Becoming a Savvy Caregiver is as much a journey as Alzheimer’s.

 

The Savvy Caregiver Program is a training program for caregivers like you. Caregiving is a role far different from being a spouse or child.  Those terms describe relationships. Assisting and guiding someone who is living with a chronic illness is the definition of caregiving. It is work.

The caregiving role has a “job description”. Putting together the tasks, the helping, the cleaning up, watching, worrying, everything make up the caregivers job description. Hiring someone to do what you do isn’t truly possible. With enough money you can hire people to do many of your caregiving tasks. However, the caregiver role is more than one person can handle.

Caregiving is a job most of us never expected to have and are untrained to do properly. Lacking proper training leads to stress, frustration and sometimes injuries. Taking care of a person living with a demanding illness like Alzheimer’s is specialized work. Doing this work successfully requires special skills and knowledge,  You also need an outlet and attitude that helps you look after yourself.

Why Do I Need Caregiver Training?

Being unprepared for the role of caregiver is common. Lacking awareness of available training or even the need for training is also common. Many family caregivers tackle their role as a caregiver in a way similar to raising children. Unfortunately, this method leads to a lot of stress, frustration and tears. Consider the situation you’ve found yourself in. Caregiving is likely very different from any other role you have experienced. Seeing, recognizing and understanding that difference are important first steps in appreciating the work you have undertaken as a caregiver.

Most importantly, the Savvy Caregiver Program teaches you how to be a great caregiver. I attended the accelerated version (3 weeks vs 6) this past May. Learning how to be a better care partner to my Mom was a blessing. Taking this training earlier on the disease would have been a huge benefit to my Dad. Between his chronic illnesses and caring for Mom, he had too much on his plate.

What Types of Things Will I Learn In This Training?

Firstly, you’ll learn about providing contented involvement.  In other words, successful caregiving comes down to helping the person be as comfortable & involved & happy as possible. Keeping in mind that a person living with a demanding disorder can still:

  • zero in on a task or activity
  • stay with it for some time
  • have a pleasant time doing it

Keeping the person involved and content may help lessen confusion and reduce the chances of distress and difficult behaviors. Determining contented involvement takes practice. For instance, think of Goldilocks trying to find a balance between too much and too little. That is to say, a just right amount.

As a result of taking the training program I learned new ways to approach caring for Mom as she declines further.  Learning that we, as caregivers, are more in charge than we thought was huge.  While we can’t control the disease, we can control our reactions. For example. reacting in calm, more understanding ways helps our loved one stay calm. Anyone dealing with someone with Alzheimer’s knows that being calm can be a challenge.

Changing our behavior, reactions will change the outcomes of many of our interactions. That’s the benefit of becoming a Savvy Caregiver. As a result, our journey as caregivers can be a lot easier.

This is the painting that was discussed in this episode.

Fruitful life, painted by a person living with Alzheimer’s.

 

Learn More About Training Opportunities

Coping & Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Where Else To Find Fading Memories

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