Embracing Caregivers 55
Embracing Caregivers
This challenge is powered by support from:

In the U.S. alone, about 65.7 million unpaid family caregivers provide care to someone who is ill, disabled, or aged.

Even with strong support systems in place, caregiving is a tremendous undertaking and often comes at the expense of the caregiver’s health and wellness. In fact, 55% of caregivers feel that their physical health has suffered and 47% have feelings of depression.

As the demands on these caregivers continue to grow, nurses are in a position to recognize the caregivers most at risk and help safeguard them against the emotional, physical, and financial burdens of caring for others.

During our October challenge, we encourage you to identify a family caregiver in your patient interactions and provide resources and guidance to those caregivers. Identifying a patient’s caregiver and providing care guidance will help them better navigate the challenges of caregiving. Starts October 14. Click “Yes” under “Ready to Join?” above to sign up and get started here.

Note: This challenge is primarily for those who work in a hospital setting, but many of the tips and resources are useful for any setting.  Prior to use, ensure all tips conform with your hospital’s policies, as well as federal, state, and local regulations.

Are you ready for this challenge? Post below to let us know how you feel about relating to your patient's caregivers. What are some challenges that you face? 

Date & Time
Monday October 14th, 2019
End Date & Time
Friday October 25th, 2019

How are you doing in the challenge?

Jan Jahner Jan Jahner Oct '19
I'm involved with an elderly couple, one of whom has Alzheimers. I've been giving his wife support by going for walks with her, and helping her advocate for her own needs when interacting with the sons of her partner. she has felt over-loaded with too many responsibilities, the exercise together has been great for us both.
ChrissyC ChrissyC Oct '19
After reading some responses to my posts, I am going to take another look at motivational interviewing technique.  Perhaps this will help me to help my family caregivers and myself to find ways to self-create ways to mediate stresses.  
Lois Gould Lois Gould Oct '19
This is an excellent idea.  Please let me know if you have success with this technique.
TashaB TashaB Sep '19
My Dad had a heart attack this last year.  I think he is doing fairly well but even then I see the strain this has put on my Mom.  My Dad has a hard time remembering  all the new things he has to do---medications, doctor appointments and the like.  My Mom has had to step in to be sort of a "parent" to her husband, My dad. It has been challenging!   She worries about him.  It stresses her out.  My Dad doesn't like this.  It is a weird dynamic that I think happens to a lot of the US population.
ChrisC-C ChrisC-C Sep '19
I am a nurse and geriatric care manager. 10 months ago, my husband and I took on the care of his 93 yr. old mother and I now find myself without words to describe the exhaustion that comes from being alert to her situation and care needs on an hour-by-hour basis.  I agree with others who have posted that finding affordable and reliably good respite resources can be daunting, and it can be especially so when the person needing care is thrown into a state of anxiety and disorientation by any change in routine.  We cannot take her outdoors for time on the patio, or a wheelchair ride around the neighborhood, without her becoming angry and confused.  So, though I was good at finding ways to care for myself during my years of acute care nursing, I find myself humbled and challenged to be self-responsible during this experience. I find myself using the words, "you need to take care of yourself," less often than I have because they are just an empty directive without reliable, individualized resources to back them up.   I am not without hope.    
An absolute must for caregivers. Have to show them how to accomplish this otherwise, they simply "suffer in silence" not knowing there's a better way - as I wrote about in my recent blog on foodtalk4you.com  Best wishes to you!
I learned something new today. Won’t  mention again “take care of yourself” so lightly anymore. Blessings, strength and comfort to you and family 
RNumouHW RNumouHW Sep '19
Finding consistent respite resources for the caregiver is a chronic problem
Lois Gould Lois Gould Oct '19
You may find information found on embracingcarers.com and www.asaging.org/blog/25-organizations-take-care-caregivers helpful.
JenneRN JenneRN Sep '19
I see the shortage of help available or funds if help is found. 
Ann Smith Ann Smith Sep '19
I am the oncology educator for a large ambulatory cancer center in California.  As such, I do not have regular ongoing contact with family members that are patient caregivers.  I am looking for resources and innovative ways to support the nurses as they work to provide care and support others. 
I attended a lunch n learn at our hospital last week entitled Caring For The Caregiver that was very interesting and really helped me see how everyone is a caregiver in some ways. It also talked about how we can support each other and appreciate the talents each caregiver has to offer.  For example, being grateful that a sibling has offered to mow the yard instead of doing the personal cares for a parent because the yard work is also important!  Helping people  see  that leads to better partnerships and less resentment among caregivers.
Lois Gould Lois Gould Oct '19
Excellent point Rhonda, and one that is often overlooked.  Being helpful comes in many forms.
ChrissyC ChrissyC Oct '19
Yes! Seeing the big picture with respect to what's needed not only by the person, but the care environment (which includes the yard), and offering to help out with these needs also provides huge relief to caregivers.  My mother-in-law passed 10 days ago and we are getting back to our post caregivers routine, but with less energy because we are grieving and catching up on sleep.  Both my husband and I enjoy working in the yard, so we did find ways to do this while checking on his mom every 20-30 minutes.  A hectic schedule in some ways, but it helped us to get outdoors.  For one of my clients, we just started ordering his favorite foods from Whole Foods and are having them delivered (at no additional cost) to his apartment. This saves the caregivers time and having to deal with local traffic and parking fees. 
Yes! To focus in each other’s strengths & abilities instead of trying to fit everyone into the same goal or mold. I will take your idea and try to implement it. Wish me luck! 
Ps: noticed today often times caregivers only need to vent or someone to say “thank you for sharing how you feel”. This turns the heavy burden a lil bit lighter. Someone mentioned in a group “what I have or am learning in this situation?” Seems bit of a stretch since is hard and painful at times to watch someone suffer or struggle physically, financially, emotionally etc. Thank you for putting the effort to provide more resources, real, accessible and individualized as someone posted here for caregivers. We got this! I am very proud of you that mentioned being humbled about this experience I certainly won’t mention again 
Taking the time to listen. It will be myfirst putting forth so much thought to it. So many times we have the “clinical eye” easy to address the burnout family members when they lash out or about to. However, do I follow through i.e., do I call family member (s) to let them know we are still a team available to listen and care for their concerns specifically without judgment or non-constructive pointers? This challenge will help me be more mindful of words and actions both of myself and those of my patients/family members. Healthcare is a team. Without one another we cannot succeed as effectively as when we engage community-teamwork mindset. 
As for us nurses, I believe this challenge  can help us be more of a team, and listen I one another without the lash back when we let another nurse know in confidence the burden is getting a bit to much to handle and we may need words of encouragement, some aid/assistance and maybe some coffee as well :) 
Lois Gould Lois Gould Oct '19
Well put RJRileyRose.  I always appreciated the nurses who followed up with us when my parents were so ill.
ChrissyC ChrissyC Oct '19
Did I see somewhere on this HNHN website that there is an offering about learning to enjoy teamwork?  Since I've become an independent case manager, I've been able to connect with a great team of people that I'm gradually building throughout the community. It's been a hit-or-miss experience, but the hits have been well worth the efforts.  When I worked in the hospital (just retired from 40 years), as stress rose from budged focused staffing, the nursing team became more hostile towards members.  I was a staff nurse and educator and making suggestions about implementing evidence based new practices brought down upon nurses even more fear based stress and rejection of new ideas (we've always done it this way).  It is good to be working in the community and learning that listening to our clients and families can help us to help them create ways to alleviate or mediate their stresses. I have to go back and review motivational interviewing technique.    I am thankful for all of you!

Join Now - It's Free!

Join now to get immediate access to:
  • Health surveys with customized results and recommendations
  • Fun and engaging monthly health challenges
  • Giveaways, discounts and chances to win health-oriented gifts
  • An online community to connect you to others with similar goals – share stories, gain best practices

Log In or Join Now



I completed this challenge!