Since the summer, I've been working on a marketing plan to grow my business, reach more people, and launch new projects. I'm ready to take my knowledge of the elder care industry and apply it in different ways, and I'm eager to use my expertise in social media, community-building, and writing to advocate on behalf of caregivers and elders. The next few newsletters will outline my plans.
The first new venture? A blog devoted to the undiscussed issues in elder care, the unsung heroes and heroines in caregiving, and the untold stories of elders. Each post will feature one of these three components. If you have a story to share, an issue you want to see covered, or know a person who deserves to be featured, please contact me through my website or via email.
Here are this month's tips and tools:
- TIP 1: Look ahead. How many times have you heard the sayings "Live in the present," "Today is a gift," or "Seize the day?" Our culture is obsessed with mindfulness and intentional living, and while it's a good thing in many ways, I fear we can get carried away with focusing too much on what's right in front of us. Because sometimes, what's in front of us is tremendously difficult, and it doesn't feel like a gift or something worth seizing. Especially as caregivers. As caregivers, we're facing grief. Cognitive decline. Mobility loss. Hospitalizations. Chemotherapy. Changing levels of independence. Isolation. Burnout. Spending precious minutes wishing your life was different isn't the answer, but if we don't look up from the trenches to turn our thoughts towards brighter future days, discouragement and depression can more easily take hold. Make plans you can look forward to, like a long weekend getaway or a new book to read (even if it's just for a few minutes a day). Think about a hobby you'd like to pursue in a year. Remember that this too shall pass. Need some caregiving encouragement? I can help.
- TIP 2: Create a space for reflection in your home. If you don't have a whole room to spare, just a sunny corner by a window will do. Set up a cozy chair with a warm throw blanket and a side table with stationery and pens, a journal, a book, or a magazine. Include a coaster for a cup of coffee or tea. When you have a few minutes of peace, sit. Rest. Think—or don't think at all. Many caregivers find their identity slipping away while caring for another. By claiming your own special space, you are holding fast to that sense of self.
- TOOL 1: Caregiving Video Chats. Watch, listen, and learn from a wide range of caregiving professionals and family caregivers as they discuss topics important to the caring community.
- TOOL 2: HomeZada. In the process of downsizing a loved one's home and possessions before a senior living move? Downsizing your own home in preparation for a sale? Check out HomeZada to help you get your estate planning, home inventory, and home repairs in order. Read more about it here.