacy skills to ensure that loved ones receive good care. In my role as court-appointed guardian and medical power of attorney, I clashed with the healthcare system, insurance companies, hospitals, nursing homes, care communities, and in-home care agencies.
My goal was the best interest of my client and advocating better than average care. Amazing situations occurred that included medical and medication errors, refusals to provide treatment, hospitals dumping clients without providing care, caregivers and care communities crossing professional boundaries that resulted in legal actions, family members interfering in care—these are situations that cannot be imagined until they occur.
Solutions for the Workplace and the Caregiving Crises
Caregiving responsibilities are unending. Family caregivers are hypersensitive to the ringing phone and the potential for unexpected emergencies. This was the life I lived for 20 years in being responsible for the care of clients in both of my companies. Being responsible for the care of older adults is never-ending—until the last breath.
Working caregivers suffer additional stress. Many workplaces have not recognized the importance of providing elder care programs. These programs are the missing link that offers success for employee health and wellness programs.
The Predictive Index Talent Optimization Solution
During my years of developing and training employees, I learned that skills learned in the workplace transferred to the personal lives and well-being of my staff. Many of these skills are incorporated into my online course for caregivers.
By matching people strategy to business strategy, corporations can drive business success and empower employees to succeed in their personal and professional lives. Another component of support to the workplace is my belief in the Predictive Index.
In my role as a Predictive Index Talent Optimization Certified Leader, I help organizations with strategy, hiring the right employees, employee engagement, and tools to measure continued success. Many companies, including those in elder care, senior care, and the healthcare industry struggle to hire and retain employees. Bringing the joy back into businesses is possible with The Predictive Index.
Solutions and Support Are Here
- Join The Caring Generation FREE library – CLICK HERE
- Request to join my private Family caregiver Facebook group – CLICK HERE
- Watch my video playlist on YouTube for family caregivers – CLICK HERE
- Check out the “How I Help” tab on this website to learn more about the Basics, Corporation & Group Support, and my digital Learning Caregiver Programs.
- Invite me to speak to your organization or group.
The role of caregiving does not have to overwhelm your life. I help family and professional caregivers move forward in confidence from one challenge to the next. I support business success by helping companies match corporate strategy to people strategy.