Care Giver Kuel Category Expert: Lisa Gates
The above is a short definition of what the dictionary labels as a caregiver. To me it is encompasses so much more than the above definition.
Caregiving can be as simple as taking time to research viable options for a family member or loved one. Recently, I started helping my father navigate his journey finding a senior living community. Due to the fact, that I worked within the industry for more than six years, I wanted to be sure he, as well as myself, understood the community’s long-range plan for my father’s health and if their facilities could accommodate his needs, should he experience what we call “change of condition”. I asked the hard questions, some of which they indicated they had not been asked before. My role is to simply serve as an advocate and advisor, knowing fully well that in the end my father will make the decision.
“there are more than 45 million caregivers right now in the US”
Statistics provided by the AARP/National Alliance for Caregivers cite there are more than 45 million caregivers right now in the US, the average age is 49 and 29% are millennials. In addition, one out of six, approximately 20% of our current workforce is a caregiver. Additionally, more than half never tell their boss/supervisor that they are caring for someone. As a result, during these segments I would like to explore ways in which organizations can bring this subject to light. When asked, most caregivers respond that they need more flexibility with their schedule.
Some Businesses Are Helping Care Givers
Some large businesses including Starbucks, Bank of America, and other small businesses have added additional vacation, as additional employee benefits, to those who serve as caregivers. Others provide ‘lunch n learns’ with field experts and bring in elder law attorneys and other resources to their businesses. It would be wonderful if we could educate businesses on the importance of adding additional employee benefits for caregivers.
“we can all learn from one another as well as help one another.”
Let Me Know How I Can Help
I would like to hear from our Community about what their current challenges are, and what resources and/or services are important to them. Each of us has a unique journey and my philosophy is that we can all learn from one another as well as help one another. A favorite cliché is “knowledge is power”. The more we know and can learn about what resources exist– the more we can try to find answers. I would have never known what questions to ask of a senior living communities. My experience brought education and knowledge that assisted me throughout the process. My work prepared me for an endeavor that brought knowledge and insight into a subject I would have never thought would be needed; funny how that works.
Remember To Take Care Of Yourself Too
Moving forward, I would love to hear what is important to you and what topics you would like addressed. This really is all about what YOU need. Most importantly, take the time every day to at least one thing for yourself—even if it is as little as 15 minutes. It is critical to take the time. You can’t adequately care for someone else if you don’t take the time to care for yourself.
About the Author:
Lisa Gates has worked within the senior living industry for eight years as an Administrator for an adult day health program and served in various sales and marketing capacities with Brookdale Senior Living. She has helped numerous families navigate through their journey as a caregiver, with an emphasis on dementia and Alzheimer’s. In addition, she has held numerous sales and consulting roles within the real estate and hospitality industry. She is the Co-founder and CEO of a nonprofit (501-c-3) Metamorphosis-3, which was created in 2019. Its mission is to provide programs for isolated seniors, caregivers, and intergenerational programs. This nonprofit will provide services in all geographic areas.