071: For the Caregivers: Support, Compassion, and Resources Just a Click Away

It can be physically and emotionally draining to care for an elderly or disabled family member. Just like anyone else, caregivers can often feel lonely, isolated, and overburdened as they try to balance their other commitments. But what resources are there for caregivers when dealing with these difficult emotions?

Elaine Sanchez is here to help. Having had plenty of experience in caregiving herself, Elaine has developed an abundance of resources dedicated toward the mental aspect of caregiving, which is often not acknowledged enough. She is the author of the unflinchingly honest and surprisingly funny book, “Letters from Madelyn, Chronicles of a Caregiver,” and a co-founder of CaregiverHelp.com, a video-based caregiver support website. Her free videos include topics that cover:

  1. Creative Indifference
  2. Managing Anger
  3. Coping with Guilt
  4. Understanding Depression
  5. Managing Grief
  6. Sex, Violence, and Dementia
  7. Self-Care

Listen in to this new episode of Absolute Trust Talk, as Elaine discusses the most common difficulties caregivers come across, as well as what resources are available for those dealing with these situations. Whether you’re a caregiver, know someone that is, or are planning for the future, this is an episode you don’t want to miss.

“A quick strategy that I use for helping get over guilt: I really encourage people to think, okay, what was the incident, or what happened that made you feel guilty? And then ask, did I intentionally inflict physical or emotional pain on another person?

And if the answer is yes, well, then guilt is appropriate. You’re guilty. So, you should do whatever you need to do to make good on that. But I think more often than not, caregivers feel guilty for their feelings. And so, I encourage them to take that word and put it on the shelf and replace it with the word regret.”

Big Three from Episode #071:

  1. Emotional stress and guilt are two of the biggest and most difficult parts of caregiving. This is totally normal! But you must face them and work through them. CaregiverHelp.com is the best place to start working through them.
  3. The most important documents for someone to have in their incapacity/estate plan are, a power of attorney, advanced healthcare directive, and some combination of a will and trust.

Time-stamped Show Notes:

2:20 – Kristen goes over the resources Elaine Sanchez has to share, which she’s developed in order to help caregivers, which can be accessed Elaine’s website, CaregiverHelp.com.

6:05 – Elaine goes over the introduction of her book and the inspiration behind it.

8:17 – Are you a caregiver who is looking for FREE support at a moment’s notice? Elaine’s got you covered! Listen in as she discusses her program for caregivers available on her website.

9:50 – Helping caregivers deal with emotional stress starts here, because Elaine believes this is one of the most challenging aspects.

10:48 – What options do caregivers have when they feel isolated and alone?

11:55 – People don’t think about this steep learning curve when it comes to caregiving. Press play here to for more.

12:15 – Elaine and Kirsten discuss why guilt is one of the most difficult emotions to cope with.

13:06 – Start listening now to hear Elaine’s strategy to help others get over guilt.

15:43 – “Self-care is NOT Selfish.” If this sounds like something you’re struggling with, start listening now for more of Elaine’s insights.

17:56 – Do you have your “Ducks in a row?” Listen now to hear more about how you can get a plan in place to help with incapacity, end of life care and your passing – aka estate planning.

20:06 – Kirsten details the three essentials’ people must have if they are incapacitated or likely to become incapacitated.

21:39 – Elaine shares a personal story about the importance of having an advance directive.

25:27 – When Elaine works with caregivers, this is the process she walks through with them to help manage their fears.

30:05 – Looking for even more resources? Try getting in touch with your local Area Agency on Aging. Google N4A.org to find yours!

31:31 – Listen in as Elaine talks about presenting for various groups and organizations, and how support groups can be led by other individuals – visiting CaregiverHelp.com for more on how to join.

Get Your Copy of Elaine’s Book!

Letters from Madelyn: Chronicles of a Caregiver

For many caregivers, it can be challenging to learn how to deal with the emotional stress that comes along with all of the responsibilities. For example, Madelyn Kubin, a seventy-year-old Kansas farm wife, had to suddenly summon physical, emotional, and spiritual strengths in order to care for her husband after suffering from a debilitating stroke. Struggling with the feelings of isolation, loneliness, and stress that come with the caregiving responsibility, Madelyn unabashedly consulted her emotions through writing letters to her daughter Elaine.

For anyone struggling with the physical and emotional challenges of caregiving, Elaine Sanchez’s book shows how it is possible to still find happiness within—even in the world end-of-life situations. You should never feel like you have to deal with this process alone. Elaine was the trustee for her parents’ estate and personal representative for her Aunt Jean’s estate. She says those two experiences turned her into a zealot for end-of-life planning! To learn more, you can order Elaine’s book by following this link.