Posts by Coach Wendy

Do you know individuals that are up to their eyeballs trying to cope with caring for an aging loved one? Through my 1-on-1 coaching, I help individuals to get back into being themselves again. In fact, my client Lauren had no boundaries around caring for her mother-in-law, was fighting with her husband and was afraid to speak up about how she was feeling. Through our work together, Lauren is able to speak her truth and stand in her power. She is enjoying feeling free. She is also starting to heal from an injured back as a result of picking her mother in law up off the floor. Since releasing the stress, her back is now finally starting to heal. Do you know individuals that are up to their eyeballs in caring for an aging loved one and want to get back to being themselves?

Transform your resentment into peace of mind and presence

If you feel resentful you are not alone.  Many caregivers feel this way.  Many of us feel resentful toward our spouse, loved one, family, friends – and many resent their circumstances.

And you don’t have to feel this way.  

You have the power to choose to shift away from that feeling and to make another choice.

This is important because resentment changes who you are. Many of my clients say yes to coaching because they find themselves becoming someone they no longer recognize.

What can you do to shift away from feeling resentful?

◦ First, get clear and be honest with yourself about what or who you are feeling resentful toward. When you are clear then you can move forward.

◦ Second, why do you feel resentful?

◦ Third, and this is my favorite, write down 50 ways to have peace of mind. They can be ridiculous and make no sense – the goal here is to get you thinking outside of the box. When you do, you will find at least one way to have peace of mind and presence. Goodbye resentment!

By the way, during our Sliver of Light Membership Club Support Group meetings we talk about resentment – and so much more.

Mark your calendar for Thursday, May 26th at 10:30 a.m. cst and join us for an hour so that you can replace some of the background processing into peace of mind and presence so that you can experience less stress, less regret, and more joy.  

Click here to add your details and save your space.

How Your Mindset Has You Stuck in Having Trouble Being Called a ‘Caregiver’ And What to Do About It.

In our FB Community, The Caregivers Collective, the community brought up:

I don’t see myself as caregiver

Can I consider myself a caregiver? 

What makes a caregiver?

What’s our definition?

What came out of this conversation is that individuals have trouble being called a caregiver because they don’t feel like they meet the criteria. They feel that they are not there enough, and to them that they are not doing much.  

The thing is they begin to see that the things that they DO do as counting.  And in some cases, it is 100% doable from anywhere.  

From this conversation what came up was when they went looking and asking themselves, ‘What do I do?’, ‘What do I need to do?’, and then seeing that they have a function that is critical in the care.  Like supporting other family and friends and their loved one in decision making and having their back.  

I’ve been reading “Take Your Oxygen First” by Leeza Gibbons. This paragraph struck me⇩

“…….there can be a great deal of shame and stigma attached to the idea of caregiving. Caregivers are often described as ‘martyrs’ and ‘victims’. To many, caregiving is often associated with codependency, a mental health challenge in which a person cares too much for another’s struggles, often enabling bad behavior in the one being cared for. These associations cause caregivers to avoid being labeled a ‘caregiver’ and, as a result, they fail to seek help for themselves.”

Excerpt from “Take Your Oxygen First”

In particular, this quote⇩

……..’Cause caregivers to avoid being labeled a ‘caregiver’ and, as a result, they fail to seek help for themselves’

Why does how you define yourself matter? I see this over and over again. When you don’t define yourself as a caregiver, you fail to seek help. When you fail to seek help, you suffer. When you suffer, your loved one also suffers.

What to do about it?

What if you defined yourself as a caregiver so that you sought the help and support you need? What would you be experiencing as a result of having that support and help?

This is a much bigger conversation. Let’s continue it together. Post your comments below.

❤️Coach Wendy

Mom’s going to run out of money

‘Mom’s going to run out of money’! Has this thought ever entered your mind? It has for me and for many caregivers.

‘Will long term care insurance pay for mom’s care?,” was what I wondered early on (fun fact – it didn’t).

Other caregivers have said that they want their mom cared for at a certain level and they know that her money will not sustain that level long term. I worry about this too.

Finally, like many caregivers, I treasure my lifestyle. And like others, if I needed to I would kick in the funds to sustain her level of care – but to be honest, I really don’t want to have to do that.

What to do?

First, give yourself grace. Just because you are worried about mom not having enough money to pay for her care does not mean that you are being selfish. Quite the contrary. You are being honest and forward thinking.

Speaking of honest and forward thinking – there are many ways to get a handle on our loved ones finances so that we, the caregivers, feel more secure.

I’m not a financial advisor (dear gawd far from it!) I am only the daughter of an 86 year old mother that wants the best care for her and to make sure that she has enough funds to sustain that level of care.

A few things that I’ve done to help me to feel more secure in managing mom’s funds:

  1. Know what your mom has to work with. Banking, stocks, investments, insurance.
  2. Ask questions.
  3. Reach out for assistance. AARP is a great resource. For me connecting with a senior care specialist was super helpful.
  4. Keep a budget for your loved one.
  5. Reach out to your loved one’s financial advisor, if they have one.

Money is the most stressful, un-fun part of being a caregiver. And the struggle with it is something we all have in common as caregivers.

Surrounding yourself with others that are also struggling with the frustrations of making sure there is enough money for their loved ones care also helps.

That’s one reason I created the Caregivers Collective Community. Join us as we support each other as caregivers – here’s the link http://www.facebook.com/groups/caregiverscollective/

❤️Coach Wendy

Did you know I did this thing?

You may have noticed that I’m shifting the way I serve you.

I know, right? 

Let’s get this official!

Over almost two years now, as you know, I’ve ‘switched my niche’ over to caregiver coaching. One of the reasons I’ve loved doing that is because of seeing how detrimental it is for caregivers, sacrificing their health and sometimes their lives, to care for a loved one.  Like my dad did for his mother.  We lost him way too early because he put his health on hold to care for her.

Way back in the beginning of the pandemic is when I looked inside and realized that caregivers are who I want to support.  So I ran with it!

I’m here today to announce to you and explain that is what I did and that is who I serve – since August of 2020 (you know, the lost year) and I’m just getting around to tell you 🤦🏻‍♀️.  When I get really excited about something and just know in my gut this is what the universe is telling me to do, I run with it – and explain later!

Let me ask you this question:
Do you know individuals that are up to their eyeballs struggling with caring for a loved one and noticing that they are becoming a person they don’t recognize?  Bitter, angry & resentful? Well through my coaching, I’m helping them to get back to being themselves again.

I was so excited about this new opportunity that I realized that I forgot to explain it to you.  I know that with how I’m focusing my efforts, I will be able to make a big impact in this world doing the work that I absolutely love.

In fact, I have a free resource that you may find beneficial: It’s a Self-Care Checklist for Caregivers.

Just click the link to add your details and you can download this PDF right away.  Along with it tips and resources will follow and I also share some pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Especially during these times that we’re living in right now, it’s more important than ever that you take care of yourself so that your caregiving is easier and so that you can live in peace.

Please also feel free to pass this message along to other caregivers that you know would love to overcome the guilt and finally, experience peace.

❤️Coach Wendy

P.S. If this describes you and you want to book a Guilt Free & Happy discovery call so we can get you moving in the right direction.  Just click on my calendar link and let’s book a time together so you can get started today!

Ranting is encouraged

As a caregiver, ranting is encouraged for your mental health.

And I also know that ranting to someone who isn’t a caregiver and doesn’t understand what you are up against results in ‘the look’. You know what I’m talking about, right?

It’s frustrating being a caregiver. And sometimes you lose your patience and then spiral into guilt and shame.

To avoid this, finding a community to rant to is the key.

Who can you rant to? Take a look at your friends, your family, co-workers and find those that are also caregivers. ‘Can we talk?’, is the first step.

And I invite you to join our Facebook community, The Caregivers Collective where ranting is encouraged as is community, support and resources.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/caregiverscollective/

I’ll see you on the inside.

❤️Coach Wendy

Even if guilt is trying to overtake you

As I was talking with someone about why I do what I do just a few weeks ago, I realized a reason that I had kept buried and was unaware of – at least on the surface.

My dad is my why. I can remember my dad coming home from my grandmother’s (his mother), who lived next door, tired, hungry and just wanting to spend time with my mom and me. He is just walking through the back door and grandma calls. He has to go back.

My mom didn’t tell me this until I was older, but my dad was taking my grandmother’s prescription pain medication – for who knows how long. After my grandmother passed away, dad finally went to his doctor for the pain. It was too late and the cancer was too far gone.

Me (how do you like the babushka?) with my dad holding me and standing next to my Grandma B.

Reflecting back on this and on what I’ve noticed with caregivers, is that caregivers put themselves ‘dead last’. I’ve heard that term before and just got it now. Jesus.

My dad is only one of the caregivers that I have known that put their physical health last for their parents, loved ones, children.

What I know is this – if you are reading this, your loved one is well cared for. They are good. I say this because I know you, the reader. You put yourself last. You are focused on making sure that your loved one has everything they need. What if you put that same focus on yourself? Go ahead. Your loved one is good because I know the high degree to which you care for them. Even if guilt is trying to overtake you.

“Caring for them is all consuming,” someone has said. It can be if you let it. What would it take for you to take care of you?

What if you said, now hang in here with me here, “no” to them sometimes? And not saying the word to them, unless you need to, and saying no in your mind to them?

For an example, say your mom says she needs tea. She’s out. Instead of dropping everything and running to the store, say that you will get it for her, and do not rush out to the store to buy it. Add it to your grocery list and next time you go to the store, get it. Now that you’ve done that, you’ve freed up some time for yourself. What will you do with that time – for you?

What will you say no to so that you can say yes to yourself?

Remember that you are doing your best – and are also going above and beyond for your loved one.

❤️Coach Wendy

P.S. I am on a mission to empower 10,000 individuals that are up to their eyeballs in caring for an aging loved one to continue being themselves without guilt and stand in their power using coaching and a simple step-by-step path. Join us at The Caregivers Collective www.facebook.com/groups/caregiverscollective/

The Simple Cure for Hospitalization & Death in Caregivers

Cheery title, right? Keep on reading for the simple cure.

What did you do after seeing your aging loved ones this Thanksgiving?

Did you walk away going, “Oh, how am I going to help them, they clearly need it?!”

Did you say to yourself, “I really don’t want my life to change if I take this on…….” And then immediately the guilt kicks in?

Or, did you dive into taking care of your aging loved one and are now exhausted, frustrated and wondering………..what about me?

All normal things to feel and to think.

Something else to consider – what are you doing to take care of yourself?

Whether you are thinking about how you are going to care for an aging loved one or are in the thick of it – answer this question – what are you doing to take care of yourself?

This is an important question.

I’ve seen caregivers hospitalized because of the symptoms of stress due to caring for their loved one.

I know caregivers that have died because they did not take care of themselves.

This is not something to play around with.

Plus, when you are taking care of yourself, your glass runneth over, as they say. Then you are able to give of that overflow to your aging loved one. It’s a win-win situation.

Post in the comments below – what are you doing to do to take care of yourself?

❤️Coach Wendy

Holiday Help is Here!

3 Ways to Not Lose Yourself in the Upcoming Holiday Madness

AND

What’s Happened to My Aging Loved One During the Pandemic & How Can I Support Them?

Are you feeling anxious about gathering with family again after not seeing them in almost two years?

Are you starting to wonder what your aging loved ones will be like (and secretly know that they will be different) and wonder how you can support them, without losing yourself?

My friend Kathleen and I have got you covered! No worry or anxiety on our watch!

Your next steps:

Click here to sign up for Kathleen’s program, 3 Ways to Not Lose Yourself in the Upcoming Holiday Madness, coming up this Saturday, November 13th at 10 AM EST/3 PM Irish time.

There are only 15 spaces left so don’t wait!

Then click here to sign up for my program, What’s happened to my aging loved one since the pandemic and how can I support them while I keep being myself? on Friday, November 19th at 12 PM CST/1 PM EST,

To convert the time correctly so you don’t miss a thing, click this link to WorldTimeBuddy

See you on the inside!

❤️Coach Wendy

Holidays are upon us. What’s happened to my aunt, mom, grandma since the pandemic?

It’s been, what, almost two years now since the pandemic started.

Have you already noticed some changes with your mom, uncle, grandparent? Things like repeating themselves, forgetting that they’ve asked you the same question 5 times, talking a lot louder than ever?

Are you freaking out? Wondering, “Oh no it’s that time. They are starting to fail and that means that I have to step in. But to what degree, what can I do, what will they allow me to do, what do I want to do?

It is your choice. Whew. Feel better? Not really? Okay let’s break this down. You have a choice as to how you react to what you are noticing. You can either: Say something like, “Mom, I noticed that you put your purse in the freezer,” or something along those lines. That’s all you have to say. “I noticed” and let the conversation flow from there. Your loved one might admit that they’ve been catching themselves doing some strange stuff as well. Your loved one might deny everything. Either way, you’ve opened up that communication.

That’s me with mom and her friends Christmas 2019.

Your second choice here, because remember I did say that you had a choice……is to ignore it and carry on as usual – until something happens.

There is no right or wrong answer here, by the way, and no judgment from me. Because I chose to ignore what I noticed with my mom until something happened. If I had it to do over again, I’d have noticed and had that conversation. And that is the reason why I’m supporting individuals who are up to their eyeballs in caring for an aging loved one, wanting to get back into being themselves. So if I had done things differently, would I be here doing this now? Hmmm. Who knows. You can’t go back, only forward.

You may be worried that if you notice and you have that conversation, you will be ‘on the hook’ for caring for your aging loved one. Not so and again you have the choice. What I know is that when you ask and have those conversations, then you can be better informed to make the decision for yourself what your role here will look like. You don’t have to have it all figured out at once. One step at a time.

Are you worried about the upcoming holidays when you see your aging loved one in person, knowing that there may be a change in them?

Are you one of those individuals I mentioned earlier, up to your eyeballs in caring for an aging loved one, wanting to get back into being yourself?

Either way, I’ve got you. Let’s talk so that you can mitigate the fear, frustration and maybe guilt you are feeling. Click here to visit my calendar and schedule your “Getting Back to Yourself” discovery call. This is a complimentary call just for you so that you can have a clear path moving forward in whatever you decide is best for you and for your aging loved one.

❤️Coach Wendy

P. S. Tell me in the comments below, what are you worried about with the upcoming holidays and your aging loved ones?

How to stay on course with your OWN life vs. being at the mercy of Aging Parent Guilt

  • What if you could stop feeling so torn?
  • What if the guilt subsided? (it may not stop.)

What if, (pause), you actually ENJOYED being with your aging parent instead of dreading it all?

This can happen for you. If you want one or all of the above do yourself a favor and sign on for a complimentary 5 day “journey” to stop feeling exhausted, frustrated, and guilty when dealing with your aging mom or dad.

WHAT IS THE COMMITMENT from you?

-15 min per day (anytime) from Mon. Sept 13 to Fri. Sept. 17 (and if you skip a day we will still love you) to be inspired and educated;

-60 min of LIVE HELP on a SATURDAY (WHOA) Sept 18 (10 am central so get the coffee brewing now and your pencils out)

Cost: no cost.

Click this link to visit my website and save your space!

The answers you are searching for are here for you.  

This is for you if:

  • You love your mom (or dad) and…you want your life back without the guilt.
  • You are caring/care-deciding for or know you will be caring/care-deciding for an aging parent. 
  • You feel like bad daughter (or son) because you want to put a parent in assisted living.
  • You have no time for you anymore.
  • You don’t even know where to begin or what questions to ask.

After this 5 day journey you will:

  • Have the answers you have been seeking.
  • Know exactly what your next step will be. 
  • Know that there’s information out there & you can find out what your options are.
  • Know that you are not alone in this journey.
  • Have your life and care for care-decide for your parent with no guilt.

Each day, I will be answering a question from the community around caring for an aging parent and also caring for yourself as the care-giver/care-decider.

I will also be walking you through my proven step-by-step path so that you can have a life of your own AND a happy, aging parent.

We begin on Monday, September 13th so be sure to register by Thursday, September 9th so that you can finally figure this care-deciding thing out and move forward with your life while you also have a happy, aging parent.

I know your time is very tight right now (what time, you say!) well I’ve got you covered.   Each day you will receive an email with my short video answer about a question submitted along with a brief tip for how you can have a life of your own AND a happy, aging parent – no more than 15 minutes long, I promise.

On Saturday, September 18th at 10 a.m. CST, I’ll be having a BONUS Q & A live call where you can get your questions answered that may not have been answered during the week.

Click this link to visit my website and save your space!

I’ll see you there!

❤️Coach Wendy