June 27, 2017

Being Part of the Backup Team

Giving support comes in a variety of forms. For many of us, we are called upon to step in during a crisis. That crisis is frequently related to health but it can be related to  divorce, death, anything that tips the scales of a family’s functioning. Most often, the people […]
December 4, 2015

Tips for Caregivers

Understanding is essential in caregiving.  Understanding what?  Our self, the situation, the probability of change, and how that fits into why the person we are caring for is behaving in a certain way.  This helps us respond with patience as well as skill.  When we understand, we are better able […]
June 16, 2015

What to Say When Someone is Ill

For many of us, when we find out that a friend or family member is seriously ill, we wonder how we can be supportive. Just thinking about it can send us into a tailspin. Not only because we are sad about their diminished health, but because we often don’t know […]
May 10, 2015

Create an Ethical Will for Our Children and Grandchildren

Many of us are quite clear about making sure we have a “last will and testament” or a “living will” letting others know our desires if we are unable to make choices for ourselves when faced with medical decisions. Few of us, though, are just as clear about the footprint […]
March 31, 2015

When Someone is Dying

Lately, I have talked with more than a few people about how they feel when they sit with someone who is dying. Although it is not easy for most of us to talk with someone whose death is near, I believe it is invaluable to interact with a person who […]
March 14, 2015

Self-Care for Caregivers

It is well-recognized that patients with long-term illnesses such as terminal cancer or Alzheimer’s Disease go through phases of inevitable decline. Transition into a new phase requires the medical team to make appropriate adaptations to patient care. Through my work with caregivers serving family members with such serious illnesses, I […]
December 5, 2014

Concentric Circles of Caregiving

A large focus of my work and mission revolves around helping caregivers understand the value of self care, and to guide them toward positive and helpful ways to take care of themselves.  This caring for the caregiver idea is significantly more layered than most of us realize. Taking care of […]
November 13, 2014

I am coming up to the 20th anniversary of my beloved father, Jerry Atkins’s death.  Born in 1921, he died in 1994.  He had Alzheimer’s Disease for about 12 years prior to his death. He was younger than I am now when he became ill. My father’s Alzheimer’s changed my […]
October 20, 2014

Being “Present” With Someone Who is Ill

I been thinking a lot about the best ways to being present when someone is seriously ill.  As simple as it may seem, the key is to be present in ways that are most helpful to the person dealing with the health challenge.  Everyone is different and what works for […]