What Do Caregivers Need Most? – The Caring Generation®

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The Caring Generation® – Episode 44 June 24, 2020. On this caregiver radio program, Pamela D Wilson, caregiving expert answers the question, What Do Caregivers Need Most for Elderly Care? Guest John Prince from National Wound Care shares information about Skin Care and Wound Prevention in the Elderly.

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What Do Caregivers Need Most Radio Program Transcript

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00:04 Announcer: Caregiving can sometimes feel like an impossible struggle. Caregivers may be torn between taking care of loved ones and trying to maintain balance in life. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. The Caring Generation, with host, Pamela D. Wilson, is here to focus on the conversation of caring. You’re not alone. In fact, you’re in exactly the right place to share stories and learn tips and resources to help you and your loved ones. So now, please welcome the host of The Caring Generation, Pamela D. Wilson.

00:48 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation radio program coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn radio. The Caring Generation focuses on conversations about health, well-being, caring for ourselves and loved ones, all tied together with humor and laughter that are essential to being a caregiver. On this program, I will share ten tips to answer the question of what do caregivers need most when talking about elderly care. Caregivers have much in common, even though all situations are different. We will talk about the commonalities and the differences from the perspective of female and male caregivers and spousal caregivers.

01:38 Pamela D. Wilson: The one common aspect that we all have regardless of being a caregiver or not is the way that our health and the health of elderly parents affect our daily quality of life. After health comes the emotional aspects of being a caregiver; acceptance, taking charge, feelings of loss, sibling relationships, role reversal, and coping strategies. To answer the question of what do caregivers need most, we will talk about all of these ideas concerning elderly care.

Caregivers Ask: How Do I Manage Health Issues of Elderly Parents or a Spouse?

 

02:11 Pamela D. Wilson: Our guest for this program is John Prince. He is the owner of National Wound Care. National Wound Care’s mission is to create a better quality of life or for patients dealing with chronic illness. National Wound Care is a DME. That is, medical speak for Durable Medical Equipment company, and they offer supplies and clinical education. That means education to doctors and nurses and healthcare providers in the healthcare system. So, people who work in home health, nursing homes, assisted living communities, memory care communities—they educate so that they can advocate about patient treatment of wounds and infectious diseases. John will share tips for caregivers and aging adults about conditions that cause wounds, wound healing, types of wounds, how to manage or prevent pressure wounds that can become severe and life-threatening, and other resources for caregivers.

03:14 Pamela D. Wilson: Wound care is an important subject that we don’t often talk about, that relates to caregiver education and awareness That a lot of people don’t talk about, and it answers the question of what do caregivers need most about elderly care. If you were with us for The Caring Generation radio show called Elder Care Workplace Solutions, you might remember hearing from Dr. Christopher Fagundes from Rice University. He talked about the effects of caregiver stress on the immune system. Caregivers who experience chronic stress and chronic disease can have more difficulty with wound healing. So it’s just not only the care recipient, it can be the caregivers also.

03:58 Pamela D. Wilson: I want to share my experience with wounds, which is unique. Because I have worked in the care and the healthcare industry for 20 years. You may know this, but healthy people are highly unlikely to experience skin wounds that do not heal. The elderly, our parents, grandparents are more susceptible because they have chronic conditions, like diabetes, stroke, dementia. Maybe they have mobility issues like cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, or physical disabilities that have them sitting or lying in the same position for multiple hours in a day. The likelihood of experiencing a wound also called a pressure ulcer, or in healthcare speak, a decube—which is a word actually originating from the Latin term decubitus, means lying down.

04:48 Pamela D. Wilson: What do caregivers need most is education about how to prevent pressure ulcers and treat open skin wounds before those wounds become serious or life-threatening. As a caregiver providing elderly care, you should be aware that pressure ulcers can begin during hospitalizations. The number of hospital patients who develop pressure ulcers continues to rise. Statistics confirm that 2.5 million people a year in the United States suffer from pressure ulcers, and 60,000 die. These wounds are discovered after they begin to appear on the skin, although the issue is—they start from inside the body. Which is why they can be difficult to heal.

05:31 Pamela D. Wilson: Some of my clients who had extreme wounds—had heart conditions or diabetes that resulted in weeping leg wounds that required wound treatments and leg wrapping. These clients were able to live at home with in-home caregivers. They didn’t die of these wounds, but they died from other related conditions. Another client of mine who had cerebral palsy laid in bed on a hard mattress in a nursing home. He acquired a bottom wound that did end his life. Two other clients of mine with dementia who sat in wheelchairs during the day and needed help with mobility—they were in memory care communities—they acquired life-ending wounds on their bottoms. These two clients were in care communities that were supposed to be attentive to skin wounds. But the staff was not well-trained, and unfortunately, when the wounds were identified, the staff was afraid to make a report to management because they were afraid they were going to get in trouble.

06:29 Pamela D. Wilson: It was my staff who actually reported the skin wounds. Specific to avoiding or identifying skin wounds, what do caregivers need most is the awareness that wounds can easily happen. Beyond awareness is the recognition that elderly care for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, and other conditions can result in these life-threatening, severe wounds. As a caregiver providing elderly care, skin checks are essential. If you notice any signs of redness or an open skin wound on the body part of your elderly parent that’s not healing, don’t wait to see a doctor or don’t wait to request a doctor visit—especially if your loved one lives in a care community. Very important to note is that skin wounds are serious, and they call attention to the possibility of, believe it or not, poor care in a care community. What does that mean? It means that the staff may not be proactive in mentioning wounds to you or in seeking treatment.

07:29 Pamela D. Wilson: You have to be that person who insists that a wound care professional becomes involved. The memory care community, where one of my clients lived, refused to send my client, even though I was her guardian to the emergency room for evaluation because they thought they could treat the wound. I knew better. I knew that they couldn’t. I called 911 myself and spent the afternoon in the emergency room with my client while the wound was evaluated for treatment. We will continue to talk about what do caregivers need most and elderly care in the second half of this program. Up next is John Prince from National Wound Care with education for caregivers about skin wounds.

08:07 Pamela D. Wilson: John’s company provides supplies and training for medical staff, visiting nursing homes, assisted living, memory care communities, and home health care companies who provide care for clients in their homes. He will share information that you must know about elderly care and also about preventing skin wounds. If you have parents or loved ones that have skin wounds, and they’re not listening this evening, do share this program. The podcast will be available in about a week. Helpful information and practical tips for caregivers and aging adults is in my Caring for Aging Parents Caregiving Blog. It’s on my website at www.PamelaDWilson.com, as well as the podcast of this and all of the radio programs on The Caring Generation radio program page. How do you get there? You go to my website, you click on the media tab, and there will be a dropdown for the radio show. This is Pamela D. Wilson on The Caring Generation live on the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Stay with me. We’ll be right back.

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11:23 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation radio show for caregivers live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. With us is John Prince from National Wound Care. John, thank you so much for making the time to join us tonight.

11:41 John Prince: You’re very welcome, Pamela. Thank you for having me.

11:44 Pamela D. Wilson: So, let’s start by talking about conditions in the elderly that can cause wounds. My dad had eczema, and he would continuously be scratching his arms, and he developed scabs that he scratched. Can that type of very simple skin issue lead to a need for wound treatment or wound care?

12:03 John Prince: Pertaining to your father, normally, no. The scab develops. It falls off, pretty pink skin, everything is great. Where an issue like that would need wound treatment is if an infection gets in the wound. Infections are the bane of wound care because when a patient gets an infection in the wound, the wound healing stops. The wound treatment stops, and we have to treat that infection in the wound.

12:42 Pamela D. Wilson: And so, for a wound, how long should it take for a simple wound to heal and maybe not get infected?

12:50 John Prince: [chuckle] Well, John Hopkins says approximately three months average, start to finish. And in wound care, from a lay standpoint, when your skin has grown over, everything is closed up. You say the wound’s healed. From a wound care standpoint, there’s still things going on as that wound heals and strengthens. So, in a normal setting, it’s three months start to finish. That’s 60%-70% of the population. Thirty percent are chronic where the wound doesn’t heal and doesn’t—you do everything you can for it, and the wound doesn’t heal, and that’s, once again, the main issue in wound care.

13:54 Pamela D. Wilson: So let’s say a person has a wound that doesn’t completely heal, so maybe it’s a diabetic with a ulcer on his foot, and maybe it gets better, and it gets worse, and it gets better. How does somebody know whether they should contact a doctor or whether they can take care of it, and it’s going to just become okay? What do they know? How do they know?

14:16 John Prince: Well, once again, I’m going to try to simplify it. It goes into context. Every wound is different. Every human being is different. Say, you’re a diabetic, and you get a blister on your foot. You should go to the doctor immediately. You shouldn’t put a band-aid on it and say, “I hope it gets better.” You should go to the doctor immediately. If it’s a person who has a wound, I usually recommend if it has scabbed over, it’s clotted, it’s scabbed over, and that scab is in place and for a period of two to three weeks, and if it goes beyond that, you should go to the doctor. If it doesn’t scab if it’s leaking, you should go to the doctor.

15:26 Pamela D. Wilson: Some of my clients had a lot of heart conditions. So congestive heart failure, they would have swelling in their legs, and so some of them have these leg ulcers. And it was interesting, sometimes they would get better, and they get worse. But they never seemed to go away, and we actually had wound care people come to the house to try to teach family how to do this. So, once somebody has a wound like that, does it require ongoing attention and wrapping too, so that it hopefully—I don’t know if they ever totally go away, do they?

16:01 John Prince: Yes, they can. But once again, it depends on what is the issue. A lot of leg ulcers, they have fluid on the legs, lymphedema. If you don’t get the fluid out of the legs, the wound’s not going to heal until that fluid is off the extremities, venous stasis ulcers, once again, diabetics. Wound care is, at the same time, it’s complicated, and at the same time, it’s relatively simplistic. And our bodies were designed to heal, and if they’re not, there’s an underlying issue that’s keeping it from happening, and the main way it heals is blood flow. I mean, if I could tell a caregiver or a patient one thing about wounds, 95% of it is related to blood flow. And if you have a good blood flow, if you have fluid on the leg that inhibits blood flow, if you’re a diabetic and you have high blood sugar that inhibits blood flow, it inhibits the nutrients getting to the wound site. Once again, it really depends on the person himself and the underlying comorbidity that they have with a leg ulcer. But I have seen some truly high acuity leg ulcers heal up, and I’ve seen some relatively simplistic leg ulcers be dealt with for years.

18:05 Pamela D. Wilson: Quick question, because we’re going to go out to a break. Is there anything that people can do to help blood flow? Is it elevating the legs? Is there anything simple?

18:14 John Prince: Yeah. One of the simplest things is proper nutrition. Proper nutrition, we call it power foods, high protein foods, promote wound healing, good blood flow, meat, eggs, milk, cheese, especially good hydration. When we get older, our skin doesn’t have the same—we get wrinkles, doesn’t have the same elasticity it had. Not drinking alcohol, not drinking soda, drinking water—whether you like it or not—all these things go into promoting a proper blood flow, as well as that blood flow carrying the proper nutrition to the wound site.

19:12 Pamela D. Wilson: Perfect. John, we are going to head out to a break. This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation on the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Stay with us. We’ll be back with John after this break.

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21:49 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation on the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Let’s continue our conversation with John Prince of National Wound Care. So John, is there a difference in the types of wounds that the elderly experience based on where they live, so for example, at home, in an assisted living community or in a nursing home?

22:13 John Prince: The answer would be yes and no. You can get any type of wound anywhere you live. However, as we all know, in a nursing home, your activity normally, if you are admitted to a nursing home, you have a very low activity level. You have a high acuity, low activity level. And that usually creates an environment that is prone to wounds, non-healing wounds. Home and assisted living, as we were talking before the break about nutrition, another simple thing to do, and that can keep a wound from happening and also help heal a wound is activity. I’m not talking about going out and running a marathon. I’m talking about activity. If you have a walker, using it. If you can go out for a walk, go out for a walk. And these activities just don’t normally happen in a nursing home. But it doesn’t matter home, ALF, SNF, you can get a wound anywhere as we all know.

23:43 Pamela D. Wilson: And before the break, we were talking about nutrition and blood flow, and things like that. What are other simple things that caregivers and aging adults can do to just prevent these wounds from even happening?

23:56 John Prince: And once again, it depends on your loved ones that you’re caring for. I spoke of activity, as we get older, we slow down. And a lot of times, you end up with a loved one that is in bed for a large amount of time. And we all know, we call it turning and positioning, examining the skin, but the very simplest ways to prevent or manage pressure wounds, turning and positioning, proper nutrition, once again, no sodas, proper hydration. Those are the simplest ways, and if that’s done consistently, you’re going to avoid most issues.

24:54 Pamela D. Wilson: So, what advice would you give to a family caregiver who has a parent maybe with a heart condition or diabetes, they are sitting all day? How do these caregivers talk to parents about maybe like doing skin checks or looking at their skin or talking to a parent about, “Well, you should maybe turn and reposition yourself,” without the parents getting angry about this because I know that can be a worry of caregivers?

25:19 John Prince: Well, [chuckle] I have dealt with a lot of caregivers through the years and a lot of patients through the years, and my advice comes from a personal place as well as observation, and that is, any healthcare issue is stressful. It creates a high level of stress. And then as you already know, there’s different types of people. Different types of personalities. I know you’ve discussed different ages of caregivers, whether they’re a millennial, whether they’re this, and my simplest advice, and this doesn’t work all the time, but it’s what I’ve found to work best. If you can have a discussion, or a suggestion, from a place of caring, or the person you are relaying this information to, knows it’s coming from a place of love for them, they still can get defensive. But most of the time, they’ll think about it. They’ll understand that it’s coming from a position of caring for them, and they’ll receive it. But once again, unfortunately, nothing works 100% of the time.

26:53 Pamela D. Wilson: That is so true, and talking from a point of love, that is a good suggestion. So your company National Wound Care, you do a lot of education for professionals about wound care. Where can consumers go to get good information about wound care?

27:08 John Prince: Whether you’re a patient, whether you’re a caregiver, my favorite place that I send people for information is healthline.com. It’s Healthline, one word.com. And you can go through there, and there’s a search bar at the upper right-hand corner, and you can type in like we’re talking about today. You can type in wounds, and it will bring up information. But this information is very, very simple to understand. It goes in-depth, but it’s simple to understand, and it’s in short bites. You don’t have to sit down for an hour to read through something. And it’s probably my favorite place to go because of the quality of the information and the quantity that’s out there.

28:08 Pamela D. Wilson: Well, and give your website because that should be another favorite place to go, especially if we have any healthcare professionals listening tonight who might be interested in education. I know that you do a lot of that for the healthcare professionals. So, what is your website?

28:21 John Prince: The company is National Wound Care, and it’s www.nationalwound.com.

28:27 Pamela D. Wilson: Perfect. John Prince, you are amazing. Thank you so much for joining us this evening. Listeners, do visit John’s website at nationalwound.com. The podcast of this show if you want to share it, will be available in about a week on my website and your favorite podcast sites, Apple, Google, Spreaker, Spotify, and others. This is Pamela D. Wilson. You are with me on The Caring Generation live on the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Stay with me. We’ll be right back after this break.

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31:13 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving advocate. I am your host. This is The Caring Generation radio program for caregivers, and aging adults live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. The Caring Generation focuses on the conversation of caring, giving us permission to talk about aging, the challenges of caregiving, health, and everything in between. Let’s begin with tip number one to answer the question, what do caregivers need most on the subject of elderly care? This tip is understanding. Regardless of the caregiving role, daughter, son, husband, wife, partner, friend, or another family member. What do caregivers need most is understanding across all areas of life, work, the relationship with the care receiver, family members, brothers, and sisters. And to this idea, I will add self-insight. For example, I have had spousal caregivers who say, “If I was caring for my parent, I would know what to do, and I would have family support, but I’m caring for my spouse, and I have no idea what to do. Shouldn’t I know what to do?” Well, the answer is not necessarily. Feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression are very common for caregivers providing elderly care, especially for spousal caregivers.

32:36 Pamela D. Wilson: In these situations, what do caregivers need most is insight and willingness to take action so that life is more than caregiving tasks. Are you a caregiver who has given up friendships, stopped attending social activities, and who might not be taking care of your health? As a caregiver, you deserve equal time, equal attention, and self-care. Only you can make this happen, nobody else can change feelings of loneliness, isolation, or depression, or make you pay better attention to your health. While it’s likely that other caregivers understand, because we all talk amongst ourselves, family members who are not involved in caregiving or friends not involved in elderly care, they don’t understand. You want to create relationships with people who do understand and stop trying to convince those people who are not empathetic to be empathetic because that just makes us as caregivers more exhausted. How many of you feel like you’re talking to a wall when you’re trying to explain to somebody how stressful caregiving is, and they don’t understand?

33:43 Pamela D. Wilson: Tip number two for what do caregivers need most is to find a path through that grief. You might be watching a very capable and very strong husband,  wife, your mom, or your dad, they’re losing their physical and mental abilities because they have a diagnosis like heart disease, diabetes or Alzheimer’s. So, in addition to missing this person that was a partner or a support for you, you might miss having a companion or mom or dad. Elderly care results in changes that may not be reversible. But may be manageable if we can get our thoughts around a situation that will keep changing. For the idea of grief and what do caregivers need most, we want to grieve. My suggestion is to write down everything that you miss as a result of becoming a caregiver, get angry about it. Have a good cry, ask for grace, ask for strength, and inner healing so that you can gain a new perspective about the situation. Gaining a new perspective is viewed differently by sons, daughters, and spousal caregivers.

34:44 Pamela D. Wilson: Women might dwell on emotions before gaining the momentum to take a step forward. Men grieve. They get frustrated. They get angry, and most of them will move into problem-solving mode. Spouses can move through a range of emotions that include love, feeling discouraged, frustrated, definitely feeling that no one understands. Even their adult children who might be helping in the caregiving situation. In all of these caregiving roles, what do caregivers need most is to grieve and acknowledge that a situation may be far from perfect. This takes us to tip number three for what do caregivers need most—acceptance. Caregivers providing elderly care, shift part of their lives to accommodate caregiving responsibilities. Some move across the country. Others move elderly parents into their homes. They may give up promotions, change work schedules. Daughter and son caregivers can share this belief of the fact that we do elderly care because it’s a responsibility. While men experience a lot of emotions about caregiving responsibilities, there’s a tendency for them to focus more on being that dutiful son who does whatever it takes and who is a problem solver or a strategist. Similar beliefs are held by men in the workplace who bring their skills from the workplace into caregiving.

36:05 Pamela D. Wilson: A lot of women will get busy with eldercare. Women manage households, provide hands-on care, offer emotional support to elderly parents. So, sons and daughters respond differently. Daughters are usually the primary caregiver, but sons will also step in and help when mom or dad need help. Tip number four for what do caregivers need most involves strategies to manage angry outbursts, lose patience, and the feeling the caregiver is doing so much that life is passing them by. Between juggling work and caregiving, a lot of caregivers feel that the plans they had for life have just gone off track. Spousal caregivers can feel the same way. Elderly care can bring brothers and sisters together to reinforce situations. But it can also bring back the idea that they didn’t have a good relationship when they were younger. So there may be some resentment in there. Tip number five for what do caregivers need most is realizing that providing elderly care means that the caregiver will need help. Of all the tips, this one is the most difficult. Women caregivers want to do it all. Men are more likely to recognize that they can’t do it all, especially providing personal care and doing some household tasks.

37:20 Pamela D. Wilson: So, men may be more likely to find paid help. Asking for help can definitely ease a lot of the worries and the struggles of being a caregiver. Coming up after this break, we’re going to continue to answer the question of what do caregivers need most. We’re going to talk about strategies for care and how to move caregiving situations forward when you may not know exactly what to do. Helpful information for caregivers and aging adults is on my website and in my caregiving library at www.PamelaDWilson.com. Where you’ll also find information about my caregiving book, it’s called The Caregiving Trap: Solutions for Life’s Unexpected Changes. This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, author, and speaker. You are with me on The Caring Generation live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Stay with me. We’ll be right back after this break.

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40:37 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, author, and speaker. This is The Caring Generation coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Information for corporations and human resource departments about caregiving training and education on-site or through online caregiving video conferencing and programs is on my website at www.PamelaDWilson.com. We’re back with more tips for what do caregivers need most about elderly care. We’ve worked our way through a lot of the emotional aspects. Now, we’re going to focus on strategies and practical steps for what do caregivers need most? And tip number five, which is the realization that caregivers will need help and having insight. So when we can place caregiving situations in perspective, the idea of learning new skills, gaining confidence, it’s the area of personal growth and having an opportunity to serve as a role model for our children. So that we’re not passing down caregiving issues from generation to generation. The idea of what all caregivers need most is extensive because caregiving touches all areas of life. Tip number six for caregivers is recognizing that there are a few easy answers and even fewer perfect solutions.

41:57 Pamela D. Wilson: Elderly care situations continuously change. Caregivers talk about change, like being on this up and down roller coaster in a short period of 24 hours. What do caregivers want most is good care for loved ones. Fear of elderly care situations getting worse can keep caregivers awake at night. It can result in distractions at work during the day. Getting good care for loved ones matches with that idea of getting proper care for ourselves as the caregiver. The aspect of being open-minded, to go outside of our comfort zones to seek help has a secondary benefit of helping ourselves as caregivers, and it sets an example for our children of how to approach health and well-being. Getting care for loved ones can also require additional skills for caregivers. For elderly care and what do caregivers need most, there are some skills like figuring out the problem, identifying options, creating an action plan. Maybe you have to do some research or make some phone calls to request information, meet with some people, other activities so that you can keep everything moving forward. This leads to tip number seven for what do caregivers need most? It’s that big picture view with a positive and a persistent attitude of never giving up.

43:11 Pamela D. Wilson: Taking into account the emotional aspects of caregiving and the education and planning issues is where son, daughter, husband, and wife differences show up again. Women can sometimes be more pulled in to the emotions of caregiving because they see themselves in the protector role. While men also see themselves in that protector role, they can sometimes combine this role with problem solver and financial provider. This means that men do feel emotions. But they’re more likely to be led by facts and logic. Using work strategies can be one of the tools that answer the question of, what do caregivers need most for successful elderly care situations. Elderly parents with multiple health conditions have more contact with the healthcare system and a lot more medical appointments. Research about the healthcare system confirms that men are taken more seriously by healthcare professionals because they’re more fact-based. Women are viewed as more emotional, and unfortunately—and this is research-based—the healthcare system doesn’t always take women’s concerns as seriously as men because they believe that we women worry excessively about illness and health concerns.

44:24 Pamela D. Wilson: There’s evidence of this in the diagnosis of women for heart conditions, for pain and treatment of women in hospital emergency rooms, and this includes your parents. So your female mother may not get as good care because she’s a woman. So the qualities of being positive and persistent, never giving up, are very useful in answering that question of what do caregivers need most by focusing on the idea of wanting good care and using that as a common focus between the caregiver and the healthcare providers, so the doctor, the nursing home. Your conversations can focus on good care for your parents rather than the emotional aspect of feeling that the healthcare system can be insensitive, rushed, or inattentive because it definitely can. Regardless of sex, physicians are more likely to present options to caregivers and patients who bring in facts, ask questions, and seem genuinely interested in care. Showing up to doctor appointments or the emergency room and not asking questions, that is not the way to get good care. Not knowing what questions to ask leads us to tip number eight for what do caregivers need most to receive good elderly care for parents and loved ones. One answer is support from the workplace, in the area of flexible schedules and remote work when possible.

45:47 Pamela D. Wilson: Getting good care takes being proactive, so you have to sit in and actually attend medical appointments with your elderly parents. You have to make phone calls to insurance companies about costs. Investigate co-payments for treatments, so that there are no unpleasant surprises and even prescription drugs. Some of you might be interviewing in-home caregivers and other service providers. All of this takes appointments that mostly are scheduled during working hours. Caregivers need the flexibility to do whatever it takes with the agreement with your employer that work will be completed outside of regular hours if that is necessary. Accommodations for elderly care require accommodations for employees to be able to get the job done. That also means that working caregivers need accommodations from their families for after school or other events for children. You might be trading time to provide care for elderly parents, and then you’re working in the evenings or on the weekends. You might be a person who always had dinner on the table. And you may be trading dinners for helping elderly parents. So maybe your spouse or your teenage children are helping with dinner.

47:00 Pamela D. Wilson: Shifts in one part of the caregiver’s life are likely to require changes in others, and that takes us to tip number nine and tip number 10. And these are the differences in how men and women prefer to receive caregiver support. There’s a lot of research out there that says men prefer educational support and specific information about how to manage care, how to talk to medical providers, what to do in planning for care for three months from now, and 12 months from now, and a year from now. Women also want that, but they also want emotional and social support that they get from online caregiving groups or caregiving groups in person. We’ll talk more about these topics after the break and how we can help each type of caregiver receive the help that they need. This is Pamela D. Wilson. You are listening to The Caring Generation radio program on the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Helpful tips for caregivers and aging adults is on my website at www.PamelaDWilson.com. Stay with me. We will be right back after this break.

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51:31 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. This is The Caring Generation radio program for caregivers and aging Adults, live on the BBM Global Network, Channel 100, and TuneIn Radio. Encourage your human resource department to check out my online caregiver program. It’s called Taking Care of Elderly Parents: Stay at Home and Beyond. This program offers specific steps for caring for elderly parents and information for caregivers to be proactive about health and setting good examples. So, let’s talk about tip number nine for what do caregivers need most, and this one is for men.

52:07 Pamela D. Wilson: Men say that they need and want information about caregiving support, planning, and problem-solving. This information can be about performing regular tasks to identify health concerns, managing family relationships, and the relationships with the healthcare system. After moving through the stages of grieving and acceptance, men more often want to make practical plans to address serious situations. Men say that they prefer access to online educational programs and information that is process and results-oriented. They want time-saving measures, tips, and strategies. Some men, more likely male spouses, will participate in male-only support groups so that they have a social outlet with other men. Men who engage in groups with women attend these groups for tips on how to care for wives, more specifically to personal care and hygiene, and other types of tasks.

53:06 Pamela D. Wilson: Women also seek online education and practical advice for caregiving for many of the same reasons as men. But for women, in addition to these practicalities, like I mentioned before, they have an interest in social and emotional support from other women. Women typically share experiences with other women. Men may gather in groups with men for other social activities, but a lot of men tell me they don’t talk about anything personal, including sometimes caregiving. These are the differences between the sexes in friend and social relationships. For spousal caregivers, education and groups are doubly important because of the feeling that adult children and other people just don’t understand. Spousal caregivers may have given up friendships over the years. That means that re-establishing friendships outside of caregiving might be stressful because caregiving is such a significant part of life.

54:02 Pamela D. Wilson: Tip number 10 for women and spouses is to continue to initiate and create social relationships. This aspect is valuable and beneficial. You have others who understand your feelings. Caregivers share situations and tips with you, and you can ask questions and gain resource information. The big idea here is that if you’re a caregiver, no matter what your role, you will get what you need from your groups. What do caregivers need? Understanding, compassion, ways to process grief, tips to accept change and to be a caregiver, strategies to manage days when we’re angry, recognition that there are very few easy answers, and even fewer perfect solutions. We want to have a big picture view with a positive and persistent attitude of never giving up, support from the workplace in the way of flexible schedules, plus practical caregiver education and support that we can use.

54:57 Pamela D. Wilson: Information about caregiving training and education is on my website. It’s at www.PamelaDWilson.com. My book, called The Caregiving Trap, is there. You can also visit my Facebook page. I have a caregiving support group on Facebook that is also called The Caregiving Trap, which is the same name of my book. Also on my website is my Caring for Aging Parents blog.

55:19 Pamela D. Wilson: Caregivers and family professionals, it is so important for you to speak up and to ask for what you need in the way of help and caregiving support, which is here every Wednesday on The Caring Generation radio show and on my website. You could also send me ideas for future shows at the Contact Me button on my website. Caregivers, help yourselves, ask for help. This is Pamela D. Wilson. You are with me on The Caring Generation on the BBM Global Network and TuneIn radio. God bless you. Sleep well tonight. Have a fabulous day tomorrow and a great week until we are together again.

55:55 Announcer: Tune in each week for The Caring Generation with host, Pamela D. Wilson. Come join the conversation and see how Pamela can provide solutions and peace of mind for everyone, here on Pamela D. Wilson’s The Caring Generation.

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About Pamela Wilson

PAMELA D. WILSON, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA helps caregivers and aging adults solve caregiving problems and manage caregiving needs through online programs, live support groups, and an extensive caregiving library that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

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