Monday, September 10, 2012

Advice for Caregivers: Life, Death, Bereavement (Video 2:56)

Although many caregivers are actively involved in patient care for a considerable amount of time, they may not be confident or knowledgeable sometimes about the specifics of caring for someone else while maintaining their own quality of life. In addition, thoughts of preparing for a loved one’s death and their own future bereavement after the loved one dies often lurk in the background of their daily living. Healthcare providers can be a great source of support and information for caregivers in terms of confidence building and advisement.

The National Family Caregivers Association shares the following four-point message of advice for caregivers:

1)   Believe in yourself.

2)   Protect your health.

3)   Reach out for help.

4)   Speak up for your rights.

In this video titled Caregiving: What Can I Do About It?, caregiving advocates share information on quality caregiving and how it impacts lives.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.


  1. Dear Frances:

    I'm following your wonderful blog from outside the USA, and I want to thank you very much for sharing your experience and wisdom with all of us.
    This is specially the case in this post because as caregiver of my mother, a patient of dementia in her 80's, I face almost the whole array of problems that are shown in your blog , from the problems to feed the patient to consider what I'm going to do when the end arrives and this is not a minor issue nor easy to face or being rational about when a profound love bond is present, considering that in my country we have the same problems but by far not the same solutions that in the USA, sometimes I wish I could have a bunch of the robots of the post of august 13th, may be they will arrive in here in 2 or 3 ... centuries.
    Facing also the caregiver's problem of neglecting his own person I'm specially grateful to you for every post about the subject, seems to me that is very easy for an non pro caregiver, to fall in a deep hole in the desperate attempt to help a relative suffering a dementia because the illness is very disturbing and impossible to stop, so if you are not adviced to take care of yourself you may easily reach a point of no return, I was not far away from that so I can say that you really help a lot of people not only in USA but also abroad.
    I appreciate very much both You and your work, GOD bless You Frances Shani Parker.
    Guillermo Garcia, Buenos Aires, ARG.

  2. Guillermo Garcia,

    Your thoughtful expression surprised me. Writing is often a solitary activity without a lot of feedback from the many who read it. Combine that with thoughts I had only a few hours ago that today is September 11, a time of sad reminders for many Americans. Finally, consider the reality of your own challenging journey as a caregiver. With all that in mind, perhaps you can understand how greatly I appreciate your soulful words of kindness. Compliments such as yours feed a writer's spirit. I am honored to know I have fed yours as well.

    As a caregiver for your mother who has dementia, you are to be commended for continuing to seek knowledge and support wherever you can to enhance quality of life for both of you. Making that an ongoing priority in your life is crucial for the success of your shared journey. I am so glad that you have found the strength to redirect yourself away from depression. I hope you continue to do so by being open to positive sources of inspiration. No doubt, you are learning important lessons from your caregiving experience that will reward you and others now and in the future. Things happen for reasons. God bless you, Guillermo Garcia.

    Frances Shani Parker

  3. This is such a great website. I have been trying to make the decision between sending my mother to a nursing home or adult homes in lima ny. What kind of advice would you give me?

  4. Sally, deciding where someone should live is a very complex matter that can be handled best by people familiar with you, your mother and her health condition, locations available, etc. Having none of that information, I would recommend that you contact your local Area Agency on Aging (federally funded programs in most cities) for resources, guidance and support.

    You can contact the New York State Association of Area Agencies on Aging at (518) 449-7080. The website is

    You can also contact an agency near you from this list:

    I hope this is helpful, and I wish you and your mother the best.