The Caring Generation® Top 10 Caregiving Mistakes
The Caring Generation® – Episode 1 July 17, 2019 On this caregiving radio program Pamela D Wilson, caregiving expert shares the Top 10 Caregiving Mistakes plus an interview with Dr. Joy Kong on the subject, The Unknown Truth About Stem Cells. Evidence exists that stem cells benefit a wide range of health conditions and have regenerative health properties.
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The Top 10 Caregiving Mistakes Radio Show Transcript
00:58 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.
01:35 Pamela Wilson: Good evening everybody, this is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, I am your host. You are listening to The Caring Generation radio program for caregivers and aging adults. Coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, TuneIn Radio, and here in beautiful Colorado. The Caring Generation focuses on the conversation of caring, giving us permission to talk about aging, the challenges of caregiving, health, family issues and everything in between. You’re not alone with me. In fact, you’re in exactly the right place to share stories and become more informed. Please do invite your family, your friends, your co-workers and others to join us each week on The Caring Generation, because as you know, needing care or becoming a caregiver can honestly turn your world upside down.
02:30 PW: Helpful articles, tips, and solutions for caregiving concerns are on my website at pameladwilson.com, pameladwilson.com. This week, I’ll be sharing the Top 10 Caregiving Mistakes so that you can choose to avoid the pitfalls involved with helping family as caregiving responsibilities grow and become so much more complicated. In the second segment of this hour, we have a special guest, Dr. Joy Kong from THEA Center for Regenerative Medicine. She’s joining us from Chatsworth, California to talk about the unknown truth about stem cells. Stem cell therapies can help with a number of health conditions by improving the immune system and reducing inflammation. There’s evidence in the press, that stem cell therapies can benefit people with all kinds of health concerns. Dr. Kong will share the truth about stem cells because if you have been watching all of the press, you know that there is so much confusion, and so much controversy about what’s safe and what isn’t safe.
03:43 PW: Stay with me, it’s going to be a great program. After 30 minutes on the hour, we will open up the lines for listeners who want to share stories or ask questions. Take a minute, find a pen or pencil and write down this number; 866-451-1451. 866-451-1451. And just a quick reminder, there are so many elder scams out there. If you receive a call from a utility company telling you that they are shutting off your utilities, hang up and call your own company. It is a scam. And before I forget, I’d like to send out a special hello to my Facebook, my Twitter, and my LinkedIn social media friends who are listening this evening. It’s really easy to find and to follow me on Facebook, @pameladwilson.page, where you can find a hundred caregiving videos from my live daily broadcasts; on Twitter, you can find me and follow me @CaregivingSpeak; and on LinkedIn, I’m pameladwilsoncaregiverexpert.
04:48 PW: Let’s start by talking about the Top 10 Caregiving Mistakes. The first mistake, and we all make this mistake, my family included, is we don’t talk about caregiving, especially when we notice that our aging parents need help or something unexpected happens and you become a caregiver overnight—really doing whatever it takes to help out. Or you might be a person who is helping parents, grandparents or others and you don’t think of yourself as a caregiver because nobody is talking about caregiving. One in four people that you know are helping someone, caring for someone, whether they call themselves a caregiver or not. Why don’t we talk about caregiving? So many reasons. Becoming a caregiver is a major life transition. It’s a lot like moving out of your parents’ home to live on your own, getting married, having children, having grandchildren, those are things we look forward to. We don’t talk about caregiving because it involves uncomfortable subjects, like aging, needing care, health care issues and declines, and that feeling that we are losing control over life.
06:05 PW: Caregiving involves so much of what we don’t want, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I believe that we have to bring humor and laughter into our caregiving discussion, so that we don’t go crazy. So—you will hear me laugh and smile a lot during these programs. Talking about care needs can be uncomfortable. My clients who were parents avoided these discussions. They said to me, “Oh, Pamela, my children will take care of me.” But when I asked these parents if they had talked to their children and asked this question, can you guess what they told me? They told me, “No.” [chuckle]
06:44 PW: Does that surprise you? Have your parents yet talked to you about being their caregiver? Making assumptions about who will care for us is—it’s dangerous. I say it’s like jumping out of an airplane and having your parachute fail. What do you do? You use the backup parachute and then you hope that your kids rush in to help. In caregiving, we really need a backup plan for everything. Let’s talk for a moment about a backup plan for paying for care. Are you assuming that Medicare pays for all the care that aging parents need? Not true. Medicare A pays for medical care, B is rehab, outpatient care, D is prescription drugs. If you don’t have Medicare, you probably have a supplement like a Blue Cross or Kaiser, but I will tell you that your retirement savings and Social Security will pay for everything else. Your medical co-pays, your in-home care, care communities. The costs are shocking. If you haven’t yet talked about caregiving in your family, there is no time like the present.
07:51 PW: If you don’t know how to bring up the subject, invite your family, your brothers, your sisters, your parents, people from your social and church groups, everybody that you know, to come here and listen to The Caring Generation each week, so that everybody becomes comfortable talking about caregiving. I can tell you that your friends will thank you because they are probably in the same uncomfortable situation as you. They want to talk about caregiving, but they don’t know how to start that conversation. My recommendation is to talk about caregiving, to be persistent, not to give up, even if it takes you weeks or months to have the conversation with your loved one. Not talking about it equals problems, later, about who will be the caregiver. What do your aging parents want and how on earth will you pay for care? We’ll continue our discussion of Top 10 Caregiving Mistakes in the second half of this hour. We are heading into our break and it’s time to change topics.
08:48 PW: There’s been a lot of controversy in the news lately about stem cells. A few weeks ago, a federal judge issued a permanent injunction against a stem cell clinic in Florida, because they were performing unsafe stem cell treatments. When we come back from this break, Dr. Joy Kong is going to share the unknown truth about stem cells, so that you know what really is safe and not safe. I’m Pamela D. Wilson. Please invite your family, your friends, your coworkers, and others to join us each week on the Caring Generation, live on the BBM Global Network and TuneIn Radio, to help me in my mission to spread hope, help, and solutions about caregiving. More information is on my website, pameladwilson.com, including my caregiving library and online resources. You can follow me on Facebook. My page is Pamela D. Wilson page. Join my Facebook group The Caregiving Trap. We will be right back.
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11:57 PW: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I am your host. You are listening to the Caring Generation radio program for caregivers and aging adults, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, TuneIn Radio, and amazingly beautiful Colorado. Thanks for joining me. We’re back talking about the unknown truth about stem cells with Dr. Joy Kong. Dr. Kong, are you here with me?
12:22 Joy Kong: Yes, I’m here.
12:24 PW: Beautiful. I have so many questions for you. So, let’s start with your medical background, and your board certification, and why you founded The American Academy of Integrative Cell Therapy Listeners, so that everybody has an idea of your background.
12:41 JK: Okay. So, I went to UCLA for medical school, and I did go on to receive three board certifications. So, because of my interest in the brain, I went into psychiatry, and then from there, I was also very interested in addiction medicine, so I also got more certified in that, but I’ve always believed in a holistic approach to health and I just found a lacking in most of the specialties. And so, one that I found the most inspiring was what’s called anti-aging medicine, and regenerative medicine. It’s along the same lines as integrated medicine or functional medicine. It’s really looking at the body as a whole. And regenerative medicine is a part of it, and it’s a very powerful part of it, utilizing that the power of stem cells and other signaling. The way the body is signaling your different systems to regenerate.
13:36 JK: That’s how I got into stem cells, which was kind of love at first sight. It was very powerful. The moment I started trying it on a patient, the result was kind of astounding and it was… I think we all went into medicine wanting to feel that we’re actually helping people, but there’s a prevailing sense of helplessness on all the chronic illnesses. I just think that modern medicine doesn’t have a good solution, and it’s keeping people hanging in there. But the holistic approach, not only it can help address the many factors that’s propelling a chronic illness, but also, it has a way of preventing them. I found that very inspiring and then when I use stem cells to help really get people over the hurdle for repair and regeneration, just the speed and the degree of recovery was pretty impressive. But then I also believe in a holistic way of treating the body and helping with chronic conditions. Not only I learned a lot about cell therapy, but I also want people to understand the whole scope of cell therapy, that it should include all the other approaches to enhance the result of cell therapy.
15:02 JK: So, I founded Academy because I realized there’s a sore lacking in knowledge in doctors and not just the public, but even most doctors who are doing stem cell therapy. I realized that there is a… It’s a missing… It’s a part that… It’s an empty part in medicine that I have the obligation to fill it as much as I can, because I can’t stand seeing doctors not knowing what they’re doing, and promising patients this and that. And I just… Yeah, it’s not the right way. That’s why I founded Academy, so we can all be on the same page and do things safely and effectively.
15:45 PW: In simple terms, how do stem cells work?
15:49 JK: The stem cells, if you look at stem cells, stem cells carry a profound intelligence, because we all came from a stem cell. We all originated from a fertilized egg, which is the very first stem cell. From there on, we keep getting more and more stem cells, and onto a, at a certain point, they’re not stem cells anymore, they’re tissue-specific cells. We still have stem cells in our bodies that are still existing but the ones in our body, in our adult body, even if you’re in your 20s, 30s, your cells are still not as powerful as the cells, the stem cells that’s in a newborn’s body. But there are still stem cells, but people don’t realize, stem cells have different degrees. Stem cells are not created equal. There are not only many, many kinds of them, but even the same kind, of the most prevalently used, mesenchymal stem cells, it’s vastly different when you get it from a newborn, comparing to when you get it from a person’s own body, like let’s say, a 40-year-old person.
16:54 JK: The way they work, and of course, there are many different types of stem cells, but the most important type is what’s called mesenchymal stem cells. These are the cells, really are the conductor in the symphony of regeneration. They are in control because they are everywhere. We realize that it’s in every tissue of your body, as long as there’s a blood supply, there are these cells, mesenchymal stem cells. They’re almost like a… I don’t know how you could describe, like a gecko. They’re hugging the wall of the blood vessels. They’re wrapping around it, and what they do is that they listen or they sense the chemical signals from the bloodstreams. They also have the tentacles in communications with the local stem cells and other cells. They’re the bridge between what’s going on in your blood and how that cell should talk to your neighboring cells and help them respond. And they also secrete different things. They can secrete different factors into the blood, and change your immune environment that way. Or they can, often, they get into your blood cells and swim upstream and find areas of inflammation and injury where the signals were from, and they go there and settle there to start sending off signals.
18:14 JK: Now, we know most of what these stem cells do, is by sending signals. It’s not by going over to a place and start to differentiate and become a new type of cell in that local… In that particular tissue. That was a misconception, that was what we thought before, that was an old concept, whereas the science, new science has shown repeatedly again and again and again. So then now, all the scientists have agreed, these cells functions by sending out signals, not by becoming local cells. When they send signals, they can send signals to your immune system, to your local supporting cells, or your local stem cells. It would tell the local stem cells, “So you differentiate, you become a new tissue,” so that’s what they do. They have this coordinating and masterminding function. That’s kind of one of the biggest functions. There are some other more minute, that I could go into, but I want to give you the big picture.
19:18 PW: Okay, and so, think about this, we’ve got to cut to a break in just a minute, but talk about, when we come back, I want to talk about all of the controversy in the news, and what’s going on in Florida. We’re going to continue this conversation after the break. This is Pamela Wilson, your host. Please invite your family, friends, and co-workers to join us each week on The Caring Generation, live on the BBM Global Network, and TuneIn Radio to help me in my mission to reach one million caregivers. We will be right back after the break.
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22:00 PW: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I am your host. You’re listening to the Caring Generation radio program for caregivers and aging adults. Coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, TuneIn Radio, and Colorado. We are continuing our conversation with Dr. Joy Kong of the THEA Center for Regenerative Medicine in Chatsworth, California. Dr. Kong, so my next question is, if you can talk about FDA regulation, because I think consumers are confused over what is allowed here in the United States and what’s not.
22:35 JK: I think a lot of confusion came from the Bush ban on embryonic stem cell research, or at least destroying embryos, but the research… The most stem cells done in this country have nothing to do with embryonic stem cells anymore. So, the FDA does allow the use of stem cell products, under condition, when it does not go through a drug approval process. So, you can, of course, go through clinical trials and apply to become a drug but most of the stem cell companies right now are not going that route, whether going under is this wall called…
23:16 JK: Under Section 361, where the cells are considered tissue transplant. So as long the cells were not separated out from the tissue using any chemical manipulation or enzymatic digestions, or they’re not being grown in cultures, which it does change the quality and the characteristics of the cells, then FDA would say, “Well then, it’s minimally manipulated,” then you can give the drug when you… I’m sorry. You can give the cells as a tissue transplant. So, it’s like a blood transfusion. So it’s kind of controlled… Regulated the same way by the American Association of Tissue Banks. So people don’t realize, you can get the treatment in this country as long as the products are minimally manipulated. Or if it’s not minimally manipulated, it has to be under a clinical trial. So that’s kind of where it’s at.
24:11 PW: So you, in your clinic in California, you do stem cell treatments. In the news, there is news about all of these clinics in Florida being shut down. Why are you open and why are they being shut down?
24:24 JK: [chuckle] First of all, there’s three different major different types of stem cell treatments. So, two of them obtain cells from your own body. One is from a bone marrow, which has been around the longest. And fat derived has been around maybe in about 15 or so years, so it’s not as long, but the birth tissue one is even shorter, maybe 10 years or so. So fat derived, the Florida clinic is called US Stem Cell Clinic, they were using fat derived stem cells, and they were getting the cells out and injecting directly into people’s eyeballs, and to supposedly help with their vision or cure whatever condition.
25:12 JK: So, first of all, that is a very dangerous practice. And it’s practiced… I don’t even think it was practiced by qualified physicians, and several people were blinded within a few weeks. So that’s unfortunately a tragedy. And that’s the problem of unsafe practice of stem cells. And even a lot of doctors when they do not touch eye, they give IV. They’re not giving the IV cells through a proper filter. Sometimes they just… They shoot it directly into the vein, and that will have a high likelihood, even though still small, but much higher than when you do it safely, there’s a chance of embolism, so you can cause the blood circulation… Basically, a blockage of circulation in a tissue area. So, there’s a lot of unsafe practice out there. That’s why I founded Academy, it’s because I wanted to teach doctor how to do it safely. So that’s a…
26:07 JK: You know, there are a lot of doctors or some kind of clinicians who were not well-trained, but they found that stem cells, first of all, it’s exciting and then it’s also a really good business model. So, they decided that’s what they would do, but they don’t have the proper knowledge or the training and unfortunately, some don’t even care. So that’s a sad state of where things are at. So, it desperately needs people, need doctors to really uphold the standard. And that’s my reason I founded this Academy to really teach doctors to do it correctly.
26:45 PW: So, we just have a couple of minutes left. I know people are going outside the United States. Can you talk about your clinic in California, just really quick, and the fact that you—I don’t know if the word is source or produce your own stem cells, but we’ve got about a minute-and-a-half. So, if you can answer that question.
27:00 JK: Yeah sure, so people go outside the United States, first of all, they… Because it’s not legal to grow cells in culture and give it to people without being under clinical trial, but in overseas, in some other countries, it’s okay, or using enzymes is okay, even though those can all have its own issues, that’s why people go overseas. The problem is, when you digest cells, it also digests the collagen that’s surrounding the cells, you’re also digesting some of the surface receptors of the cell. So, you’re changing the cells in some way, and when you grow the cells in culture, you’re also changing the cells, the cells are not the same cells as when you try to expand them before you expand them. You don’t get all stem cells, only a small portion actually continue to be stem cells.
27:46 JK: So, people don’t realize, they’re enticed by the higher number of cells they can get, but they don’t know that the study… There was this really good clinical study actually showed that at one tenth number of cells, the number cells, native cells which means they’ve never been expanded. They are more effective than when there’re 10 times as many cells when it’s expanded. So just 10,000 of unexpanded cells works better than 100,000 expanded cells. So, what I use in our clinic is completely native cells, never been expanded, they’re completely FDA compliant. And these cells are more potent, that’s why I don’t need to give that many cells. And people will get better results. And I’ve seen that, I’ve seen people who’ve gone to overseas to get those other treatments and then come to do my treatment. I give them probably one tenth the number of cells and they get better results.
28:42 PW: So, give information about where people can find you really quick. Your website…
28:47 JK: They can go on our website. So, Chara Biologics is the company I founded which provides the best stem cell product in the country, period. And I can explain why, but it’s the most potent and most comprehensive product. So they can go on the website and reach out to us. So, it’s charabiologics.com, C-H-A-R-A, biologics.com, or they can email me directly if they want to at [email protected] So just my name J-O-Y K-O-N-G, M as in Mary, D as in David, @gmail.com.
29:23 PW: Perfect, we have got to head out to our next break. Thank you so much for being with us. I’m Pamela D. Wilson, your host please invite your family, friends and co-workers to join us each week. You are listening to The Caring Generation, live on the BBM Global Network and TuneIn Radio. Helpful information for caregivers is on my website at pameladwilson.com. We will be right back.
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32:01 PW: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, I am your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation radio program for caregivers and aging adults, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, TuneIn Radio and beautiful Colorado. We are back talking about caregiving mistakes. If you’d like to call in and share a story about a mistake, the number is 866-451-1451.
32:25 PW: The number two caregiving mistake is not creating a plan and not putting that plan in writing. It’s okay to say “I want” to your family, but that is not going to be helpful when you are in the emergency room and unconscious. The last thing that you want to be doing as a caregiver is arguing with your parents, or brothers, or your sisters about care for a loved one. I can tell you that those family disagreements about care, they can be knock-down, drag-out struggles. How many of you right now are faced with the issue of arguing with family members about care or having some type of care disagreement? Maybe you’re the caregiver and there is no one else offering to help you, and on some days, you feel like you just can’t go on. It’s important to talk now, before care is needed, so that you can avoid the stress and the struggle because caregiving doesn’t have to be filled with anxiety and worry for everybody involved.
33:29 PW: Be specific about what you want for your care. Make a plan of how and where you want to receive care. I can tell you I don’t have many aging clients saying to me, “Pamela, I can’t wait to move to a nursing home.” [chuckle] It’s like, no, nobody wants to live the rest of their life in a nursing home if it can be avoided. I recommend writing down your wishes. Something like, “I want to live in my home as long as possible with the help of my family.” The question is, do you know who’ll help you do that? That is something to talk about today, not tomorrow, because if you can’t live at home, where will you live? Are you hoping that you will live with your family? Do you want to move to a retirement community, and, even more importantly, have you saved money for this time in your life when you will have to pay for care?
34:21 PW: The other question is, who will be legally responsible to help you make health care conditions and pay bills if you can’t? Is it your spouse or a child, maybe your brother, or maybe your sister, or a friend? Because that leads us to caregiving mistake number three, which is not completing your legal planning. You want to have a medical and a financial power of attorney, a living will, and a will. Those are so much more than a piece of paper that you get off the internet, or you have an attorney draft for you, and then you stick it in a drawer and you hope that you never need them. Accidents happen all the time, whether it’s a car accident, sporting accident, falls, fractures. The issue is that if something happens to you, no matter how old you are, and you’re in that hospital emergency room and you can’t make a decision, do you want the doctors deciding for you, or would you rather have somebody that you’ve chose and you trust making those decisions? By thinking about power of attorney today, it will allow you to remain in control of your life and your health. All of this legal planning, it’s a huge gap for caregivers and for aging adults. Why? Because we all think we’re going to live forever, and I’m laughing, but, you know, life doesn’t work out that way.
35:42 PW: If you have questions about power of attorney, visit my website, pameladwilson.com. If you click on “How I Help”, there’s a whole button and a bunch of information on power of attorney. The number four caregiving mistake is being naïve. More than 20 years, my family was in this situation. My parents were getting older, my mom was very unhealthy, and, of course, we all thought she was going to live forever. One of my dad’s favorite sayings was, “What was I thinking?” I don’t know what we were thinking. We thought that she would live forever. All the signs were there, her illness, she was seriously ill. We had no idea what we were doing. My mom died in 1995, and my dad, a few years later. We didn’t talk about caregiving in our family. We were so naive. The minute that you start hearing your parents say, “Oh, we’re okay, we don’t need any help,” there should be major red flags going off, sirens waving. “We don’t need any help” is the time to have a serious conversation with your parents to talk about caregiving and legal planning.
36:50 PW: Because all of these situations, they spiral out of control to become major, major issues, and at that point, you have to rush in, swoop in, and do everything that you can to take care of your parent, or your spouse, or your loved one. Caregiving number five, mistake, this is a tough one. We don’t know what we don’t know, and so we don’t ask the right questions, we don’t ask enough questions. Honestly, how many times have you’ve done something and then you thought… “Oh, why didn’t somebody tell me that? Why didn’t I know that?” After problems happen in caregiving, many times, we realize that we didn’t ask the right questions. We didn’t know what we didn’t know, we realized that we should have asked for help. We should have joined a support group, taken a course. These are all hard lessons learned when caregivers realize all of the things that they could have done, but didn’t do.
37:49 PW: At the time that you start to manage care and work with the healthcare system, asking the right questions leads to better care for your spouse or a parent. How do you know what to ask? Many times, you don’t. You don’t know what questions to ask because you haven’t been in this position before of managing care for an aging parent or spouse. What’s involved? It’s more than you might think. Do you know the names of the health conditions of your parents? Do you know what those health conditions mean? Do you know what medications they’re taking and why? How many of us have a health condition and we never thought to ask the doctor about, gosh, what happens if this gets worse, or what can I do to make it better?
38:33 PW: These are the conversations that we don’t have because we’re too busy, we don’t want to make the effort to do anything about it, we think that, “Oh you know what, we’ll worry about it later down the road.” And then we become our parents, we become the person who needs care. The condition gets worse and we end up needing care. It’s better to get help before you need it. One thing I’m gonna ask you for, you can help me make this program better for you by sharing your suggestions, and your interests for future programs on the BBM website on the Caring Generation page. If you are listening there now, scroll down to the comment section and during this next break, leave me a comment, leave me some suggestions. We are on our way into another break, we’ll be back to talk more about the top ten caregiving mistakes and that phrase of, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” I’m Pamela D. Wilson, your host, please invite your family, friends, co-workers, and others to join us each week on the Caring Generation radio program for caregivers and aging adults live on the BBM global network and TuneIn Radio. And remember, visit my website pameladwilson.com. There is a lot of helpful information there for caregivers in my library, and my courses. We’ll be right back.
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42:05 PW: This is Pamela D. Wilson caregiving expert, I am your host, you’re listening to the Caring Generation radio program for caregivers and aging adults coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, TuneIn Radio and here in beautiful Colorado. 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. The weekly replays of these programs will be on the BBM global website, and also on my website at pameladwilson.com, pameladwilson.com. How many of you have heard the statement, “Don’t ask, don’t tell?” This leads us into caregiving mistake number six which is ignoring a diagnosis or not asking the doctor for a prognosis which is non-medical speak for a prediction about your health or the health of a loved one. You may not know this, but doctors avoid giving bad news. How many of you have heard that saying, “Don’t ask, don’t tell”? It applies to your doctor. They assume that you know or maybe you don’t want to know, if you don’t ask. If you don’t ask, the consequences of the diagnosis won’t be discussed with you.
43:22 PW: Let’s use high blood pressure as an example of a condition that leads to so many other health conditions: High cholesterol, clogged arteries, heart attacks, strokes, congestive heart failure. Would you like to know a not talked about issue with high blood pressure, that your doctor probably won’t share with you? High blood pressure can lead to a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s 10 to 20 years into the future. How do I know this? Because I’ve lived, breathe and I’ve been on called 24/7 for the last 20 years. I’ve seen what happened in my clients who had high blood pressure that led to these other issues. They were diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s only after I asked the doctors to complete that testing. In these situations, I was the guardian or medical power of attorney, so I was responsible for their care. Having the information about your health in the future, being prepared, having a plan, it is so much better than struggling or being shocked years down the road, because a doctor didn’t tell you.
44:33 PW: Caregiving problem number seven leads us to a caregiving fear and a caregiving mistake. Fear of discussing end of life. It’s difficult because having a loved one die is emotionally distressing. I know because I was 17 when my older sister was killed in a car accident. I saw what her death did to my parents. When my mother was ill over 20 years ago, I wished the doctor would have had the conversation with us about how really sick she was. That didn’t happen. I don’t want any caregiver, any aging adult ever to be in this type of situation. Knowing allows you to plan. And while the news may not be good, it is so much better than being shocked, and having a loved one die unexpectedly.
45:20 PW: I’ll hear aging parents, or people say, “Oh, you know that death thing? That’s not gonna happen to me.” And I laugh. It’s like, really? Just because you don’t talk about illness, or caregiving, it doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen to you. Being a caregiver, needing care, becoming sick, it will happen to all of us at some point. Being in denial about it, not the answer to having the care that you want, or being surrounded by people who love you. Let’s talk about denial. The number eight caregiving mistake is allowing family dynamics to prevent needed care. You might hear your mom, or your dad, or your sister say, “Oh, there’s nothing wrong, it’ll be okay.” Don’t allow your parent to deny the other parent care. Don’t allow one of your brothers or sisters to overrule your concerns.
46:12 PW: Family conflict is difficult, it’s unpleasant, but if you were in the situation of needing care and you couldn’t speak up, I hope that you would want somebody to speak up and advocate for you. That was my role as a professional caregiver over the past 20 years. I made sure my clients got the care that they needed. I was a court-appointed guardian, and a medical, and financial power of attorney, and people appointed me because either they didn’t have family, or they didn’t trust their loved ones. Family issues and a lack of trust is a topic that we’ll be talking about on this program in a few weeks. It’s more common than you think.
46:50 PW: Let’s talk about that person who will speak up and advocate for you. This is your medical or financial power of attorney. It has to be somebody that you trust with your life and your money. Frail older people, those who are helpless because they have dementia or memory issues, they can’t advocate for themselves. You have to be that squeaky wheel, the advocate, stand up for the needs of a loved one, and be fearless of family members who might intimidate you, and be difficult. They usually have a hidden agenda.
47:23 PW: The number nine care-giving mistake is making promises that you don’t keep. And I know some of you are saying, “Oh, I never make a promise I don’t keep. What are you talking about, Pamela?” Making a promise is the same as saying that you will do something and keep your word. How many of us say we’re gonna do something, and we don’t? That little, “Oh, I’ll call you tomorrow. I’ll call you next week.” We don’t really think anyone is counting on us to call. Does that call ever come? No. That means you broke your word. That is a very simple example. But when it comes to caregiving, your word matters. What you say you will do matters, because your aging parents, your spouses, your loved ones, they depend on you. They depend on you to show up. Don’t be the guy, or the girl who fails to follow through on what you say what you will do. Caregiving is a, it’s a take action role. There’s no room for excuses, there’s no room for not keeping your word.
48:20 PW: Caregiving mistake number 10, is ignoring your needs as a caregiver. It’s a big one. If something happens to you, who cares for your spouse, or your mom, or your dad? Caregivers become more sick. They suffer more health and emotional issues than the person that they’re caring for. We have to take care of ourselves as caregivers, because if we don’t, we won’t be around to take care of our loved ones.
48:45 PW: We are heading into our last break where we will finish talking about caregiving mistakes, and I’ll share information about our program for next week. This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, I am your host. You are listening to the Caring Generation radio program, where caregivers and aging adults coming to you live from the BBM Global Network and TuneIn radio. Visit my website, it’s pameladwilson.com, pameladwilson.com. There is plenty of helpful information there about caregiving, aging, and everything in between. Remember, please help me make these programs valuable, interesting, and entertaining for you. If you’re listening on the BBM Global website, on the Caring Generation page, during this next break, scroll to the bottom of the page, leave me a comment, and ideas about subjects for future programs during this commercial break. This program is for you. I create it for you, and I want to hear your ideas and your suggestions for future programs. Stay with me, we’ll be right back.
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52:03 PW: This Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, I am your host. You’re listening to the Caring Generation radio program for caregivers and aging adults, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, and TuneIn Radio. A reminder, follow me on my Facebook page, which is Pamela D. Wilson page. Every day, I do videos for caregivers on a wide range of subjects, and you are welcome to post on the page and make suggestions.
52:33 PW: Let’s finish up on the idea of caregiving mistakes and making sure that you, as a caregiver, take care of yourself. Helping a loved one, caring for a loved one, it involves stress and sleepless nights, and it can result in caregiver burnout. Leaving work early, spending evenings and weekends in caregiving responsibilities, sacrificing your friendships, hobbies, time with your own children, your husband or your wife, those are all part of caregiving. If you don’t know it, caregiving can involve giving up your life for three, five, 10 years to devote to the care of another person. It involves feelings of being rewarded, we feel good about the help that we provide to loved ones, but it can also result in feelings of isolation and depression when we become a 24/7 caregiver with no time away from caregiving.
53:33 PW: We all accept the role of caregiving because we love, but that acceptance, that doesn’t mean that caregiving is easy. As caregivers, we have to take care of ourselves. That means getting away from caregiving, even if for only short periods of time. Finding ways to remain positive is important. Listening to music that we enjoy, going out in nature, exercising, reading an inspirational book. Some caregivers tell me that they like to read the Bible. That taking time for ourselves, it allows us to continue to care for our loved ones without getting burned out.
54:10 PW: One of my very old and wise clients, her name was Martha, she talked about how fortunate she was in her life, and she was very appreciative of everything that she had, but she was pretty realistic. She had friends who would say to her, “Oh Martha, you are so fortunate. Your life is, it’s so easy.” She really didn’t have an easy life. She grew up in an orphanage, but she didn’t talk about that. She worked for everything that she had, she believed in God, she prayed every day. One of her favorite sayings to me was, “It’s good to pray, but remember, God isn’t going to give you everything, you have to do the work.”
54:49 PW: I hope you enjoyed learning about the unknown truth about stem cells with Dr. Joy Kong this evening, and the top 10 caregiving mistakes. Next week, the subject is dealing with getting older. How what we do today makes a difference in the quality of our life tomorrow, and how we can more easily manage changes in life that we experience as a caregiver, or as the person who needs care on that up and down caregiving rollercoaster. Our lives change. Many of us, we don’t like change. We go kicking and screaming down that road. Join me to find ways to make caregiving less a feeling like you live in a pressure cooker.
55:29 PW: Dr. Valerie Worthington will join us next week to talk about these health changes of our parents and how this affects daily activities. She has a PhD in educational psychology, and this is interesting, a third-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Listeners, if no one has told you this week that you are amazing, or they haven’t thanked you this week for everything that you do as a caregiver or in helping others, let me say thank you. Caregivers are unappreciated, I know this. Together, we can work through the changes that caregiving and needing care brings into our lives because solutions exist for every situation out there. Please visit my website pameladwilson.com for loads of caregiving information, my library, my courses, videos, and other helpful information.
56:23 PW: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, I am your host. Thank you so much for joining me on the Caring Generation radio program this evening, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network and TuneIn Radio. I look forward to being with you again next Wednesday evening. God bless you all and sleep well tonight.
56:45 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.