Caring Matters
June 2020

"The simple act of caring is heroic." 
- Edward Albert

Skills Lab and Instruction available to you!
Skills Lab for Family Members
Often caregiving does not come with instructions. Are you unsure of the best way to manage transfers or how to provide assistance with activities of daily living for a loved one?

Transitions GuidingLights' onsite clinical competency training lab houses a hospital bed, wheelchair, walker, blood pressure measurement equipment, thermometers, dressings, and other equipment commonly used in the caregiving setting and it comes with our RN Instructor and at no charge for YOU.   

Examples of skills to learn or practice:
  • Hand Washing
  • "Taking good care of your back" proper body mechanics
  • Applying Knee-High Elastic Stockings
  • Proper Use of Gait Belt
  • Making an Occupied Bed
  • Providing Catheter Care
  • Use of Bedpan
  • Use of Personal Protective Equipment
  • Feeding a Client
  • Dressing Client With Affected Arm
  • Giving a Modified Bed Bath
  • Transferring Client From Bed to Wheelchair
  • Fall Risk Reduction
  • Measuring and Recording Blood Pressure
  • Measuring and Recording Urinary Output
  • Measuring and Recording Weight of Ambulatory Client
  • Performing Passive Range of Motion for Knee and Ankle
  • Performing Passive Range of Motion for Shoulder
  • Positioning Client on Side
  • Providing Fingernail Care
  • Providing Foot Care
  • Providing Mouth Care
  • Providing Perineal Care for Female Client


The skills lab and an appointment with our nurse can be scheduled by contacting Transitions GuidingLights either by phone (919-371-2062) or by email at .

Testimonial from a Family Caregiver

The training that we got was exactly what we were looking for. We are new caregivers for my mother who is 96 years old and had lived at her home independently until recently. Caregiving has been a bigger task that I had expected and appreciate help and advice like that given by Sandy. Sandy showed us how to use a short sheet on the bed to assist in moving my mother in the bed. She also gave us advice like using a pillow behind the knees while sleeping to relieve back pain. She explained several simple things that meant a lot like placing our foot in front of my mother's foot when she is standing to prevent her from sliding. We were also given helpful websites. I feel that my mother is safer now as well as my wife and I are safer as caregivers.
Supporting our nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic
By Dr. Adam Wolk
Residents in nursing homes and other senior living facilities are at a higher risk for COVID-19.

Residents in nursing homes and other senior living facilities are at high risk of COVID-19 infection. Elderly patients may have subtle symptoms, and staff often have none at all. The combination of close living quarters and the need for multiple daily healthcare interactions can cause undetected disease to spread rapidly and widely.

Even the highest quality facilities are being overrun. As staff fall ill, it becomes difficult to care for patients. Personal protective equipment is in short supply, and remaining employees often have to cover for their now quarantined colleagues. COVID-19 infected residents are sick and need additional help with activities of daily living (toileting, bathing, eating, etc.). This puts incredible strain on front-line caregivers and management teams, who are working heroically, often at great personal risk.

Nursing homes require support from health departments, regional health systems, and the community. Thus far, that support has been inconsistent and uneven. Some hospitals and county public health officials have been very involved from the beginning, collaborating on logistics, testing, and staff. Other nursing homes are largely left on their own. The response seems to hinge less on a uniform protocoled standard and more on the strength of individual medical and public health leaders.

The care of frail seniors is difficult in normal times-it is now exceptionally challenging. We are not going to control COVID-19 without a comprehensive, resource-rich response. The following four elements must be in place to control disease while we wait for a vaccine and improved treatment options:

1.   Facilitate testing of all residents and staff in every senior congregant living center in the state.  This will allow for the rapid identification and isolation of infected residents and healthcare workers, curbing the spread of disease. Accountability should reside with local and state health departments (they should provide testing and equipment). Repeat periodic screening of staff will also be required, and as testing becomes widely available, this responsibility can be transitioned back to the facility.
2.   Prioritize PPE for healthcare workers in nursing homes.  Hospitals have received the majority of supplies. We need to work harder to source and supply PPE in senior care facilities. Accountability should also reside with local and state health departments until the supply chain is stabilized.
3.   Deploy regional "strike teams" to manage outbreaks Teams should be composed of front-line staff, infection control specialists, and logistics support personnel. The goal would be to rapidly test all staff/patients, set up strict medical and infection control protocols, and provide ongoing support until the crisis is over.
4.   Support nursing homes with infection control strategies.  Every facility needs a dedicated infection control specialist who is in regular communication with local health departments. The goal would be to rapidly disseminate new guidelines, help maintain isolation, educate staff on proper infection control principles, and coordinate surveillance testing.

It is not too late to change the outcome in our nursing homes. Lives can be saved, but we need to act now.

Adam Wolk, MD is an internal medicine clinician located in Chapel Hill and Board Member for Transitions GuidingLights Caregiver Support Center.
Cumulative Grief

The global coronavirus pandemic has created a new reality marked by grief and loss. Simple activities like visiting with our loved ones - not to mention weddings, funerals, graduations, meetings, travels plans, sports, school events, concerts and others - have been canceled in the wake of the virus. It has forced us to process both individual and collective grief in the face of an uncertain future which we are powerless to control.

We are all dealing with the collective loss of the world we knew- and recently we were given a name for it. It is called "Cumulative Grief." This is what many of us are feeling whether we are working in healthcare or otherwise during the COVID-19 pandemic. So many little losses are building upon each other and creating a grief response.
Recently we had the pleasure to listening to William Holloman with  Duke HomeCare & Hospice walk us through what we are experiencing and how to cope at the  Health Affairs Round Table  monthly meeting. In a shared a Zoom experience here are a few of the things that we learned:

Any Type of Loss Can Trigger Grief
Grief is typically associated with death, but it can follow any type of loss. For example, people often experience grief after a divorce or a job loss. Some of the things that we are grieving as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic include:
  • Job loss
  • Financial anxiety
  • Loss of safety
  • Worry about loved ones
  • Social distancing, quarantine, and feelings of isolation
  • Changes in daily habits and routines
  • Special plans and events that have been canceled
  • Clashes with family members over how to protect yourself
  • Worries about how to pay rent, utilities, and other bills
  • Sadness over how the pandemic will affect the world
  • Fears for the future
Remember That Your Feelings are Valid
  • In a world that seems turned upside down, you might not experience grief the same way you might have under normal circumstances. Try to remember that grief is personal, and everyone experiences it differently.
  • No one should have to experience grief alone. While you might not be able to gather together with others for support, you can connect virtually through FaceTime or Zoom.
  • COVID-19 might rob you of the physical presence of loved ones as you grieve, but you can still maintain an emotional connection to people who will support you during this time.
And remember, the Referral Specialists here at Transitions GuidingLights are just a phone call away. You can reach us at 919-371-2062.

Last month we gathered virtually at our breakfast HART meeting for a ZOOM conference on Cumulative Grief. It was well attended and successful so while continuing to social distance we decided to try it again.

So, make sure you       

For a  meeting
      Thursday June 18 from 11:30AM to 1:00pm
Details about the speaker and registration will be forthcoming.

Thank you.

We are in need of volunteers for the Caregivers Summits.
We have three conferences this year where we will need your help with greeting, registration (checking in our guests), "people moving" (helping our guests find their way to sessions, lunch, restrooms, etc.), and moderating sessions.

Choose the one - or ones - that best suit your location and/or calendar.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 
The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education
100 Friday Center Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 22, 2020 
McKimmon Center
1101 Gorman St, Raleigh, NC 27606
8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Monday, December 14, 2020 
Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center
4700 Emperor Blvd, Durham, NC 27703
8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

To Volunteer, please click here and complete the Volunteer Form.

Aging Matters
Saturday, 7pm - 8pm

 "Aging Matters" helps you navigate the many choices and issues we face as we care for an aging loved one.
Join hosts Jason Kong (WPTF) and Nicole Clagett (Transitions GuidingLights), along with special guests, as they discuss the issues affecting the aging population in North Carolina and America.
Following is the link to our most recent podcast and below you can connect to ALL EPISODES! 

Information & Referral

T ransitions GuidingLights is pleased to offer information and referrals to caregivers seeking resources for a loved one. Caregivers may drop in or call during regular business hours to receive personally tailored referrals to meet their specific care needs. Transitions GuidingLights provides referral services FREE of charge to family caregivers. Call (919) 371-2062 for help TODAY or 

Join our Facebook support group when you can't leave home.

ABC11's Caregivers Corner is a place where you can connect with fellow people giving long term care to a loved one, be it a grandparent, parent or sibling. This group is moderated by ABC11 and Nicole. Simply search for "Caregivers Corner" in your Facebook search bar.

You can meet Nicole and other caregivers on our Facebook group  here.
Skills Lab for Family Members

Are you unsure of the best way to manage transfers or how to provide assistance with activities of daily living for a loved one? If so, contact us and we would be glad to set up an appointment with one of our nurses who will meet with you to practice the skills you need to become a more confident caregiver. Contact us by clicking  here.

3739 National Drive, Suite 204, Raleigh, NC 27612 ยท 919.371.2062