Senior Well-Being


UP FOR DISCUSSION … A brand-new year is upon us, and as caregivers we can either look forward or look back. When we look back, we see just how far we have come. As we look to the future, we can only wonder what might lie ahead. Perhaps the only thing that really matters is to focus on today!

It is the eve before New Year’s Eve … do you recall all the plans you used to make related to New Year’s Eve?  For us it was always some party or family get-together.  When our children were young …

UP FOR DISCUSSION … As we begin this year’s miracle of Christmas celebration, I continue to bask in the varied glow of lights – and people – in this season of joy and take notice of all that I am grateful for. My blessings far outweigh my misfortunes.

It is a well-ingrained habit by now … my assessment of any situation based primarily on a quickly constructed pro/con ledger.  Not unlike a Net Worth Statement, I tend to look at my life as a serie…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … With little more than one week before we celebrate Jesus’ birth, are you finding the light? Why does so much of our discussion turn to providing light in places where it seems to be very dark? Even a flicker of a candle can make all the difference!

It started with a simple mention by a friend that she was having a difficult time finding fresh tapered candles anywhere.  That led to a lengthy discussion that repeated itself twice more with othe…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … As the ‘Season of Lights’ is upon us, do weary and troubled caregivers have the ability to bring any special light to their loved ones or family members who need a little hope? I think we can … all it might require is a little courage!

It is the Season of Lights, they say, and as the shortest day of the year approaches, this week has been all about seeing the lights!  Whether the soft glow of the Christmas trees at night, the fli…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … As a family caregiver, have you made your holiday plan? Is it purposeful, attainable, and filled with the hope for joy? I drafted mine this morning ….

I wrote my Christmas plan this morning.  It only took me two cups of coffee, a sojourn through the three rooms we really use during the holidays, and a decision that no family visitors this year me…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … The holidays are upon us, and for some the familiar question of how to see you and your loved one through the family get-togethers is front and center. Chevrolet captures it beautifully … endeavor to make each visit one of the “good days”.

I don’t usually endorse products, and I have not driven a Chevrolet in many years, but after seeing a beautiful commercial on Facebook this morning I was reduced to tears and again reminded that we…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … As we prepare for Thanksgiving Day this year – no matter whether it is shaping up to be busy or quiet – I think it adds value to take stock of all the is right in our lives! Do we caregivers tend to focus too much on all that is going wrong?

For some years now, I have kept a daily gratitude journal.  It started with a notebook where I would write down the top 5 things that happened to me each day that I was grateful for.  It has morphe…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … As we celebrate our Veterans today, I wonder about celebrating Family Caregivers in the same month. Is it possible that the role of the Military is perhaps not so dramatically different than the role of the Caregiver!

As I rushed home from a ministry event today to spend some time with my favorite veteran on Veteran’s Day, I pondered the role he played during his extensive time in the military and compared it to…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … Did you know that the Florida Department of Elder Affairs have Care Navigators available to help support caregivers through every step of their caregiver journey? I did not either, until I recently learned about this statewide completely free service called FACE.

It is amazing to me that even after seven years on this caregiver journey, I continue to learn about people who are making it their life’s work to serve family caregivers and assist in the very nec…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … As we begin National Family Caregivers Month, do you feel recognized and appreciated? Do you even feel visible? My suggestion … celebrate YOU and do something special – for another caregiver!

When I first realized that there even was a National Family Caregivers Month, I looked up how it all came about.  The National Family Caregiver’s Association was founded in 1993.  One of their obje…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … I have to keep reminding myself as a caregiver that I am not alone on this journey! The numbers tell me I am actually in good company, and as a caregiver my experiences give me a worthwhile opportunity to help other caregivers.

What began as a budget exercise morphed into something much more recently when I took the time to look at where this new ministry, The Caregiver’s Pathway, is as we complete our first ten months of…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … I suppose it is inevitable … our bucket lists change over time and with life events that make certain things less viable or even impossible. A recent experience has taught me that is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it is best just to let go!

When my husband and I merged households many years ago, I acquired a beautiful baby grand piano that had been in his family for decades.  I was thrilled because on my bucket list at the time was a …

UP FOR DISCUSSION … Are you as surprised as I am that we have already ushered in Fall and are only a few months away from yearend? While I have come to recognize the more subtle change of seasons in Florida, I am also excited to get back to the Hygge practices that Fall brings that I loved while living up north.

Many years ago, a Florida native educated me and other Midwesterners lamenting the lack of obvious season changes we knew from up north that the south too has seasons – you just need to be more awa…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … As caregivers we face decisions frequently that make us feel we are selecting the lesser of two bad choices. The expression ‘between a rock and a hard place’ comes to mind, but can our outlook on the situation make things a little easier?

In our Self-Care class this past week, our guest speaker Kelly Garrett from Empath Health reminded us of Stephen Covey’s famous teaching about how to find happiness and success by putting the most …

UP FOR DISCUSSION … This morning has been a potpourri of events that started with some negative but quickly turned to positive examples of how we are all wise to “embrace the unexpected”. Have we forgotten how to love one another … and ourselves when things go wrong?

I started this morning completely on the wrong foot!  Probably because of an exceptionally busy week, I slept well last night and when I woke up the sun was already high above the horizon and light…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … As a full-time caregiver, I think a lot about the good old days when I was free to do pretty much as I pleased. I traveled, indulged in multiple interests, and was rarely home. Why is life so different now?

I took an amazing walk down memory lane this week and must share it with you.  Not only because it brought back so many detailed memories of the past, but because it left me with an understanding t…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … We talk a lot about self-care for caregivers, and how important self-care is to maintain a positive attitude about the many challenges of caregiving. I wonder … do we all define and practice self-care differently?

I participated in three separate conversations this week about self-care, and I have reached the conclusion that, quite probably, there are multiple definitions for what it is – and, perhaps, even …

UP FOR DISCUSSION … As a caregiver, I am always looking for those moments of joy that bring me a renewed sense of energy and resolve. Even in the eye of a hurricane, there are wonders that can occur that make me smile!

As I continue to give thanks for the lack of drama around our most recent encounter with yet another “I” hurricane named Idalia, my deep gratitude this morning gave way to a sense of well-being tha…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … Most caregivers feel a sense of vulnerability that only escalates as their loved one’s illness progresses. If you are like me, those feelings of insecurity tend to get even worse when other things go wrong! Might we feel less exposed if we learn to laugh at our own mishaps?

As we watch multiple tropical storms forming in the Atlantic, and even one Pacific storm expected to cross Central America into the Gulf of Mexico later this weekend, I can feel my anxiety levels c…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … A life-altering diagnosis can be devastating, yet once caregivers wrap their heads around their new reality, every new day presents an opportunity to rebuild!

As Church of the Palms kicks off its new church year, the theme for the coming season is Behold, I Make All Things New!  I am reminded of how I feel almost every day … after I give thanks for wakin…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … My loved one celebrates another birthday today! While his symptoms began appearing several years ago, we did not have an accurate diagnosis until 2019. All this time later we both count our blessings, and I marvel at how much I have learned along the way!

Another birthday to celebrate today, and in a recent conversation with my husband’s medical team, we reminisced about our first visit together back in 2019 and how much “better” my loved one is tod…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … In a recent TEDx talk, I heard someone speaking about the fact that eight out of ten family caregivers suffer from loneliness. Even though their loved one is still there with them, their moments of connection are few. The presenter suggests the answer is for the caregiver to create more moments for play. What might that look like?

Many of you have heard me talk about how my loved one is able to bring up memories from decades ago and recount the stories in minute detail – names, places, participants, and particulars about the…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … I read a thought-provoking opinion this week that has given me a lot to think about. Are caregivers their own worst enemy when it comes to finding joy? Where does joy fit into our ongoing chore list?

I saw an opinion piece as I was scrolling social media this week and still wonder about it as I begin to tackle another day of chores.  I’ve already called the paver specialist to fix the pool step…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … I have lived here year-round since 2017 and still find myself thinking too much about this year’s hurricane season. How does a caregiver truly prepare for something we have so little control over?

I read an article this morning that described the situation we are in here in Florida because of two weather phenomena that have never been experienced together before.  How they will work with eac…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … I have had several conversations recently with caregivers about our constant waiting for “the next shoe to drop”. Are there ways to stop worrying so much about the future?

I am a thinker and a planner.  My entire career was all about laying out next steps and anticipating ahead of time all the things that could possibly go wrong.  Motherhood reinforced those tendenci…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … As a caregiver, I am constantly amazed at what I am looking up on the internet. This past weekend, I found myself in full escape mode while researching Taylor Swift’s latest stadium tour! I wonder, does that make me a Swiftie?

While I admit fully to living vicariously through so many other people these days, I am humored by the fact that I have become a fan of Taylor Swift for all sorts of strange reasons that have nothi…

UP FOR DISCUSSION … As we approach the July 4th holiday, I wonder whether as a caregiver I should think less about what I am seeking freedom from and focus more on what I could be seeking freedom for. Have you considered the difference?

Next week we celebrate as a nation our freedom from the oppression of foreign influences, and we remember in multiple ways our liberty and autonomy to self-govern as established by our Declaration …
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