Caregiving Essentials- Listening is communications too!


Caregiving Essentials- Listening is communications too!

Did you know there are three forms of listening: active listening, passive listening and selective listening? Both active and passive listening is associated with how we in our society listen. While selective listening is credited to teenagers (I will not go into that, you moms and dads know what I mean).

In our busy, detached society, passive listening or merely paying ear service is accepted and we wonder why there is so much miscommunications and disagreements.

As a caregiver one of your essential skills must be active listening! How else can you really communicate with your loved one, a nurse or doctor or other advisers? You need to clear your mind, using self-care methods and learn to actively listen.

Active listening is carefully listening to what people are saying to you. You must make a conscious effort to hear and understand every word they speak.

This active, focused listening is difficult at first because we have to resist the urge to interrupt and we must wait until the speaker has finished completely before responding.

The hazard is that we may miss key parts of the message because as the listener you are thinking of something else or prematurely forming your response to the comment.

In active, focused listening you become sensitive to implied or hidden meanings behind the words (what the speaker is really trying to communicate).

When you take the time and effort to learn active focused listening, you will be pleasantly amazed at how much more you will learn and understand so that your decisions are almost effortless.

Caregivers, sharpening your mental skills is easy!


Caregivers, sharpening your mental skills is easy as well as important!!

As caregivers our minds are always in overdrive, we are adding information, assessing problems and looking for solutions all the time, while fighting mental overwhelm.

One simple but important exercise to improve your vocabulary while calming yourself mentally. Caregivers are notorious for feeling frustrated while not knowing what a word means, (usually something pertaining to the care of their loved one) by perhaps thinking it means something else or having to ask people to explain it.

With all the technology available to you, mental skills should be simple, (there’s an app for it,)! If you don’t know the definition of something, heck, look it up!!

An exercise I have my caregiver clients do is to strive each day to learn a new word, how to pronounce it and how to use it. Getting an inexpensive book of crossword puzzles helps make this exercise fun.

You see adding to your vocabulary helps you grasp immediately what the world is communicating, rather than blindly searching around for meaning and clarification.

As a caregiver be responsible for clear decisions, through sharp mental skills is very important!

Spending Quality time- A future caregivers challenge.


Why is spending quality time a future caregivers challenge!

It’s a hard, cold fact that as baby boomers we will probably be a caregiver for a family member in our near future.

How you spend your quality time will be a challenge, it is now that you can become less vulnerable and more in control.

One challenge is to spend more one-on-one time with loved ones.

At present, due to an overall lack of time, studies show, there is a tendency for families to spend most of it together as a group,(time efficiency) trying to cover all the bases at once!

While there is nothing wrong with that occasionally. However, we need to spend quality one-on-one time with our children, spouse, parents and other cherished loved ones.

There is a different energetic, dynamic relationship at work when it is just the two of you. You see, there is no competition for attention. The kids feel more appreciated, listened to and seen. Because you can better understand each other’s needs and address any problems.

As for the time alone spent with a parent or older loved ones, your intention is to focus on the possibility of being a caregiver in the future. You can discover the purpose of these one-on-ones, getting to know their plans, their real needs and desires, and see and feel changes that are happening in their lives as well as their health. You can set a baseline for what you may need to do if and when you must take over control of their lives.

It’s a fact that busy people most likely fear they are neglecting personal relationships and missing out on the intimacy that everyone needs. With this awareness they make the effort to carve out periodic one-on-one time before it becomes a regret, if it is important to you, it’s also important to your loved ones.

Is your caregiving motivated by ego or your higher self?


Think about it, is your caregiving motivated by ego or your higher self?

An ego is the hardest thing to manage!

Egotism is a beast and is also addictive. The more you feed this beastie the more ravenous it becomes.

If your self-worth is dependent on the flattery of others, you put yourself at their mercy. This is unpleasant when you are a caregiver because others may not always be willing to comply or be helpful. You will be trying to please others and sacrifice yourself in the process.

People are notoriously in-consistent. Once you allow yourself to recognize this fact you can empower yourself from your altruistic side or your higher self.

Your caregiving, once lead by your higher self to do good for the simple joy of doing good will reenergize you!

If praise comes your way great, if it doesn’t, that’s okay, too! You know you are doing the right things and you feel self-nourished.

So let your heart lead the way, not always your head!

Beat the heat, but take care of YOU!


As a caregiver you can beat the heat, but take care of YOU!100MEDIA36IMAG0156

Living in Arizona we have a healthy respect for the dry heat and how to live with it!

As a caregiver, you have an extra responsibility to keep yourself comfortable, not matter where you live. If the temperatures go up the tendency for stress and irritability goes up too!

It is a no brainer to drink plenty of water and stay out of the sun as much as possible, however take a break outside in the early morning or later evening to get some fresh air.

Make meals that are quick, easy and perhaps include a cold salad or fruit.

Be sure to plan appointments that are clustered in one day instead of several days, to get them out of the way and you out of the heat quicker.

If you like nature (and you should) but can’t go out because of the intense heat, bring nature to you in the form of a plant or two.

Be creative and beat the heat because YOU matter!

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How to empower yourself, in everyday life situations.

It is important to know how to empower yourself, in everyday life situation.

Waiting for someone else to take care of it, heck you may be waiting a long time. Questioning if you should get involved. There is a lot of wisdom in “just do it”.

It does not make much sense to assume someone else will report the power outage to the utility company or file the complaint against an unethical business or to make a call for an ambulance just after a traffic accident or even reporting that suspicious person messing around in your neighborhood. For your own peace of mind, you do it. With that you won’t have that nagging uncomfortable feeling that nothing is being done.

The old adage ” the squeeky wheel gets the oil”, works even if you are not the first to call, the multiple reports will definately prompt a faster, more serious response.

Be personally empowered all the time if you really want action take action and don’t leave it up to someone else.

For more great insights check out my website

I appreciate your comments!

How not to be the self-destructive martyr.

It is impoertant not to be the self-destructive martyr.

Some of us think there’s something rather noble and courageous in working excessively, missing meals, losing sleep failing to get proper exercise, depriving your self of much needed leisure, and basically driving the bus over yourself by running yourself into the ground.

I understand that some industries and organizations actually glamorize this sort of self-destructive work ethic. I encouarage my clients not to fall for this. There’s a time and place for this, as in an emergency situation and perhaps, yes, extraordinary commitment may be briefly required, however not day in and day out.

As this martyr, you are not doing yourself or your family any good by damaging your health and mental and emotional well-being.

I remind my clients to consider the hazzards of playing the embattled warrier, running after the illusion of gratification.

Wanting to be a hero is great, do it staying fit, eating healthy, live with commonsense and you will find you are happy and more successful over the long term.

Celebrate life fully, passionately and with purpose.

Comments are appreciated!

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