July 4 is Independence Day

JUL 4 Independence Day

Independence is something we all want and was a gift to newly minted Americans by our Founding Fathers 240 years ago today.

For some, the weight of caregiving for a loved one threatens to capsize our own independence and freedom. How can you care for a loved one without losing the need to care for yourself?

To guarantee the freedom a newly formed nation sought in our precious Declaration of Independence and further cemented in the Constitution, the prescient Founding Fathers, led by James Madison,  created a Bill of Rights in 1789. Virginian Robert Morris argued for these amendments to “protect the individual if the government should become oppressive.”

Over the years, several organizations have put forth guidelines for caregivers to protect their rights while they protect and care for loved ones.  Our CEO Sherri Snelling has cobbled together her version of the “Caregiver Bill of Rights” and created a Me Time Monday on the 10 aspects of caregiving rights.

A reminder on this day of all days that caregivers rights are as important as the care recipient’s and should be not overlooked.

Read: Caregiver Bill of Rights

My Favorite Things – CareLinx

 

logo

Special for Caregiving Club Readers:

Click on the word CareLinx  in this article to receive 4 cost-free complimentary hours of in-home care from CareLinx. Click today to get the help you and your loved one need!

The in-home care arena is a booming sector of aging. We know that 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day. And, while we all live longer, we also know from AARP that 89 percent of those over 65 want to continue living in their homes as long as possible.

It’s a perfect storm – an ever-growing aging society who is living longer and desires to live out their years at home – yet who is caught in this silver tsunami? Family caregivers.

A few years ago, in-home care services were mostly bricks and mortar retail agencies – some national companies but many, many more were independent mom and pop operations based in local communities across the country.  Today, there are more than 12,000 in-home care agencies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 7.6 million who have a chronic illness or have been discharged from a hospital after an acute illness are being cared for at home. Much of this care is falling on the shoulders of the country’s 65 million family members who have stepped into a caregiving role, yet there is a physical, emotional and financial toll in caring for loved ones at home.

Consider the often prohibitive costs of in-home care according to Genworth’s annual Cost of Care Survey. The report shows families pay on average $45,760 per year for in-home non-medical care. If the finances are not there, some caregivers are leaving the workforce completely to care for aging loved ones that results in more than $300,000 in lost wages and benefits.

 

The Solution? CareLinx

As the nation’s first and only true online caregiver marketplace, CareLinx launched in 2010 and has grown to a professional caregiver network of 150,000 serving families in the top 50 metros across the U.S.

Why do I like CareLinx? Let me count the ways…

1. Trust

Source: KelleyLattaMinistries.com

Source: KelleyLattaMinistries.com

One of the hardest things caregivers face is how to allow for someone else to come into the home to care for your loved one.  We all know no one else can provide the tender, loving, personalized care that you can however…you are burning out, you need a break, you cannot afford to take any more time off work, you see this caregiving role is a marathon not a sprint.

 CareLinx care professionals are backed by liability insurance from Lloyds of London – the CareLinx $4 million SafeGuard Policy. In addition, CareLinx has done most of the legwork for caregivers – performing exhaustive background checks, ensuring credentials of its professionals and requiring ongoing quality reports from clients.

CareLinx MobileCareLinx professionals check in daily with family members by sending photos and other data of the care provided via smartphone communication with clients. Knowing when Mom gets her special chicken soup, ensuring dad gets a walk around the block or knowing the bedsheets are washed and replaced is the peace of mind elixir most concerned family caregivers need from in-home care service providers.

What is unique? The family gets to choose the professional caregiver they want and how much they will pay – based on perfect matches for the detailed care criteria families provide. As opposed to other agencies that just dispatch the available care professional, both the CareLinx care professional and the family decide to team up to provide the best quality care for the loved one.

This mutual agreement between both families and care professionals is uniquely different from traditional agencies who simply send an available care professional to the home. By offering “choice” to family caregivers and professional caregivers, CareLinx can report higher retention rates than the national average due to the higher satisfaction of both parties.

2. Cost Savings

Piggy-BankOne of the drawbacks or obstacles for families is the cost of having care in the home. Many family caregivers dip into their own pockets and savings or even leave work to provide the care a loved one needs.

If you felt the cost of care was unaffordable, think again. CareLinx consistently delivers 30-50 percent less cost to its clients over traditional agency costs. This is achieved because CareLinx is a dedicated online platform whereas most traditional agencies have overhead with retail stores and marketing costs (those TV commercials you see cost millions of dollars!). They also tack on a 50-150 percent commission fee. CareLinx takes a flat 15 percent fee.

 

3. A Built-In Care Team

hand_make_heart_shape

Almost without exception, family caregivers feel alone. This sense of isolation can lead to depression, stress and ultimately other health issues that can severely impact the caregiver.

With CareLinx you have a trusted, reliable resource for giving you a break and ensuring quality care while you are away from your loved one. Whether it’s for just an hour or a few days or a few years, CareLinx has a care team that surrounds you with expertise, compassion and support.

 

In addition to the CareLinx care professional you contract with, CareLinx also has Care Advisors who can guide families through the process, answer questions and are there to respond telephonically 24/7.

One reason CareLinx has grown so fast and has accumulated accolades (everything from a AAA rating from the Better Business Bureau to winning the Consumer Vote at a recent AARP Convention) is at the heart of the company is the soul of a caregiver. The company is powered by technology but it never forgets it is a caregiving service provider.  All the snazzy, bells & whistles apps created by tech geniuses in Silicon Valley cannot replace good old-fashioned compassionate caregiving.

CareLinx CEO Sherwin Sheik traveled the caregiving road with both his sister who has multiple sclerosis and his uncle who suffered from ALS. He knows that families need help and that the help needs to be affordable. He walked away from a lucrative senior executive health care job to start CareLinx.  He knew he could deliver the promise of better quality care in the home without breaking caregivers’ piggy banks.

In fact, most of Sherwin’s senior team at CareLinx have been a family caregiver – some to parents, some to spouses and other loved ones.

My Favorite ThingsAs part of my role on their advisory board, CareLinx is offering Caregiving Club readers something really special: Four (4) hours of free in-home care by clicking this link: CareLinx.

Let CareLinx become part of your care team today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liability Disclaimer: Sherri Snelling is a paid advisory board member of CareLinx. While her strategic counsel, spokesperson and other duties are paid by CareLinx, neither Sherri Snelling nor Caregiving Club are paid for clicks, links or new clients such as an affiliated marketing or sales arrangement. While Sherri Snelling provides her opinion of CareLinx, neither Sherri Snelling nor Caregiving Club guarantees the quality and satisfaction of the CareLinx services experienced by individual CareLinx client and thus, disclaims any liability that may result from your involvement with CareLinx.

Resource Links

Our new Resource Links page will be live soon! Check back shortly to get connected to services, programs and products that will help you on your caregiving journey!

Resources image maze

June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month

JUN Natl Elder Abuse Month

June is National Elder Abuse Awareness Month. The dark side of caregiving is that our senior population is vulnerable to abuse – financial, physical, emotional. The abuse can come from strangers such as identify theft or fraudulent schemes, from the neglect of professional caregivers, staff and even other residents at long-term-care facilities, and even from family members who are overwhelmed and frustrated from their caregiving role or simply not well enough trained to properly care for their loved one.

Read our CEO Sherri Snelling’s articles on the story of famous radio DJ, Casey Kasem, showcasing the dark side of caregiving:

Casey Kasem’s Legacy for Caregivers (Forbes)

Dark Side of Caregiving – Elder Abuse News (PBS Next Avenue)

 

April 10 is National Sibling Day

April 10 is National Sibling Day. When it comes to caring for Mom and Dad, siblings can either form a strong care team or can be the cause of conflict. Understanding each sibling’s role and having the family caregiving conversation earlier rather than later can help make the caregiver journey a smooth ride for all family members.

There is another side to siblings and caregiving: a study found that 18 percent of those caring for someone over age 75 were siblings caring for siblings. And, caring for young adults with disabilities or chronic conditions tend to be managed by siblings and are longer-term and more intensive.

Read our articles from CEO Sherri Snelling about siblings and caregiving:

The Sibling Caregiveroriginally published on PBS Next Avenue

Also, read Kimberly Williams-Paisley’s new book, Where the Light Gets In – Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again, about how she, her father and her siblings formed a cohesive care team for her mom with dementia:

Where the Light Gets In - COVER

February Means The Grammy Awards and Music Therapy

FEB Grammy Music Therapy

 

February means it’s Grammy season and the sound of music is all around. This month we celebrate the caregivers, like our friend Holly Robinson Peete, who are musical stars and caregivers as well as luminaries in the music business such as interviews with Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson, Alan and David Osmond, of loved ones. On a somber note we share the caregiving story of Casey Kasem, who was known best for his radio show, “America’s Top 40” but in his later years became a case study in how families need to have the C-A-R-E Conversation to avoid conflict and event elder abuse. We’ll also share articles about the power of music to heal – through music therapy or just providing the “food for the soul” all caregivers need.

Here are our articles that show music is a must for every caregiver:

Music Therapy – a 5-Note Plan for Caregiver Calm (originally published on the Alzheimer’s Association blog)

Alzheimer’s App Uses Singing to Boost Mood (originally published on PBS Next Avaenue)

Holly Robinson Peete’s Most Challenging Role – Sandwich Generation Caregiver (Holly’s in-depth story found in Sherri’s book, A Cast of Caregivers)

Catherine Zeta Jones – a caregiver’s self-care mental health plan (who won her Oscar – also happening this month – for her singing/dancing role in Chicago)

Glen Campbell’s Farewell Tour (originally published on PBS Next Avenue)

The Osmond Family’s Greatest Act – Winning the Daily Battle Against MS (Sherri interviewed both Alan and Davis Osmond for her book, A Cast of Caregivers)

Casey Kasem’s Legacy for Caregivers (originally published on PBS Next Avenue)

Music of the Night – 2013 Alzheimer’s Association “A Night at Sardi’s” Event

Stars Take Center Stage to Fight Alzheimer’s disease – 2012 Alzheimer’s Association “A Night at Sardi’s” Event

 

And, many of the articles on our Caregiving Club site and the wealth of information we provide can be found in our CEO, Sherri Snelling’s book, A Cast of Caregivers – Celebrity Stories To Help You Prepare to Care.

CastofCaregivers Cover FINAL

 

May is National Mental Health Month

MAY Natl Mental Health Month

According to the National Allliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five Americans has a mental health issue and one in 25 Americans has a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major clinical depression.

Because of the stigma and lack of understanding surrounding mental illness, Glenn Close, whose sister and nephew are challenged by mental health issues, founded Bring Change 2 Mind, to help educate the public on mental illness.

Source: Dreamstime

Source: Dreamstime

In recognition of May National Mental Health Month, read our CEO Sherri Snelling’s article about how Glenn Close is one of the leading voices in helping to change our minds about mental health and support the family caregivers caring for those with mental illness:

Glenn Close wants to change your mind about mental illness

Is Your Depression Situational or Serious?

 

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

NOV Diabetes Month

Diabetes is a growing concern for the health of Americans. Today, 30 million people live with diabetes and among those, 1 in 3 seniors over age 65 has diabetes. Yet 8 million Americans remain undiagnosed. Diabetes has many risks for other health problems including the 4.2 million people over age 40 who have diabetic retinopathy impairing eyesight and possibly causing blindness if not treated. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and for those over age 40 more than 70,000 non-traumatic amputations of toes, fingers, and other limbs occurs related to complications of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the version of this disease that we can try to control with reduced weight, better exercise and nutrition earlier in life.

Watch Sherri Snelling’s celebrity interviews, including George Clooney, Quincy Jones, Holly Robinson Peete, Gene Simmons and Harry Hamlin from the red carpet of the Carousel of Hope Ball – one of the leading organizations supporting children with diabetes:

Carousel of Hope Ball – Celebrity Interviews from the Red Carpet

 

November is National Hospice Awareness Month

NOV Hospice Month

 

 

The great movie, The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two older men facing their own mortality and deciding to live instead of wait to die, jump-started dialogues among families and friends on end-of-life wishes. It is a hard conversation to have, but perhaps one of the most important.

This November as we celebrate and raise awareness for National Hospice Awareness Month, read our CEO Sherri Snelling’s articles on how caregivers can have this end-of-life wishes conversation with loved ones and what resources are available to you:

Casey Kasem’s Legacy for Caregivers (PBS Next Avenue)

I Have a Dream – Helping Loved Ones Achieve End-of-Life Wishes

What We Can Learn From Brittany Maynard’s Death (PBS Next Avenue)

Why You Need to Make Your End-of-Life Wishes Known (PBS Next Avenue)

 

Celebrating the Grammys & Music Therapy

Groovin Puppy dreamstime_3978556 (2)Music therapy is a powerful tool for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinsons, autism and other diseases or disorders. Read more about the power of music and the musical stars who have been caregivers.

Music Therapy – a 5-Note Plan for Caregiver Calm

Glen Campbell’s Farewell Tour

First Lady Caregivers

First LadiesWe celebrate two great former Presidents on February 16 but Caregiving Club celebrates the First Ladies who have also served as a family caregiver. This month read the stories of Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.

First Lady Caregivers

Caregiving at the Oscars

Oscar Statues LG dreamstime_m_19071736 (2)We celebrate Oscar® Sunday by putting the spotlight on caregivers – in reel life and real life!

Read here about recent movies about caregiving and the real-life caregivers who have been Oscar winners.

2015 – Helping Caregivers See the Light

2015 Caregiving ClubAll year long we are dedicated to posting resources and articles that help caregivers better prepare for their role of a lifetime: the unexpected caring of a loved one. Caregiving can take us to dark places but our hope is that armed with information we can help bring light into your life.