Caring News
November 2017 - Issue 7 

Welcome to STC's Caring News - Issue 7
.National Family Caregivers Month
National Family Caregivers Month - Nov 2017
The theme for National Family Caregivers Month November 2017 is  "Caregiving Around the Clock"

Caregiving can be a 24-hours a day/7-days a week job. Caring for a senior with Alzheimer's or a child with special needs can be non-stop. Providing care around the clock can crowd out other important areas of life. And you never know when you will need to rush to the hospital or leave work at the drop of a hat. What challenges do family caregivers face, and how do they manage them day and night?
THANK YOU to caregivers everywhere for your dedication, hard work and sacrifices.  STC recognizes the effort it takes to continually manage, often without a break, the care of someone you love or know who is struggling with a health, medical or aging challenge. 
Starting this month we urge you to find ways to take time for yourself or do something that brings you joy and peace.  Ask for help, spend time in nature, and keep yourself healthy because...
"To the world you are someone, but to someone you are the world." Unknown
From all of us at STC

Seeding STC in the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Community
by Tewentahawih'tha' Cole
Health Educator for the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe
Office for the Aging

"One day, my father went from being in the best of health to needing 24-hour care. He suffered a brain bleed and needed to be hospitalized.  During that stay at the hospital, we found out his brain bleed was due to an undiagnosed brain tumor.  Testing was done, we found out it was terminal cancer. After a period of rehabilitation, we brought my Dad home. 

My mother provided the majority of his daily care and needs including: bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.  We kids chipped in anytime we could.  After a while, we started noticing issues.  Because my Dad took care of the bills, the health insurance, the maintenance on the car, and the household repairs, things were starting to fall apart.  We got home one day and the electricity was off because the bill hadn't been paid.  My mother had stashed away a pile of insurance papers because she had no idea what to do with them.  And with all our focus on Dad's day-to-day needs, we forgot that bills keep coming and the car needs an oil change!

To help, I took over the bills and the health insurance.  My brother helped with the car and the household repairs.  My sister helped with organizing all Dad's doctor's appointments and medical records.  We also couldn't forget about our youngest sister, who was away at college.  Dad had a big role to play in her financial aid, and rides back and forth from school.
Looking back now, I wish we had a plan like Share The Care.  We weren't lacking for family and friends willing to step up and help.  We just didn't know where to start.  I can't imagine how much less stressful our situation would have been if we had a plan to follow."
~ Lora Lee La France, Akwesasne

In August, a total of thirty people from the community of Akwesasne and surrounding areas were certified in the "Seeding Share The Care™ in Your Community" program.  Share The Care™ is a grass-roots caregiver model/book titled: Share The Care, How To Organize A Group To Care for Someone Who Is Seriously Ill.  It is the guidebook for family and friends to organize and maintain their own "caregiving family" for support. The model's systems and forms were created to prevent the primary caregiver from experiencing burnout and/or illness and to support the Care Receiver's ability to stay at home.  It puts those offers "what can I do to help" into action.  The model has been used for all kinds of challenges from serious to terminal illness; injury to chronic illness; and the difficulties that are associated with aging.  It has been used in those situations where grandparents need assistance to care for their grandchildren.  And has also been used to help families cope with a difficult pregnancy, preemies, and even multiple births.  For the last 22 years this grassroots model has successfully helped hundreds of thousands of people across the United States, Canada and other countries cope with the stresses, isolation and depression often associated with caregiving.

SRMT - STC - Certification

The training was a collaboration between the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Office for the Aging and ShareTheCaregiving, Inc. and was funded by the New York State Office for the Aging BIP Caregiver Grant.  Share The Care™ is the fourth Family Caregiver Education and Training resource of the SRMT-OFA Caregiver Program.  The other three resources are: Powerful Tools for Caregivers, Rosalyn Carter Institute's REACH, and the Center for Loss and Life Transition Grief support group Understanding Your Grief.
Our mission is to provide excellent service to seniors by promoting: health, happiness, an active lifestyle, engagement, independence, and long life.  Since family members and friends often provide assistance with everyday tasks to help keep their elders safe, healthy, and in their own homes.  The Caregiver Program offers specialized counseling and assistance to Family Caregivers including the opportunity for Family Caregivers to take part in many other services.  For example, the Health Promotion Services hosts workshops to encourage seniors to remain independent by leading healthier, more active lives and to keep doing the things they love to do.  Family Caregivers are always encouraged to attend workshops alongside their loved ones.  It is with great pride that the SRMT-OFA Caregiver Program can add another valuable family caregiving resource in the community of Akwesasne.
Culturally, we are known to be a people who take care of our own.  Cousins will step in to cook meals for their kin recovering from a major surgery.  Co-workers of a mother whose daughter has been hospitalized with a life threatening illness will organize a fundraiser to help with travel expenses. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and even distant cousins will put their lives on hold just to support a loved one in the hospital.  And it's not unheard of to overhear hospital nurses and doctors ask "Why are there so many people here?" and are met with this reply "That's a Mohawk patient in that room.  Only they have 30 visitors all at once".  As a people, we give the time and effort to make others feel comfortable, wanted, and cared for when they are in need.  Rare is the situation where a loved one is left to their own devices.  There is always someone around to offer help.  And as a Mohawk people, we take great pride in being able to lend a hand.
With that, you may be asking yourself: if we're already doing this, then why do we need to use this model?  The answer lies in the Lora Lee's story.  Unfortunately, Akwesasne has seen and will continue to see families become negatively affected by the onset of a long-term or terminal illness or injury.  Often times, Family Caregivers feel they are responsible for every aspect of the caregiving role.  They will internalize their feelings if they are overwhelmed with fear.  Too often they will tell themselves "I can do this by myself because it is my duty as a wife... husband... son... daughter... best friend... partner... grandchild..." And they will only seek help after a crisis happens.  When crisis happens, it is because they are not aware of resources available to help them.  Or they don't know how to ask for help.  Or they are too burnt out and sick and cannot bear yet another task of organizing a team to help.  It doesn't have to be this way.
In Lora Lee's case, help was always there.  However, her family didn't know "how to begin" to get organized.  

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Training

Share The Care™ offers a starting point with the all-important first meeting where the family tells the group "This is what's going on and these are our specific needs."  That way all members of a "Share The Care Group" can understand the situation and individuals can chose the jobs they feel most confident doing.  There is even a special form used at the meeting to help uncover the skills, talents and resources within the group. The purpose of the meeting is for people to connect, bond, learn about the model and leave with a sense of purpose.  The family benefits from feeling the love and concern from those in attendance.
Share The Care™ is structured so that families don't have to keep asking for help.  Each week, two team members call them to learn what is needed and get the jobs filled. The group will work to keep things up-to-date and organized and share the workloads so that no one person has too much to do.  A Group supports, not only the person needing the care, but also their entire family unit.  When someone is ill, the whole family is hurting.
We will be offering workshops to help families implement Share The Care™ for their situations.  All that's needed to begin are two people who are willing to be the "Organizers" of the group's first meeting and to work with the family to figure out who to invite and what kind of help is needed.  This is not a task for the Family Caregiver. Chapters 1-9 of Share The Care are written for the Organizers providing them with step-by-step instructions and a script for the first meeting.
The workshops will show that Family Caregivers don't have to carry all the responsibility of care. The Family Caregiver and two Organizers will be walked through all the steps of starting their own, unique group that same day.  They will learn tips and strategies on how to keep the group going when times are difficult.  They will receive all the materials, resources and encouragement they need to implement the model themselves.   

Anyone in Akwesasne can learn about the model by contacting the Share The Care™ Station at (518) 358-2963 ext.3303.

Sheila and Tewentahawih'tha Cole
Sheila with Tewentahawih'tha Cole,
Health Educator of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Office for the Aging

CKON Radio Host Reen Cook ( interviewed Tewentahawih'tha' Cole and Sheila Warnock about the training and discuss how the STC model fits into the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe community and culture.

New STC Team Members
We are so pleased to introduce new Board  Member Karen Chaikin and Volunteer Social Media Coordinator Ginny Hogan to STC.


We also want to acknowledge Ed Cummins, our previous Social Media Coordinator, for all his efforts over the last several years to grow the numbers of STC followers on FaceBook and Twitter. 


Karen Chaiken Board Member

Board Member

Karen Chaikin is a corporate affairs professional with extensive experience developing and managing public programs to address societal concerns.  During her tenure at Philip Morris USA Youth Smoking Prevention, Karen helped develop, launch and manage a retail education program to educate retailers on how not to sell cigarettes to minors.  She also managed a portfolio of grants to youth serving organizations and parenting programs to build resilient kids.

While at EmblemHealth for 12 years, Karen continued her corporate philanthropy work... [ Read More ]

Ginny Hogan - Social Media

Ginny Hogan
Social Media Coordinator 

Ginny began volunteering with Share The Care in October 2017. After studying math in college, she started her career as a data scientist in San Francisco. She has worked in the food industry and the mortgage industry. As a data scientist, she used her technical skills to help smaller start ups grow and gain more users. She currently tutors at a data science bootcamp
She grew up in New York City, and recently moved back to pursue a career in writing and stand up comedy. She writes for a number of websites, including McSweeney's, the Hairpin, and the Science Post. 
[ Read More ]

John, Sheila, Eileen - STC Documentary
John - Sheila - Eileen
Todd Kwait and Rob Stegman are the documentary director/producer team of The Caregiver Connection a documentary reality show that explores the challenges, hopes and successes of the "caregiver" generation.
John Davidson is the troubadour host for this program and STC is the first in the series.  We will be making a big announcement when the documentary is ready and up on our website for view.
Susan's Funny Family and First STC Book
Susan's Funny Family:1991 & the  First Edition of Share The Care: 1995
This first episode includes interviews with Sheila and Eileen Brady from "Susan's Funny Family" as well as Susan's daughters: Kerri Farrow Buskirk, and Elissa Farrow Savos who were only teenagers when this very first group was put together to help their mom and who subsequently pioneered the STC model over the course of nearly four years.


Talks with Greg - EmblemHealth
Earlier this year, Rev. Greg Johnson invited the members of the NYCPFFCC 
to participate in EmblemHealth's Talks With Greg: Conversations on Caregiving. Sheila was one of his guests on the show and she got a lot of positive feedback on this talk.  If you missed it earlier this year, you can view it here.

The STC Road Scholar Collaboration will continue through 2017, however, the deadline is just around the corner -  December 31st.
Don't miss this chance to apply for a memorable vacation to heal and renew yourself during or following your caregiving experience.

STC-Road Scholar

These are a just a sample of the shared "Thank you" messages sent to Road Scholar from caregivers who have applied for and taken one of their trips. 
"My husband passed away in October, after battling Non Hodgkins Lymphoma for four long years. He was only 58 when he died, so the idea of not being able to travel after his death was so disheartening. This trip changed my heart and mind about that falsehood. I met lots of single woman along with many interesting couples who have traveled extensively! This experience opened my eyes and mind to how much territory there is to explore in the future as a solo traveler. I am already looking for my next adventure where I will be able to continue growing, learning, and expanding my horizons. This experience not only was a positive, memorable one, but also provided the doorway into a bright future for me-one that I would have never been exposed to, without your generous gift! Thank you for changing my life and giving me the opportunity to dream again!"
~ Nancy B., Orland, FL, Program #12693 
A Cycling Journey: The Katy Trail Across Missouri
"I received a Caregiver Grant following the passing of my husband and was fortunate to attend the Pueblo Heritage: The Anasazi, Hopi, Navajo and Chaco Canyon Road Scholar program. I cared for my husband in our home for 3 years due to a progressive illness. This has been my first opportunity to explore and learn about Pueblo cultures. This is something that my husband and I expected we would do together following our working years, however, we never did get to enjoy retirement together. I offer my sincerest appreciation to you for the opportunity to participate in this educational program. It helped serve to heal and enable me to look forward to the next phase of my life. I now feel fully comfortable traveling solo on these trips based on my recent experience, knowing my husband is with me in spirit."
~ Donna P., Roseburg, OR Program #4541 
Pueblo Heritage: The Anasazi, Hopi, Navajo and Chaco Canyon

"Caring for my mother, who is afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, has been a long and exhausting commitment.  Having this unique opportunity to take a break from the day-to-day responsibilities of caring for my mother has been a renewing experience and has allowed me to return refreshed and ready to continue with her care, and with more patience than ever before."

~ Noreen M, Mission Viejo, CA Program #2270
Biking Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

"Having come through over two years of watching my dynamic, healthy husband succumb to a cruel and stressful decline through Alzheimer's, I have become an exhausted emotional and physical wreck. Just having this program to look forward to after his death gave me hope that helped me through our wedding anniversary, my birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thank you so much for generously providing me with this opportunity."
~ Judy D., Rome, GA Program #16955
Signature City San Diego: A Toast to the Best

Click here to download our Grant Flyer.
Thanksgiving Flowers

Recently Sheila posted a short piece on LinkedIn that serves as a reminder to take the time to nurture and thank our family, friends, neighbors and co-workers for travelling with us on this life journey.
. Do You Want to Help STC?

The Care Crew Members
Members First Presbyterian Church's Care Crew - Forest Hills, NY

Please Share your group videos, stories, pictures and advice so we can make them available on the STC website. Your experiences and thoughts may be just what someone needs to move ahead with starting their own STC group.

What Group Members say:  Click here
What Health Professionals say: Click here 
What Faith Communities say: Click here 
What Working Caregivers  say : Click here 

Contact us here  or by  email . 
Ways to Support STC :
search for  Sharethecaregiving, Inc.
Click the  'SUPPORT US'  link on every page!

Thank you!

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