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AARP Care-FULL Conversations

Education Podcasts

Podcast by AARP Care-FULL Conversatons

Podcast by AARP Care-FULL Conversatons


United States


Podcast by AARP Care-FULL Conversatons








The Blessings of Caregiving by Design, Not by Default

Since this is the final episode in our series, let’s recap our series on Caregiving by Design, Not by Default. If you have listened to any or all of the previous 22 conversations, the summary today will give you something to think about. So pull up a chair. Enjoy a cup of coffee or hot tea. It’s time to chat!


What to Do?

Today, let’s chat about those moments when we desperately want to DO something for a family member or a friend…..but we feel powerless to do anything of significance. In those moments we wonder, “What can I do?”


The Challenge of Recurrence

In a previous episode, we explored the impact of a serious diagnosis on an individual and the family. Today, let’s chat about the challenge of recurrence…the recurrence of a disease process or perhaps a physical limitation. Although the initial diagnosis is devastating, a recurrence of a disease after a period of remission is considered by many to be even harder.


Isolation and Loneliness

Growing up, I learned that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. My parents both savored their “alone time” every day. Time to read, to write, and to listen to the world around them. Being lonely, however, is a subjective experience… we FEEL when we are alone. To feel lonely is to feel isolated, disconnected, unseen, and unheard.


How Has Life Changed You?

Today I want to chat about how we are transformed by our LIFE experiences. Within the context of our conversations—caregiving—I’ll be chatting specifically about how our experiences as caregivers and care receivers change us. So grab a cup of coffee or hot tea. It’s time to chat.


Living with Uncertainty

I have yet to meet a caregiver or care receiver who is CERTAIN as to how their respective journey will unfold. There are just too many variables related to the disease process or disability….as well as the inherent uncertainties of life in general. Hence, when in the trenches of caregiving, uncertainty is part of the lived experience…a challenging aspect to say the very least.


How Will Your Story End?

Once again it is time to chat! Grab a drink. Find a chair. And take a deep breath. I have a question for you today. Have you ever wondered how your story will end? I know….a rather disconcerting question. But one certainly worthy of our time and attention!


Caregiving and Technology

Today, let’s discuss how caregivers can leverage the available technology to their advantage. It is amazing what is out there…..seems like new innovations are revealed on a daily basis. Let’s see what might be beneficial to you and yours.


Caregivers @ Work

Serving as a family caregiver requires our physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial investment. On average, family caregivers provide 24 hours of care/week. The average duration of care is over 4 years. Additionally, 60% of family caregivers are employed outside the house. No wonder family caregivers are stressed! Working and caring simultaneously takes a toll on family caregivers—physically, emotionally, psychosocially, spiritually, and financially.


What Have We Learned

Over the past few months, we’ve been chatting about the challenges as well as the possibilities to be embraced during this incredibly chaotic moment in time. COVID-19 has and continues to push individuals, communities, systems, services, and governments to the breaking point. Thankfully, we’re proving to be amazingly resilient - a worthy foe. As such, we can learn from our collective experience of COVID. What have we learned over the past 7 months that will serve us well in the days and...


The Essence of Care

Over the past two decades, I presented thousands of programs on various aspects of caregiving. However, I’ve never addressed the fundamental question of WHY we care for each other. What is the essence of care? Why are we seemingly compelled to care despite the challenges, the complexities, and the concerns associated with caring? Perhaps by exploring the heart and soul of care, we’ll gain a greater appreciation and reverence for the care we receive as well as the care we offer.


Technology Comes of Age

Technology will never replace the human touch. But it's an available tool to be leveraged for the benefit of caregivers and care receivers. Tech fills in the gaps of care. What gaps? Lack of family and friends needed to provide care. This is often due to smaller families. Geographically dispersed families. Combine those situations with the fact that most people cannot afford the expense of long term professional care - there are some significant gaps in care. These are just a few of the...


Plan Ahead

The COVID crisis serves to highlight the importance of planning ahead - preparing to care. Constructing the basic outline regarding how we will care for ourselves or our loved ones WHEN there is a medical concern or disability is wise indeed. If we wait for an emergency, we’ll be caught off guard. Consequently, we’ll be in a reactionary mode instead of responding from a position of considered understanding. So, let's chat about ways we can plan ahead!


The Blessings of Ritual

Over the past 7 months since COVID changed Life forever, I have a renewed appreciation of ritual - all kinds of ritual. During times when Life is chaotic, frightening, and uncertain, ritual serves to provide balance and stability. Interestingly, an incredibly important type of ritual has been difficult to conduct during the global pandemic...end-of-life rituals such as funerals and memorial services. Today, let's chat about the importance and the potential blessings of creating and...


Global Grief - A Different Kind of Pandemic

Today, I am going to be a bit counter cultural. I am going to speak of grief - the grief we’re all feeling due to the losses caused by the global pandemic. The coronavirus is not only causing a viral pandemic, but it’s giving rise to a pandemic of grief as well. Although grief is a difficult subject, I hope you’ll stay tuned!


Compassion Fatigue Revisited

In previous years, I’ve addressed the issue of Compassion Fatigue - a type of stress often experienced when we witness the suffering of others. Due to the COVID situation, I believe it’s worth our time and attention to revisit the topic. Each and every one of us has been through so much over the past 7 months. Additionally, we’ve witnessed our family, friends, colleagues and neighbors struggling with daily challenges. Being witness to the suffering of others ultimately takes a toll. So let's...


Caregivers - After the Journey Ends

Today, let’s address the life transition that all caregivers experience when the journey of caregiving ends. The ending may be caused by the recovery or by the death of the care receiver. Either way, who are we and what are we called to do when care is no longer needed? How do we feel? And what’s next for us? Important questions worthy of our serious consideration.


Transformative Resilience

We are now 6 months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Hard to believe right? Looking back, I’m amazed by what I’ve seen and heard. Despite the daily - if not hourly - challenges posed by Life, I’ve witnessed the awesome resilience of people. So, let’s chat about what it takes to bounce back from this unexpected crisis.


COVID is an Emotional Wringer

Today, let’s chat about the COVID crisis from the emotional perspective. With the highs and lows presented by this challenge, we have been put through the emotional wringer! And when feeling wrung out by life, it’s difficult to meet the day to day challenges of family, work, and life! If serving as a caregiver these days, the emotional angst experienced during the COVID adventure is just another drain on your limited reservoir of energy. So, how can we effectively deal with all the emotions...


Change and Uncertainty

Change has always been part of the lived experience. However, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, we are experiencing change fatigue - one change after another. The proverbial domino effect. Nothing seems normal! Change disrupts our daily routines, life expectations, and our sense of certainty. Change reminds us that we are not in control! Challenging to say the very least, but this is the current reality. So instead of resisting change, how can we engage it?