It was 20 plus years ago that I first started work as a social worker in a nursing home. I was scared. I was one of the people who couldn’t be near the gym during the annual blood drive at school. I hated needles. I didn’t really have experience with “old” people. But here I was.
One of the main things I had to do as a social worker was to do an assessment of the residents social and psychosocial information. Information about their family, likes, dislikes, mood,etc. I quickly learned that I loved listening to the elders tell their stories. I originally went to college to get a degree in history and go on to law school. I quickly learned that was not my path, but I still loved history. Getting a first hand account of things I had only read about in school was magical to me. I loved spending time with my residents. The other thing I did as a social worker is discharge planning for resident who came to the nursing home for a short stay just to get rehab. One day at the nurses station, I was writing in a chart and a nurse was giving a woman at the desk discharge instructions for her mother. She was going over the home therapy orders and equipment her mom would need. The daughter started asking the nurse what she was supposed to do about getting all of those things accomplished. I chimed in to let her know I had already arranged for the home therapy and they would be calling her to set up a time to come over and that I had already ordered equipment and it would be delivered before she left. The daughter started crying and said, “no one has ever helped me like this”. I was hooked! I was able to see the magic I could do to help others.
I have spent the last 20 years in various settings doing just that, helping families make decisions, navigate the challenges of an aging parent, give them resources, point them in the right direction, and help them deal with their own emotions.
The idea for The Caregiver’s Coach came to me while on the phone with a potential client. I was working at a community and she wanted to move her mother in. Problem was, her dad was standing in the way. She and her sisters wanted the best for mom who had dementia, but there was nothing they could do unless dad would agree. In this particular conversation, I knew it was unlikely that her mom was ever going to move to where I worked and that meant there were limitations on how much I could really help her. But, I can’t just NOT help and on many occasions, I have talked her through different scenarios, as well as her husband and sisters to try and guide them. It was then that I knew I wanted to and had to do more. She needed the help of a coach, a person to help guide her through her options with her mom and her dad as well as her own emotions.
I hope that you will find what you are looking for in our community, we are here to support you, find answers to your questions, find balance, peace of mind, and for you to know that everything you are doing is enough.