Free book when you join The Caregiver’s Path Community

May 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Ethics In Action


 

On Join The Caregiver’s Path Community
Helping you find meaning and support as you travel along the caregiver’s path
www.TheCaregiversPathCommunity.com

What is The Caregiver’s Path Community?
The Caregiver’s Path Community is a place to have a deeper conversation about what matters to you, what you worry about, and what you need help with. It is an online community of people who are going through what you are going through. Viki understands how difficult it is for caregivers to get out of the house to get the support they need. This is why she has created this place where you can go in the middle of night and say your truth and know that someone is listening and understands.

This is about your life. You matter too!

The Caregiver’s Path Community is where you get your “emotional insurance.”
It is a safe, private, supportive, educational and compassionate place for both family and professional caregivers.

What are caregivers talking about in the Discussion Forum right now?
“I think it is time to take my husband’s car keys away but how do I say it to him?”
“I am taking care of my mom and she just said the sweetest thing.”
“I am really overwhelmed right now and my family isn’t helping.”
“I’m in a crisis! My grandfather just fell and broke his hip. What do I do next?”

What do you get when you sign up?
• A free copy of the book, The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices for Those Who Can’t.
• 2 webinars per month where you can get your questions answered, hear interviews with experts, receive additional education from Viki, and much more.
• 24/7 Caregiver Discussion Forum
• Online crisis support from Viki and your caregiver friends
• Audio and video trainings (coming soon)

Downloadable Bonus Gifts when you sign up:
• Two-part series on “Protecting and Respecting the Person in Your Care”
• Crisis Worksheet
• Questions to Ask When Making Medical Decisions

What does it cost?
Start up offer: $30 – This includes a free copy of The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices for Those Who Can’t and three months of online community support! (Non-refundable) If you already have a book, you can join for the first three months for $15.
After three months, it continues at $9.95 per month. And of course, you can cancel anytime.

How do I get started?  After June 1st,
Register at www.TheCaregiversPathCommunity.com.

Linda Leon will be interviewing Viki on April 7 – 9:30 a.m. PDT – Book That Author on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/book-that-author

April 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Uncategorized


April 7 – 9:30 a.m. PDT – Book That Author on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/book-that-author

Media and print producer Linda Leon who hosts Book That Author – a talk show devoted to authors, editors and other book professionals in the writing industry to display their talent, skill, insider information and love for the craft. Linda’s background is in commercial broadcast television. During her 12 years in the industry she hosted and produced several programs which have aired nationally and internationally. She also spent 7 years producing radio broadcasts for an international market. Linda currently owns a video production and author services business. Where she guides independent authors on publishing, publicity and distribution. She also works with them to create infomercials, commercials and trailers to promote their books. She is the author of several books and will be launching her new book Publishing and PR Business For Smart People in 2011. Linda is always busy with her writers group at bookprofessionals.ning.com

Have a kind and respectful day.

The medical decision is just part of life’s equation.

June 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Ask Viki, Featured


doctor-thumb

So many people ask me what they should be thinking about when making medical decisions. Whether you are making your own decisions or having to make decisions for others, there is a lot to think about.

Your doctor or your loved one’s doctor will talk to you about the medical aspects of any health-related decision. But that doesn’t mean that you are limited to thinking only about medicine. It may be important to consider the financial costs associated with the treatment plan, if the patient’s religion should play a role in the decision and whether there are cultural issues that come into play. Think about the overall picture of your loved one’s life. In The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making, I offer lists of questions to help you understand the whole picture.

It would be nice for the decision to be as simple as asking, “Will the treatment work and what are the side effects?” But life isn’t that simple. What if you were about to make a medical decision that allowed something to be done to the person’s body that was forbidden by the person’s culture or religion? You might have chosen a certain treatment to save her life, but because the patient received that treatment, she will no longer be able to move on to the hereafter. Yes, the medical decision was a good one, but how the decision will affect the person’s life, based on her personal belief system, was not.

If the person you are making decisions for is very religious, then it would be good to find out if there are any religious rules or values that you should consider in your decision making. I know that when I work with my hospice patients, it is important to know if there are certain rites or blessings that have to be performed before the patient’s death. I don’t have to agree with what the person wants, but if I am the caregiver, then I need to do what I can to make sure the person’s religion or culture is respected. I will need to call in the appropriate religious leader to take care of the spiritual needs of this person. If the person is not religious or spiritual, then you will need to respect this and leave religion out of the decision making process.

For most people, the financial costs of the medical treatment will need to be considered or you may be putting the person in financial danger. You may be in charge of making only the healthcare decisions, but you should make sure that you or somebody else checks with the insurance company to find out whether or not it will pay for the treatment and to get the proper authorizations. Don’t let a simple mistake like forgetting to call the insurance company to let them know that your loved one was admitted to the hospital put your loved one in financial distress. Making decisions without using the financial questions could bankrupt your loved one. Our goal of protecting the person should include protecting his or her wallet.

For a list of questions you can use when making decisions, go to the resource page and download the list from the excerpts from The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making – Making Choices for Those Who Can’t.

Have a kind and respectful day.

Why is he suffering? Why is the doctor waiting to give him pain meds?

June 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Ask Viki


Dear Viki,

My nephew had surgery a few days ago and he is still in a lot of pain. He told the doctor that he has a pain level of 8 and the doctor told him that he would come in in the morning and address his pain level. I don’t think this is right. How can the doctor just leave him suffering all night? What can I do?

Answer:

I can’t believe this still happens. Patients are not supposed to be in pain and should not be left in pain until it is convenient for someone to deal with it. Hopefully by now your nephew has been taken care of but the next time, you can ask the nurse to call the doctor who is on call that evening and ask him to order the right pain medication.

The question you might want to ask the doctor when he or she comes in the next morning is, “How would you like to suffer all night with a pain level of 8? Would you leave your own kid in that kind of pain?” I would love to hear his or her answer. As caregivers/family members, we have to advocate and sometimes get loud in order to make sure our loved ones get what they need.

I do have compassion for healthcare professionals because they see so much suffering, like those in the military. The only way they can cope is to distance themselves from what they are seeing. This doesn’t excuse not taking care of your nephew but I just want you to understand that usually, it isn’t that doctors don’t care—it is because they care too much.

Have a kind and respectful day.

Join Viki as she talks about “Empowering Caregivers to Make Better End-of-Life Decisions” at Circle of Care Leeza’s Place, June 16th in Sherman Oaks.

June 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Ethics In Action


Empowering Caregiver’s to Make Better End-of-Life Decisions at Circle of Care – Leeza’s Place on June 16 from 12-1:30.
Everyone is welcome!

Being empowered and educated about the dying process brings peace of mind knowing that you will be able to handle what may come your way. Attendees will learn about the needs of the dying, how to make good end-of-life decisions and hospice services can benefit your entire family. Viki Kind joins with Circle of Care Leeza’s Place to create a safe haven ot ask yoru questions and to talk about your fears.

Circle of Care Leeza’s Place
5000 Van Nuys Suite 110, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
818-817-3259 F 818-817-3263

Circle of Care Leeza’s Place is an intimate and safe setting where caregivers and loved ones recently diagnosed with any memory disorder can gather for education and support, and to prepare themselves for the challenging journey ahead. Developed in response to the challenges Leeza Gibbons and her family encountered while seeking specific and needed support, and funded in full by the generosity of our community through the Circle of Care Foundation, Circle of Care Leeza’s Place offers new supportive settings for the purpose of
Educating, Empowering & Energizing.

All programs are FREE OF CHARGE & held on site unless otherwise noted.
Please feel free to contact Stefanie Elkins at 818-817-3259 or selkins@leezasplace.org.

Have a kind and respectful day.

Sandra Haymon interviews Viki Kind on June 15th at 9AM pacific

May 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Kind Ethics Radio


Sandra Haymon interviews Viki Kind on June 15th, at 9AM pacific about her new book, The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making. Listen live or download later at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sandra-haymon.

Dr. Sandra W. Haymon, a licensed Psychologist, is a renowned expert and speaker on aging and caregiving issues. She is the author of two books: Baby Boomers—Sandwiched Between Retirement & Caregiving http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Boomers-Sandwiched-Retirement-Caregiving/dp/1606968610/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1273973131&sr=1-1-fkmr0 and My Turn: Caring for Aging Parents & Other Elderly Loved Ones – a Daughter’s Perspective http://www.amazon.com/My-Turn-Parents-Daughters-Perspective/dp/0965296504/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1273973169&sr=1-3-fkmr0. Her latest book: Baby Boomers—Sandwiched Between Retirement & Caregiving is based on Dr. Haymon’s personal experience of having nowhere to turn and everything to learn when her own parents needed care.

This experience motivated her to combine her personal experiences with extensive research to provide others with the answers she wished had been available to her. Baby Boomers is a complete reference guide which addresses retirement concerns, as well as the medical, legal, financial, and emotional issues associated with the elderly and their caregivers. It includes: a complete Resource List of over 250 organizations that provide information and help for the elderly; a Red Flag Checklist intended to help caregivers assess their loved ones’ true level of functioning in order to determine whether they are safe living alone; a Feelings Checklist to help caregivers identify, normalize and validate their feelings, and a glossary of terms used by medical and legal professionals.

Dr. Haymon has been featured on numerous television and radio shows including ABC’s Good Morning America-Sunday, CBS’s Late, Late Night with Tom Snyder, WTBS, Turner Broadcasting and WAGA in Atlanta, GA; Solutions USA–Los Angeles, CA; K-III TV–Corpus Christie, TX; WTOC-TV–Savannah, GA; WFSU–Public Television and WCTV–Tallahassee, FL, CNN–KHNR radio–Honolulu, HI; Radio America–Boston, MA; KKVV radio–Las Vegas, NV; and WCHY radio–Savannah, GA. She was also featured in U.S. News and World Report magazine on the topic of eldercare, and her article entitled Parenting Your Parents–As Well As Your Kids–the Sandwich Generation was featured in Tallahassee Parent Magazine (Summer, 1997).

Dr. Haymon presently offers seminars, workshops and keynote addresses across the United States and Canada on the issues of Elder Care, Retirement and Work Addiction. In her Caregiver/Retirement seminars she addresses personal concerns such as: denial, medical choices, legal decisions, living arrangements, assistance programs, emotional issues, end-of-life concerns, and saying goodbye before and after the death of a loved one. She also includes a plethora of retirement options, financial information, and ways to avoid taxes and probate.

When describing herself Sandra states, with much pride, “I am truly a baby boomer in every respect and count it a blessing to have been born into such an amazing generation of people at the most incredible and wonderful time in the history of the world. We are the great producers, and we will continue to be productive—even if it is called retirement.”

http://www.babyboomerssandwich.com/

Have a kind and respectful day.

Empowering Caregivers to Make Good Decisions Event in Thousand Oaks – June 12

May 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Ethics In Action


Grand Oaks Senior Living Proudly Presents – Viki Kind, MA

Author of The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making: Making Choices for Those Who Can’t

A Free Educational Seminar for Families and Caregivers
“Empowering Caregivers to Make Good Decisions”

When:
Saturday, June 12, 2010, from 1:30PM to 3:30 PM
Where:
Grand Oaks Senior Living
2177 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
(Note: Please park on Thousand Oaks Blvd.)

Viki’s book will be available for purchase and she will be on hand to sign your copy!
A percentage of proceeds will be donated to the Hospice of the Conejo

Refreshments will be Served
RSVP by June 10, 2010 to 805-370-5400

Have a kind and respectful day.

Helping our patients get the help they need when their senses fail

May 13, 2010 by  
Filed under For Healthcare Professionals


The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) http://www.asha.org

It is so important to make sure that your senior patients get check ups for both hearing and seeing. Don’t assume that the mental changes you are seeing mean there is a brain or psychological issue. Sometimes it is a senses issue. And your patient may or may not know it is happening since it changes happen slowly over time. I didn’t realize that my dad had such poor vision until I sat with him during his eye appointment. Then I understood how much he was missing and how I needed to make sure we modified his space to help him with his visual limitations. I wish the doctor had taken a more proactive approach to helping me with my dad. Instead, he just documented what was happening and moved on to the next patient. I sure could have used his advice and guidance about what this vision loss meant to my dad and how I could help.

Language barriers also create an obstacle to getting what one needs. Unfortunately, I see healthcare professionals discount or ignore someone with speech limitations and turn to the family member instead. I know we are all rushed in medicine but we have to take a stand and say no, I am not going to rush this person through because my patient needs me. It also happens in our day-to-day life when we want someone in front of us in line to hurry up but they can’t because it takes them longer to speak.

Just because people can’t speak well or speak fast, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a voice in their lives. There are other ways to communicate. People can write, type, point to words or pictures on a board or sign. Many times it is just about having patience. Having the patience to sit still while the other person finds the words. And what I have found with my hospice work is that people communicate even when they can’t say a word. So, sit still and listen. You make a difference when you do.

Have a kind and respectful day.

Better Hearing and Speech Month – Stop and listen and get people the help they need

May 13, 2010 by  
Filed under For Patients & Families


The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) http://www.asha.org

It is so important to make sure that your aging loved ones get check ups for both hearing and seeing. Oftentimes, a person starts to withdraw and to be less involved in life if he or she is having difficulties being able to hear or see. He or she may not realize things have changed drastically because the changes happen slowly over time. I didn’t realize that my dad had such poor vision until I sat with him during his eye appointment. Then I understood how much he was missing and how I needed to make sure we modified his space to help him with his visual limitations.

Language barriers also create an obstacle to getting what one needs. Too often I see healthcare professionals discount or ignore someone with speech limitations and turn to the family member instead. It also happens in our day-to-day life when we want someone in front of us in line to hurry up but they can’t because it takes them longer to speak.

Just because people can’t speak well or speak fast, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a voice in their lives. There are other ways to communicate. People can write, type, point to words or pictures on a board or sign. Many times it is just about having patience. Having the patience to sit still while the other person finds the words. And what I have found with my hospice work is that people communicate even when they can’t say a word. So, sit still and listen. You make a difference when you do.

Have a kind and respectful day.

National Nursing Home Week – This Year’s Theme – “Enriching Every Day”

May 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Ethics In Action


Thank you American Health Care Association for these wonderful ideas about making this week special at your local nursing home and making sure we don’t stop there but work to enrich every day. http://www.ahcancal.org/events/national_nursing_home_week/Pages/Activities.aspx#specialservices

Enrichment through Words…

Grab a Pen and Make a Friend! Do you like to write and receive notes? Then Grab a Pen and Make a Friend! Having a pen pal club is a great way to learn about others and start an enriching relationship through the sharing of stories and interests. All you need for this activity is a pen, paper and “pal.” Of course, pen pal writing could also occur on the internet with e-mail. The activity could be small, with residents writing to other residents or staff. Take it a step further by partnering with another facility, local high school, volunteer group etc. At the end of the week, encourage residents and other participants to reflect on what they learned (or hope to learn) about others. Consider Grab a Pen and Make a Friend a part of every week throughout the year and watch relationships blossom and grow! Don’t forget to order the official 2010 National Nursing Home Week® pens!

Poetry Reading A literary art, poetry can bring deep reflection and comfort, inspire a conversation and enlighten the mind. With a focus on enriching, the act of poetry reading can illuminate the atmosphere of a nursing home through spoken words. Consider hosting a poetry reading at your facility. Have an “open mic” where anyone is welcome to read a poem they select or share their own poem! Family members, friends and others from the community can also listen and share their poetry too. Make it a memorable event with tea and cookies and invite everyone to attend and participate. Afterwards, have a question and answer session or an open discussion.

Don’t forget to advertise this event in the community section of you local newspaper. See the PR Tips for more information.

“Thank You” Note Scavenger Hunt Thank you notes not only show gratitude, but also add a personal touch that can be cherished and remembered for years. This week, encourage residents to write a note of thanks to their favorite staff person or fellow resident. Have them reflect on a characteristic that makes that person unique and put it into words. During the week, ask residents to post or tape the notes all over the facility and have staff members find them and read them out loud to share with everyone during a Staff Appreciation Lunch. Staff can even write a thank you note back!

Share Stories with the Veterans History Project Do you have a veteran in your facility? Consider honoring him or her during NNHW by sharing their story with the rest of the world. The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American veterans. Stories can be told through personal narratives, letters, photos and other ways. Stories and materials submitted to The Veterans History Project will be archived and housed within the Library of Congress online database and available to Congress and researchers who visit the Library of Congress. Visit the Library of Congress for more information, registration and tips for hosting a community event in honor of your veteran. To share your veteran’s story online, consider uploading a video on YouTube and sharing it on Facebook!

Enrichment through Music…

American Senior Idol Do you think your residents have what it takes to be the next American Senior Idol? You don’t have to turn on the television to watch stars be born, just look to the talent at your facility! This week, invite residents (and staff too) to sing songs that enrich the heart and the mind. A little healthy competition is always a good way to generate interest and participation in an activity. Everyone can earn a reward for participating (see pages 11-14 for NNHW themed products). Make your American Senior Idol a fun competition by getting other residents and staff involved as judges and inviting the community at large to attend. You can ramp up the excitement by inviting your local high school glee club or show choir to “open” the competition with a performance. Many high schools have a community service requirement in their student curriculum. Check with your local school system for details.

“Senior Prom” A good way to keep up the momentum during NNHW is to have a “Senior Prom.” Bring back those treasured high school memories or create new ones. Try partnering with local high schools to participate in their Prom or host one right in the facility. Allowing young and old to mix and mingle gives new meaning to the phrase “Senior Prom.” This event can create long lasting memories that will be talked about well after graduation!

Don’t forget to advertise this event in the community section of you local newspaper. See the PR Tips page for more information.

Enrichment through Images…

Take Pictures As the activities and fun continue throughout the week encourage residents and staff to make these memories last by taking pictures. Equip them with disposable cameras and encourage all to take a snapshot of their favorite moments. Once you develop the pictures put your creative thinking cap on. There are several ways to use the photos.

You can:

* Post photos in resident rooms and throughout the facility;
* Put together and display a facility-wide collage of all the pictures for all to see;
* Make a slide show and display it in the cafeteria or activity room for as long as you like;
* Encourage residents to share their favorite photo during a group activity; or
* Have a contest to turn the best pictures into a 12 month calendar.

Don’t forget to post your pictures on the NNHW Facebook Fan Page!

Enrichment through Crafts…

Quilt A timeless activity for residents and staff is quilting. This popular pastime allows all participants to chat and learn more about each other while unleashing their creative ability through fabric. Most likely, you already have a quilting superstar in your facility who can help everyone get started. If not, check your local newspaper to contact your nearest quilting club for assistance or get started on your own by visiting How to Make a Quilt. The quilt can be donated to a local library, a homeless shelter, or it could be kept in the facility as a token from the week. A lap quilt is another great idea! Don’t have time to make enough for everyone? Have everyone help to make a smaller number of lap quilts and raffle them off to residents during the “Senior Prom.”

Birthday Boxes Everybody has a birthday, and NNHW is a great time to remember them. Birthday Boxes are a simple idea that can bring tons of cheer throughout the year. During NNHW week, ask residents to decorate their own Birthday Box. These can be tissue boxes, shoe boxes, or any small box with a lid. After the decorating is done, have residents and staff write down special notes about everyone else and put them in the respective Birthday Box. As an alternative, write birthday notes during the birthday week. After all notes are collected in the Birthday Box, read them aloud. Residents can then put their notes in a scrapbook or on their own wall for all to see!

Enrichment through Special Services…

Staff Appreciation Day Make one day all about the staff. Honor staff that strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Plan a special lunch in honor of them, invite families and have volunteers from the community serve them. During the lunch have residents tell why their closest caregiver is so important to them. Encourage resident families that have a special bond with staff members to show their appreciation with flowers or gifts. You can even reach out to your local media contact and encourage them to profile an outstanding staff member in a local publication or news cast.

Prayer Service A prayer service can enrich the spirit as well as the heart. During this special week, invite all to attend a special service celebrating the members of the nursing home “family” and to remember those that have passed on. Consult with your facility’s spiritual advisor to arrange the details of the service. This serves as a perfect prelude to a Mothers and Fathers Brunch.

Mothers and Fathers Brunch This Mother’s Day, kick off NNHW by hosting a Mothers and Fathers Brunch. Show all mothers and fathers just how special they are by preparing and serving a delicious meal in their honor. Plan a three course brunch menu, complete with hearty breakfast foods, tasty cheeses and meats.

Complete the brunch with a savory dessert. Involve local boy or girl scouts by having them perform a special salute and then serving all mothers and fathers. It’s a great way to nourish the body while enriching the heart!

Memory Garden Springtime is a perfect time to commemorate the passing of loved ones or friends with a memory garden. Planting a memory garden is a beautiful exercise that can heal the heart. Engage residents and staff in this unique activity by involving them from the get-go. Choose a sunny spot where several people can gather. Personalize the flowers or plants that you select by reflecting on those individuals to be remembered. You may select their favorite flowers or favorite scents. You could also select a plant that symbolizes them in a unique way. For example, a chrysanthemum expresses wonderful friendship while magnolias represent dignity. Forget-me-nots are beautiful flowers that can be planted throughout the garden. You can also include small statues, objects or plaques that carry special meaning.

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