So Again We Ask The Question: Who Is Taking Care of The Caregivers?

Violence Against Nurses By Patients and Others is On the Rise

This disturbing security camera video is a graphic depiction of a growing concern

So again we ask the question, Who is taking care of the caregivers?

http://www.kare11.com/story/news/crime/2014/11/06/video-released-shows-hospital-patient-attacking-nurses-at-st-johns/18597273/

Share The Care Organization: Our Mission Is To Improve The Quality Of Life For Everyone Who Needs Support

LEARN MORE:  http://sharethecare.org 

CHARITABLE STATUS

 ShareTheCaregiving™ Inc. (STCG) is a not-for-profit organization and is registered with New York State, Department of Law, Charities Bureau.

On July 1, 2008 ShareTheCaregiving™, Inc. put its 501c3 into hibernation in order to go under the fiscal umbrella (501c3) of the National Center for Civic Innovation (aka The Fund for the City of New York.) NCCI provides us with needed fiscal and administrative management services so we can better focus on our mission.

ShareTheCaregiving Inc.(STCG) is also widely referred to as Share The Care™(STC)

OUR FOCUS IS EDUCATION

Caregiving will touch everyone at some point in life yet it often remains in the shadows of the public/media spotlight because it does not make for a picture that melts the heart but rather one to be avoided at all costs. Not so much because people are uncaring but rather frightened and uneducated.

Sometimes, friends disappear when illness strikes because they don’t know “what to do or what to say.”

And often the person needing support and their caregiver hide the fact and carry the entire burden alone rather than admit they could use help.

STC’s focus is on educating caregivers, patients and their concerned friends, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances about the profound personal benefits to everyone involved through sharing the care.

Because we find that family caregivers often tend to be isolated and therefore less likely to reach out for help, we target professionals, and faith communities. They see caregivers and patients on a daily basis and are best situated to identify those who could benefit from a STC group. We also seek to reach working caregivers through corporations.

 OUR MISSION

To improve the “quality of life” of anyone
who needs support–and to reduce the stress,
depression, isolation and economic hardship
of their caregivers.

‘Nursing the Nation’ – A Poem to the British Media by Ms. Molly Case Nursing Student in London, England

The eloquence and poise demonstrated by this young nursing student as she addresses a professional nursing congress in London is amazing.

Listen to her heartfelt sentiments about the misrepresentation of her chosen profession in the press by the British Media. 

ANA Position Statement Addressing Nurse Fatigue to Promote Safety and Health: Joint Responsibilities of Registered Nurses and Employers to Reduce Risks

Addressing Nurse Fatigue to Promote Safety and Health:
Joint Responsibilities of Registered Nurses and Employers to Reduce Risks

This statement articulates the American Nurses Association’s (ANA)
position with regard to the joint responsibilities of registered nurses and employers toreduce risks from nurse fatigue and to create and sustain a culture of safety, a
healthy work environment, and a work-life balance. Both registered nurses and
employers have an ethical responsibility to carefully consider the need for adequate
rest and sleep when deciding whether to offer or accept work assignments, including on-call, voluntary, or mandatory overtime.

You Tube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBSc80puIMU&feature=share

Link to Official Position Statement: 

http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/WorkplaceSafety/Healthy-Work-Environment/Work-Environment/NurseFatigue/Addressing-Nurse-Fatigue-ANA-Position-Statement.pdf

4 Inspiring Pema Chodron Quotes to Help You Through Any Day. Guest Post by Ruth Lera

If you’re anything like me Pema Chodron has saved your life more than once.

As a Buddhist nun Pema has brought the humanity of Buddhism to the world through her teachings, writings and audio recordings. I couldn’t be more grateful.

One winter I went to sleep every night listening to her audio book, “Unconditional Confidence.” I drifted in and out of sleep catching the wise words as I drifted between worlds. I heard about her own struggles with depression and how she even tried marijuana to numb the pain. It didn’t work. Everything just made her feel more lost.

But somehow, eventually, she found her way to the teachings of her teacher Chogyam Trungpa, and she meditated and she studied and to the great benefit of us all she has taught what she learned.

Why do Pema’s teachings touch our hearts so deeply? Why do we turn to her books, retreats and audio recordings again and again? I think it is because she has been there and done it as they say. She has had children and gone through a divorce. Her heart has broken and then she found the dharma and learned how to stay with a broken heart.

And she is an incredible communicator who has found the kind words and the funny words and the meaningful words to share these teachings. This is no small feat.

So, here I share with you four of my Pema favorites. I hope they help you today, tomorrow and any day you need them.

1. Life is a work in progress, a process of uncovering our natural openness, uncovering our natural intelligence and warmth. I have discovered, just as my teachers always told me, that we already have what we need. The wisdom, the strength, the confidence, the awakened heart and mind are always accessible, here, now, always.

We are just uncovering them. We are rediscovering them. We’re not inventing them or importing them from somewhere else. They’re here. That’s why when we feel caught in darkness, suddenly the clouds can part. Out of nowhere we cheer up or relax or experience the vastness of our minds. No one else gives this to you. People will support you and help you with teachings and practices, as they have supported and helped me, but you yourself experience your unlimited potential.

2. So, if you can combine that moving in the direction of nothing to hide from yourself with humor and loving kindness then the whole thing begins to transform your being.

3. As long as we’re caught up in always looking for certainty and happiness, rather than honoring the taste and smell and quality of exactly what is happening, as long as we’re always running away from discomfort, we’re going to be caught in a cycle of unhappiness and disappointment, and we will feel weaker and weaker. This way of seeing helps us to develop inner strength. And what’s especially encouraging is the view that inner strength is available to us at just the moment when we think we’ve hit the bottom, when things are at their worst.

Instead of asking ourselves, “How can I find security and happiness?” we could ask ourselves, “Can I touch the center of my pain? Can I sit with suffering, both yours and mine, without trying to make it go away? Can I stay present to the ache of loss or disgrace-disappointment in all its many forms-and let it open me?” This is the trick.

4. Our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis. Our brilliance, our juiciness, our spiciness, is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, and therefore it doesn’t do any good to try to get rid of our so-called negative aspects, because in that process we also get rid of our basic wonderfulness. We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves.

The Caregivers’ Living Room: guest Post by Donna Thomson

Helping Family Caregivers Face the Future

November is National Caregiving Month, so I could think of no better reason than to tell you about two new trends in caregiving.  And they’re both good news for families.

The first is called The Greenhouse Project.  It’s an international movement in humanising eldercare, but it was a small project in Wyoming that caught my eye.  Green House Living for Sheridan (Wyoming) is about as far from a traditional nursing home as you could imagine, and the residents of Sheridan like it that way.

http://www.donnathomson.com/2014/11/helping-family-caregivers-face-future.html

Unsung Heroes: The Face Of American Caregiving By Ann Brenoff and Shelley Emling

Unsung Heroes: The Face Of American Caregiving

Posted: 11/03/2014 8:32 am EST Updated: 11/03/2014 10:59 am EST
CAREGIVING

We are the nation’s caregivers. We have stepped up to the challenge of caring for our aging relatives and loved ones — providing services that, if paid, would cost upward of$522 billion a year, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

We assist our loved ones with meals, hygiene, driving and getting around; we take time off from our own jobs to take them to see doctors and fill prescriptions at drugstores; we check on them, pay bills for them, move them closer so that we may watch them better. We love them even when they see our faces and can’t remember who we are. And we are not paid a cent for turning our lives inside out to meet their needs. If anyone went to replace the informal care we are dispensing to our elderly parents, for example, it would cost $221 billion a year, even at minimum wage. If we were replaced by skilled nurses, it would cost $642 billion annually.

And, as our readers have eloquently told us in a series that launched Nov. 3,caregiving costs the caregivers too. Caregiving takes its toll on our emotional well-being, our physical health, our careers, our quality of life. While caregiving is not always without joy, it is also never without sacrifice. For the next three weeks, Huff/Post50 will feature the stories of caregivers, who will tell us in their own words how caregiving has impacted their lives.

Julie Lew told us about how her father, Stanley Lew of Fremont, California, has selflessly cared for her mother, officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s six years ago.

“The pernicious way in which the disease transforms someone you’ve known all your life into an irrational, agitated, paranoid, childlike stranger happens so subtly and erratically that I think dad was always hopeful that she was just having a bad day and that if he put up with it temporarily everything would soon be all right again,” she said. “And so when mom got up at 1 o’clock in the morning and put on her makeup, got dressed, and left the house in the pouring rain because she had to “meet someone,” he followed her and brought her home. When she accused him of having an affair, he tuned her out. When she thought there were strangers lurking outside their house, he comforted her. He shouldered this frightening burden on his own, unwavering.”

Julie Lew said it’s not so much that her dad’s taken care of her mom 24/7 without much complaint, but that it’s also the way he’s tried to re-create life as she knew it before she became ill.

“Throughout her life, mom always kept herself well-groomed, making up her face every morning, visiting the hairdresser regularly, wearing designer clothes. My dad, like most men, had no idea how my mom put herself together; he just appreciated the end result,” she said. “So I was quite surprised, and tickled, to drop in on them one morning to find him applying her makeup for her. Eyebrows are really hard to draw, said my dad, who actually is one of the best self-taught artists I know.”

She said her dad is an unsung hero — always there for her mom, ready for anything.

But Stanley Lew is not alone. According to a HuffPost/YouGov poll, 55 percent of those surveyed said they’d prefer to personally care for a seriously ill parent or close relative; 32 percent would hire a nurse to care for them in their home. Another 19 percent would pay for them to live in an assisted living facility while 5 percent would not care for them in any of these ways and 18 percent are unsure. When it comes to spouses, 64 percent would prefer to personally care for their ill partner.

When asked how long someone would be willing to care for a sick spouse or relative, 52 percent responded they’d be willing to do so for more than five years.

Just Say Yes! A Guest Posting by Alison Shaw, NP, LMT, CEH

Just Say Yes!

Turning Resistance into Acceptance Creates an Empowered, Healthy Life

Life is movement. Living things are animated, and when they stop moving the flow of vital energy is shut off and health is compromised. This is true on many levels.

On the physical level, human life depends on the constant rhythm of breath, heartbeat and the flow of blood through open vessels. If this ceases, so does life. Physical exercise is also vital for the health of body and mind. Yoga, deep breathing and natural foods all help to keep our physiology moving freely.

But freedom of movement is important to other aspects of life, too. Emotional health depends on the ability to experience and express feelings. Emotions have energy and act much like water. When water is allowed to flow freely, it will always find its way to a peaceful state. Raging rivers high in the mountains eventually reach the ocean, dissipate and settle. But when the river is damned, the energy of the water does not simply disappear; it creates pressure. So too, when emotional expression is blocked, that emotional energy is held by the body. To stop it, muscles tense, the breath constricts and the body gets stuck in a state of contraction which interferes with health.

Movement is also vital to the self and soul. For those that aren’t able or permitted to express creativity, pursue visions and create their chosen life, unhappiness and worse results. No one can thrive when life force, and the movement associated with it, is suppressed on any level.

Then again, emotions, and expressing them, can be painful, so people often resist what they feel and close down in self-protection. These “body-mind patterns” are formed at a young age and persist as habits throughout one’s life. Individuals stop breathing to block feeling emotions, tighten the jaw to resist speaking and brace all over to fight physical pain. Like boxers constantly blocking punches, it becomes habit to resist to avoid surrender at all costs.

Consequently, individuals try harder to be who they think they should be, to feel good, and not show the bad stuff. Reminders to “stay positive; be strong; look good; do it right; don’t feel that; get over it!” have been heard by all. It is common and understandable to think or say, “I don’t want to feel this!” Unfortunately, resistance locks the unwanted feeling in place.

Mindfulness meditation teaches people to be compassionate witnesses of their experience instead of trying to change it. This has been shown to elicit the relaxation response, improve cardiovascular and immune function and generate well-being. Expressive art and movement therapies help people free emotional and creative expression for deep healing.

The somatic therapist Richard Strozzi Heckler describes how living like an aikido master helps create a life with more peace and health. Unlike the boxer, the aikido master has the opposite response to unwanted experiences. Instead of blocking the punch, the aikido master reaches for the punch and draws it toward him/herself. By accepting what is, even the painful, the force of that punch dissipates. It’s counterintuitive but it works.

There is vitality trapped in unwanted emotions and censored self-expression. When it’s blocked and held, it’s hard to feel empowered and move freely on any level. When we soften and allow our experience to flow, we can move toward peace and aliveness.

Here’s how to free up one’s life force and step into power:

  1. Notice when “No” is the response to an experience. Feel how the body blocks the flow of sensation, emotion or impulse. Does the breath stop, jaw or shoulders tighten?
  2. Open the breath; release the tension in the body. Imagine turning toward this experience and saying, “Yes, you can be here.” Like relaxing on a cold day and letting the chills run through the body, it’s not comfortable but it will pass.
  3. Allow the feeling of what’s real, and notice the force of the unwanted sensation or emotion softens, easing distress and making way for the next experience to flow. Increased energy, greater relaxation and deeper rest may now become more noticeable.

Remember; what we can feel, we can heal and what we resist persists.

Alison Shaw is a nurse practitioner, integrative therapist and owner of Bodymind Resourcing, in Arlington, which combines body-centered counseling, integrative bodywork and energy medicine. For more information, visit BodymindResourcing.org or call 781-646-0686.