6 Easy Ways To Stay Organized and Productive as a Caregiver A Guest Post by Maggie Drag

caughtinthemiddle

Being a caregiver is arguably one of the most noble professions out there – but it can also take a serious toll on your personal life. Here are 6 work-life balance tips to help you reduce stress, and ultimately make you the best caregiver for not only your clients, but for yourself, too!

1.) Plan Ahead

If you have multiple clients, or work as a live-in caregiver, keeping track of their favorite foods, interests, and medications may seem like a job in itself. Keeping a daily planner can help! If you’re constantly on your phone, try downloading an app like Fantastical, ReQall and Evernote. They are super easy to use and will allow you to set up alerts and various notifications in case you’d like to be reminded of their doctor appointments, and even your own appointments with your caregiving agency, for example. At the end of the day, keeping on top of your clients’ needs and preferences will save you a lot of stress and in the future.

2.) De-Clutter

From old receipts and grocery lists, you may have trouble remembering which documents belongs to who! Here are some easy ways to help both yourself and your client, and try doing it together and make it fun while you’re at it! First, organize your bills and clients’ bills in a binder for safe-keeping. Next, divide up your coupons into a handy coupon organizer for easy access. Finally, keep track of your own caregiving documents, from contracts, care plans and emergency contacts in a folder. Try organizing each folder by client if you have multiple, and keep a small notepad to jot down any other helpful information.

3.) Think Ahead

As a caregiver, you know that life as you know it may change in a second, whether it be your client’s health, a sudden re-assignment, and not to mention changes in your personal life. First, make sure you have a list of emergency contacts (including your agency) prepared in case you are unable to help your client or need to be relieved at any point. Next, be sure you have a plan set up for a medical emergency based on your client’s health history. Keeping track of their food allergies for one is a simple but critical step to preventing emergencies in the future.

4.) Reconnect with Loved Ones

If you’ve lost touch with a close friend, since you started another assignment, remember this: Caring about your job is one thing, but caring about your relationships is far more important in the long run. Call your distant relative via Facetime – you could even plan a day where you help your client Facetime their grandchildren after you connect with your own family!

You carry a great responsibility as a caregiver, and while your friends and family should understand that you are often very busy, don’t forget to show them some appreciation and keep in touch!

5.) “Me” Time

Being a caregiver takes a lot of work, but it is incredibly rewarding and allows you to build meaningful relationships and touch so many lives. However, as much as you may love your job, don’t forget to carve out some time for yourself each day– even if for only an hour, to do some gardening, watch some old movies, surf the internet, and even go out for a relaxing day at the spa. If you are a live-in caregiver, ask your client if they’d like to join in on the fun! This will help you stay productive and engaged in your assignment in a much more meaningful way.

6.) Take Care of Yourself

As much as you care about your job as a caregiver, don’t forget that the first step to being an amazing caregiver is taking good care of yourself. Keep up with exercise, eat a balanced diet but make sure you’re getting the necessary rest between assignments first and foremost- especially if you work overnight. Sleep allows your body and brain to replenish, not to mention stay alert on important assignments and throughout the day if your client needs extra supervision when taking medications, for example. Losing sleep can ultimately take a serious toll on your health in the long run, so don’t be afraid to ask your agency about rescheduling your assignments or for tips on how to manage your sleep schedule to help you be your best for your clients.

About the author:

Maggie Drag is the owner and founder of a homecare agency located in central Connecticut. With over 27 years of experience in the industry, Maggie shares her knowledge and tips about care at home.  Visit homecare4u.com  to learn more about Maggie Drag.

4 Top Strategies for Finding Your Dream Job by Phyllis

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Originally Publish Date: March 16, 2017 https://www.aorn.org/aorn-org/surgicalexpo/conference-blog/find-your-periop-dream-job

 

I want to share some career coaching guidance with you:

1. Build a Strong Resume that Reflects Your Worth

Ensure your full name with credentials appears at the top in the header along with your contact information. The correct formatting is, name (middle initial optional), highest academic credential, RN, certification. For example, Mary A. Smith, MSN, RN, CNOR. A summary or statement of intent is no longer advised.

Your first section should be Academic Education. Start with your highest degree. If you’re still in school, it’s acceptable to note the date you started and an anticipated date of graduation. Next list your Professional Experience, Certifications & Memberships and Continuing Education & Computer Skills. End with Honors/Awards & Achievements.

If you find a job posting on the AORN Career Center site or other site, read it carefully and make sure that important phrases contained in that job posting language are also contained somewhere in your resume. This will increase the likelihood that the computer will recognize the language and select your resume, over others, for the recruiter to read.

2. Develop an Elevator Pitch

Once your resume is pulled, it is likely that you’ll get a screening call from a recruiter. This could be a make or break conversation. A successful screening conversation is the gateway to an actual interview. When the recruiter asks, “why did you apply for this position?” or “tell me about yourself?” you must be ready to share a ninety-second clear, passionate, and compelling answer that communicates you’re a serious candidate.

Take your time to form the exact four to five sentences that make your point. It may take an hour’s worth of revisions to get this just right but the return on your investment could be huge. You want to sound prepared but not rehearsed in your delivery. You may use your elevator pitch more frequently than expected. It’s always professional and polished to have it ready when networking and speaking with colleagues or vendors.

3. Invest in Your Own Resilience

Nurses downplay the need to take care of themselves so they can take care of others. Caring comes so naturally that we often forget that we cannot render quality, safe care when we’re physically tired or energetically depleted. Ensuring that we take good care of ourselves is actually quite generous. Building resilience allows us to stay fresh and available so we can deliver a consistent caring product every day.

Here are two suggestions for keeping your resilience well full. Incorporate some silent, still time into your life. Nurses are professional doers and always on the go. That may mean you take a walk and just experience the outdoors. It could mean that you discover meditation or yoga. There’s peace in stillness and we can all use a break from the endless noise of our thoughts.

Allow yourself to be cared for by others. Nurses are always giving and the only way to balance that is to allow yourself to receive. Lose the need for control and perfection by finding a way to delegate more at work and at home. Resist the urge to host every holiday and enjoy being a guest. Both of these practices will be hard at first but stick with it and notice the change in your energy level and yourself.

It’s been my honor to be the career coach for AORN since 2012. Each year at the conference, I have the opportunity to meet some AORN members for the first time and reconnect with members from past events. The most common question I’ve been asked over the years is, “so what is coaching all about?” This brings me to my final piece of career advice – career and personal coaching.

4. Consider Career and Personal Coaching

Career coaching is a great way to get individualized guidance and assistance with establishing your professional goals, making career choices, creating an academic roadmap, polishing interview techniques, and becoming skilled in marketing yourself. It often involves reviewing and revising resumes and learning how to increase your chances of getting your resume into the right hands once it’s uploaded to an organization’s career page. Sharpening your social media skills on sites such as LinkedIn is often useful as well.

Personal coaching is the process of supporting personal growth in a nonjudgmental manner. It can be challenging to remain clear and authentic about your goals and yourself as you try to navigate your life. Responsibilities, set-backs, and the demands of an adult life can overshadow your understanding of the present and cloud your vision for the future. Our human nature creates blind spots to options and solutions. Coaching provides vital support as one explores behaviors and attitudes that can short-circuit success in life and career.

10 Hobbies That Make Your Kids Smarter A Guest Post by Anthony Johnstone

Family Funtures

For most parents, having their kids play and learn is just part of growing up and there is the belief that they will develop naturally.
This may be true, however why not give your kids the best possible opportunity to develop through fun and in some ways exciting activities. We wanted to provide a colorful list of hobbies we believe will benefit your kids and assist with their development.

Some of these hobbies may be a bit trickier than others to convince your young boy or girl to take up. However, it would be invaluable to your child’s progress in growing and learning.
Further information your can contact Anthony Johnstone at: familyfuntures@gmail.com

10 Hobbies That Make Your Kids Smarter

10 hobbies to make your kids smarter
10 hobbies that make your kids smarter

A kid’s brain develops the most in the initial phase of his or her life. Therefore, it is your duty as a parent to make sure that you do your best to help that process. The good news is that it is not tough to help your kids grow their intelligence a bit further. There are proven strategies that you can use.

In this article, we are going to talk about 10 of the best strategies to help you make your kids smarter.

Music Instruments

Hobbies for smarter kids

A music instrument can do wonders for your kids. The result is never immediate but you will end up being happy after your child grows old. The reason is very simple behind that.

Music has a soothing power and learing any music instrument will create a mental state of balance for your kids. All instruments will require your kid to learn the art of beats and along with that, he or she will also have to think about the learning process. These things add up and helps your kid to become smarter.

Reading

Girl reading

Reading is considered to be the best method on earth to be more intelligent and imaginative. Not only for kids, this works great for even adults with developed brains. Reading is a habit and you will have to make your kids get into that habit.

Once you make that happen, you will find that your kid’s mind opens up a lot more to new ideas. Also, the habit of reading will help your kid a lot further in his or her education and career.

Exercise

Boys playing football

Exercise can do wonders and yes, one of the wonders is developing the power of the mind. There is a saying that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind and that’s exactly what it is. Also, if you let your kid get into exercise from the very early age, you will make sure that he or she keeps a fit body.

Make sure that you do not push your kid too much. Running and cardio is a great starting off point.

Brain Mathematics

What is brain mathematics? These are mental exercises that are both tricky and entertaining at the same time. Some people call them magic numbers. Simply use the power of Google and you will find a lot of them to play with your kid.

Though we have emphasized the mathematics part of it, you can actually go ahead and do this with almost every science subject such as physics, chemistry etc. Do they actually help your kid become smarter? They sure, do! These tools will help your kid’s brain develop the thinking power and the power to solve problems.

Meditation

smarter kids

It is tough to get your kid into meditation. Meditation is still a new phenomenon for older people so obviously, your kid is not going to like it. You have to make it fun for them and once they start liking the art of meditation, they will start enjoying it.

Go for small sessions and reward your kid if they are successful in meditating. Do not push it too much because your kid might not like the experience.

Habit of Writing

smarter kids

Writing is a great habit. Writing is considered as one of the best habits to have for development. It is not necessary that your kid has to become a writer. Writing is not only for writers but for everyone.

Encourage your kid to write a diary or a journal everyday if possible. You can also encourage your kid to do so by giving him or her starting off gifts, such as a good pen and diary. Having nice stationary would encourage the habit.

Traveling

traveling

Traveling doesn’t mean that you will have to go abroad every other year. Yes, if you can manage to do that then that would mean a lot to your kid but that’s not the only option out there.

You can actually take your kids to the local parks and fields. If you have time, try to go out of town once in a while. All these will result into something awesome for your kid. Traveling creates a lot of memories and improves the use of their imaginations.

Having a Pet

to make kids smarter

Having a pet helps your child to learn the art of responsibility. Kids love cats and dogs! You should let your kid have one too. But make it clear that it is their responsibility to take care of the pet.

Obviously, you will look after things behind the scenes however your kid will have to understand the power of responsibility. This helps a lot in making your kid smarter. Also, having a pet is great for your home. There is no denying that.

Self-Independence

develop your kids

The best thing that you can do for your kid is to make him or her Independent. Now, this is not exactly a hobby but if you can make it seem like one, this would workout best in the long run.

It starts with small things such as pouring a glass of water on their own and grows to be taking care of the family pet later on. Self-Independence is something massive and there is no boundary. You will do a huge favor to your kid if you manage to make this happen. This doesn’t only make your kid smarter, this also helps your kid to be a better person.

Coding

coding for kids

Did you know that your kid can become smarter if you help him or her learn coding? Coding is not easy but there are methods to make this interesting for kids too. There are lots of free resources these days that you can use to make your kid actually learn coding, not just copying the code.

This will not only help your kid develop the power of logical thinking, this will also encourage your kid to have a great career in the world of tech.

Final Word:

That’s our list for developing your kids, I hope this list helps to put you on the right track with regards to Making your kids smarter.

THANK YOU SeeSee. Florence “SeeSee” Rigney, RN is the oldest working nurse…!

 

Florence “SeeSee” Rigney is the oldest working nurse in the United States. Last May, a video of her 90th birthday celebration went viral. The recording captures her in blue scrubs and a bedazzled “happy birthday” tiara holding back tears among her cheering colleagues. For 70 years she’s worked on and off as an operating room nurse at Tacoma General Hospital. When she first started, she got paid $115 a month. These days, she gets a ton of attention for being a high-energy compassionate nurse who still moves down the halls of the surgical unit faster than women a third her age. In 2015, Rigney was on The Dr. Oz Show and nominated for a March of Dimes Nurse of the Year award. Her birthday video was shared by The Huffington Post, The Today Show and BuzzFeed. She admits she feels a bit like a local celebrity even though she’s bashful about all the publicity. “I feel very honored to think that all of this has happened to me just because I turned 90, and I’m still here!”

Talks with Greg; Conversations In Caregiving – Sheila Warnock

 

For more than fifteen years, EmblemHealth has been a leader in the arena of family caregiving. Talks with Greg; Conversations In Caregiving is a video series designed to explore topics with experts involved for many years in caregiving. Every episode will have a new guest from a different facet of the professional caregiving world who has been a longtime partner with EmblemHealth.

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.

https://sharethecare.org/

Tel: 212 991-9688

HerVoiceIsMyVoice: Celebrate the Women Who Inspire Us Every Day

The strength of individual women empowers us all. This International Women’s Day, we’re turning up the volume on female voices and honoring the impact they have on all of us. #HerVoiceIsMyVoice is a moment to celebrate and share the voices of inspirational women from around the world.

Show your support on social by sharing the voice of a woman who has inspired you using #HerVoiceIsMyVoice.

It Is My Pleasure To Introduce You To: Daughters Unite

 

 

Daughters Unite was created for caring daughters by caring daughters who face the challenges of being sandwiched between their spouses, kids and/or careers and the disabled and aging adults in their lives.

Share your story and help a fellow daughter reduce the chaos and craziness in her life! Send a quick “I’m interested” email to Tell My Story. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours with all the details about how to submit.

We love introducing our friends to one another. Daughters Unite meet Daughterhood. Founder, Anne Tumlinson has spent the last two decades working on improving how America cares for its frailest, most vulnerable older adults. Check out – www.daughterhood.org.

THINK ABOUT IT.

What if there was one trusted place where you were heard, where you were understood, where you were validated, where you were supported and where you could immediately get answers to the never ending questions that come up  when caring for an aging parent or other disabled adult loved one?

 

Direct Message Us on FB, Twitter & Instagram

Email us @ info@daughtersunite.com

Twitter: @DaughtersUnite

Senior Care: Balancing Marriage and Caring for a Parent A Guest Post by Samantha Stein

Senior Care

Caregiving can strengthen the bonds of relationships within the family. It can bridge gaps and heal decades-long conflicts through the connections that form during the care. However, it can also cause strains within the family. In marriages and relationships, no one really thinks of their partner caring for an aging parent until it starts happening. And in this day and age, providing senior care can put all kinds of stress that will shake the foundations of for better or for worse.

Marriages and partnerships already go through so many challenges that either strengthen or break the bond. For adult children stepping up to provide care for their aging parents, will the hiccups of senior care toughen up your marriage or cause it to crumble?

Impact of Senior Care in Relationships (Statistics)

Caregiving in relationships can have positive and negative effects. In a survey conducted by Caring.com in honor of Valentine’s Day, 300-plus spouses provided a valuable glimpse of what it is like to make a relationship work amidst the demands of senior care.

According to the study, 80% claimed that providing care to a family member has put a strain in their relationships. One caregiver expressed that strong marriage, including his or her own, can struggle and be tested by the demands of caregiving. He or she further explains by stating that the responsibility of caring for a family member can create an imbalance in a relationship.

Many find themselves “drifting apart.” This may be because of the change in dynamics that providing senior care brings. Couples shared through the survey that the lack of privacy and time to connect with each other often leads to diminished feelings of attachment.

Bear in mind that the effects are not all negative. Yes, the love and commitment that couples have for each other may be tested thoroughly. However, some caregivers and their spouses found that the presence of senior care in their lives has strengthened their bonds. Because of the high demands, some couples have found that this experience has brought them closer together. One caregiver shared that her spouse has become her source of solace and inspiration. Another confided that her spouse tells her that her mother will not be around forever and that she should do what she needs to do.

Key Factors that Cause Strain

Caregivers may be put in a tough spot when the stress of their tasks takes its toll on their relationships and marriages. It may even reach a point where it feels like you have to make a choice between your partner and your aging parent.

Understandably, no one wants to be put in a position such as that. But how can you avoid it? You can start by identifying the roots.

Financial Burden

Various articles, such as these posts by Investopedia and Shaw Family Law PC, cite financial strains and extended families among the top causes of divorce in the United States.

When a parent ends up needing care, adult children often feel obligated to step up and provide the help that they need. It almost feels like second nature to many. After all, why wouldn’t you care for the person who raised you, right?

However, providing senior care, especially when the care recipient does not have long term care coverage, can put a significant dent on any couple’s finances. Care services in the country have become too expensive for many to afford. And if you and your partner are still in the process of saving for your retirement, then adding senior care costs can surely make the situation more challenging.

Frustration and Fatigue

Providing care to an aging loved one can be time-consuming and energy-draining. There will be days when you will feel as if everything is piling up and you will feel overwhelmed. It will feel like nothing is going right or as planned and you feel frustrated and exhausted by it all.  When this happens, it can be too easy to turn to you partner and just release all those negative emotions on him or her.

Frustration and fatigue, if not vented out the right way, can be the foundations of a very unhappy environment. It can cause friction in marriages and can damage relationships.

Lack of Intimacy

Caring for a parent, managing your household, and co-parenting your children can be difficult to manage. Add the senior care to that, and it surely leaves little room for any sort of intimacy. The presence of a new person in a couple’s home, along with his or her care needs, can cause a change in the chemistry. The fatigue that may come with providing senior care can affect the relationship between spouses.

Intimacy is one of the key elements that strengthen relationships and marriages, and the lack of it can cause a severe blow. Individuals have shared that caregiving has had a negative impact on their sexual relationship.

However, bear in mind that intimacy does not always mean sexuality. Sex, though an important factor, does not fully encompass intimacy.

Shifting between Caregiver and Spouse

The perfect balance between being a caregiver and a spouse may be difficult to achieve, but it is doable. And like everything in relationships and marriages, this will require an immense amount of teamwork, understanding, and limitless patience.

Readjusting your lives to add another person into the equation may be difficult. And most times, it may feel like three is definitely a crowd. However, changing your perspective can save your relationship. Working together for better or for worse will be tested, and being reminded of your goals to work together can often save your relationship.

Addressing the Issues which Cause Marital Strain

Like any roadblock, these issues ought to be addressed together. These situations are exactly the right moments when communication between partners will be truly tested. It is important to be honest about concerns, no matter how ridiculous they may seem. It is also necessary to have an open mind when dealing with these instances as they can easily put a damper on your relationship.

Prioritize Your Spouse

This goes both ways. The caregiver and the spouse ought to find ways to show that they prioritize their partners, even if it means leaving them alone for a time. Often, some people need their space to recollect their thoughts and their bearings. Being there for your partner, especially when they are dealing with all that comes with caring for a loved one, could mean providing them with the space that they need to adjust to stresses on their own.

However, time together is also vital. Remember that having time for each other does not necessarily have to be extravagant or expensive. Find enjoyment in the little things. Love does not always have to be shown in big gestures. Sometimes, it is the seemingly insignificant acts of love –the ones that we often take advantage of—are the ones that mean the most. What matters is that you show your appreciation for each other, and that you do activities that help strengthen your bond.

Say Yes to Help

Handing over the reins to your parents’ care, albeit temporarily, may be a difficult decision to make. What if something happens while you are away? What if your parents think you are neglecting them?

So many possibilities can happen while you are taking a break that you end up not taking any for yourself. As tempting as it sounds to say no to anyone who offers help, you have to learn to do the opposite of what your gut tells you.

Validate and Address Emotional and Mental Stress

Emotional and mental stress can come to both the caregiver and the spouse. And often, whoever experiences it feels as if these reactions are selfish.

Bear in mind that having these feelings and going through these struggles do not make you less of a partner or a person. Whatever your role is in the equation, these emotions are real issues that need to be addressed. Talk about it with your partner, and if necessary, seek professional help.

Find Support Online

So many individuals are in the same boat. They face the similar challenges and struggle with the identical issues. Sometimes, these people might even understand you on a level that your significant other might struggle with.

So many caregivers have found support and guidance through online communities, and it would be all right for you to do the same. The communities provide a no-judgment platform where caregivers can share their frustrations and stresses and get the support that they need.

Finding Your Own Long Term Care Coverage

Now that senior care plays a significant role in financial spending, couples where one provides caregiving ought to find coverage for their own care. These costs can easily eat away at anyone’s savings, and would you really be able to say no to a parent in need?

Finding and securing a long term care insurance policy for you and your partner could ensure that your future care needs are covered without feeling like you are withholding help for your parents.  Our advice is this: look into shared care policies. These specific ones are specifically catered to couples—married or not—looking for long term care coverage.

Originally posted by Association for LTC Planningon  http://www.altcp.org/senior-care-marriage-caring-parent/  February 15, 2017

How to Determine if Someone is Having a Stroke A Guest Post by the Health Services Blog for Slidell Memorial Hospital in Louisiana

stroke

 

Were you aware that strokes are a type of disease?

Strokes influence arteries that lead to the brain, as well as those within it.

Another horrifying fact: A stroke can occur in anybody.

Enough with the bad news, here’s some good news: You can learn just how to detect a stroke with the signs below. Knowing these signs can help you save a life—whether it be your own, or that of a loved one.

Defining a Stroke

Strokes occur when blood vessels that transport nutrients and oxygen to the brain either rupture (a hemorrhagic stroke) or its flow is blocked by a clot (an ischemic stroke). Blood and oxygen deprivation can kill off brain cells, and if blood flow is stopped up for long enough, the bodily functions that are associated with the areas that’re obstructed can stop functioning correctly.

Stroke Signs

Understanding what a stroke looks like can really help you save someone’s life. The quicker your reaction time, the more likely the chance of survival for the victim. Gladly, there is a basic acronym to recall that will aid in your memory of the symptoms of stroke: F.A.S.T.

  • Facial droop- Is there numbness in one side of their face? Does it appear uneven? If it is difficult to tell, check by asking the person to smile.
  • Arm weakness- See if the victim can lift up both of their arms. If one falls back down, is too weak, or numb, this is another stroke symptom.
  • Speech trouble- Slurred speech is a major determination of stroke. See if the victim is able to repeat an easy sentence, such as, “The apple is red.” If the victim can’t speak, comprehend what you’re saying, or is slurring, this is another sign.
  • Time to call for help- If someone is presenting with any of these symptoms, call 911, even if the symptoms disappear. Be proactive and do not wait. Jot down the time that you noticed these symptoms, and be sure to tell this to the staff at the hospital.

Although these are not the only symptoms of a stroke, they are the most frequent. Other not commonly known symptoms are difficulty seeing or walking, as well as sudden confusion. The victim may also have a massive headache, experience dizziness, or lose their sense of balance.

The Next Step

If you see anyone exhibiting any of these other symptoms, like the others above, you should not hesitate to dial 911 and bring them to the hospital immediately.

Always keep in mind that the largest problem with treating stroke is your response time. Take note of these signs, and respond swiftly. Report to Slidell Memorial Hospital or the nearest emergency department in your neighborhood to get evaluated.