January News and Events
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Post Holiday Season,
Contemplating the journey ahead as a caregiver    
by Nicole Clagett

The holiday season has come and gone, and you have suddenly found that the world as you knew it just a few weeks ago is somehow different.

Spending time with aging loved ones often reveals changes in their health that you may not want to see. After all, planning to care for a loved one was probably not something you had given much thought to in the past.

There is a sense of dread about what may be coming next and selfishly at times you may wonder how you're going to be able to fit this in amidst everything else you had going on in your already over-scheduled life.

How can there be any more of you left to give? As a recovering family caregiver myself I often think back to the book "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein with fondness and a new sense of understanding. There are days when you feel you have so much to give your aging loved one and everyone around you and then there are other days you are truly a stump in the ground and you can really only be a place for someone to sit and stay with for a while. All of these versions of you are normal and to be expected as you walk down the road as "caregiver."

There will be tender moments you will look back on with fondness.

For me, one such moment was the glimmer in my grandfather's eye when I made him feel extra special by fixing him his favorite ice cream sundae each night. There are moments when you will feel fraught with guilt, like the time I was washing Grandpa's feet because his circulation was so poor. It was nearly midnight and after putting my infant down to sleep for the second time, Grandpa looked at me and said, "this is too much for you" and I said, "yes, Grandpa it is." There was a realness and vulnerability in that moment that we both shared with tears in our eyes and never spoke of again.

There are moments that will stay in your memory like a photograph and you will even remember the tiniest detail.

For me, one of those moments was when I knew Grandpa had pneumonia and finally after bringing him to see the primary care doctor three days in a row, they agreed, but it was too late. He woke up the next morning in a complete state of confusion chewing on his hearing aid like it was a piece of gum. I shushed my toddler upstairs to hide him from the scene, called 911 and gave the EMTs a full report on his condition and placed his medication list and advance directives on his chest as they wheeled him out the door, only to run upstairs to nurse the baby quickly one last time before heading to the emergency department. Grandpa ultimately died from that bout of pneumonia. All of these moments although unique to me are incredibly common in the caregiving journey.

There are many resources available to you in your community to support you along this road. You can find countless disease-related organizations, government agencies, community-based care options, as well as long-term care solutions out there. You are not alone. If you have found that your loved one is showing any of the warning signs listed below, hop on over to  ABC11's Caregivers Corner to get support from the nearly 1,000 other people in our community who are faced with similar challenges. Join us biweekly for our  live Caregivers Corner where we answer your questions about caring for a loved one. Get connected to resources and support.

Warning Signs that Your Loved One Needs More Help
1. Forgetfulness
2. A cluttered or disorganized house
3. Poor personal hygiene
4. Trouble getting up from a seated position
5. Poor diet or weight loss
6. Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
7. New dings and dents in the automobile
8. Unpaid or overpaid bills
9. Unexplained bruising
10. Growing healthcare needs

Being a caregiver is such an important role that you have. It is a role that you may take on many times in your life. It is a job that you probably did not ask for but it is a job that is part of being a human being. Former first lady Roselyn Carter once said, "There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver."

Raleigh, North Carolina (November 11, 2015) - Health Affairs Round Table (HART) was founded in 1981 and became the largest networking group for the eldercare industry in Wake County, North Carolina.

"Previously HART was primarily seen as a networking event," says Clagett. "My vision for HART is for it to be an opportunity for professionals to create change within the older adult industry for caregivers and those they care for by breaking down silos and nurturing a spirit of collaboration with the common goal of improving the lives of those we serve and their caregivers."

We now meet monthly, continuing with the network-style event and alternating with focused civic work.

For more information  click here.

Next meeting on January 16, 2020
9:30 am - 11:00 am
You must become a member to attend.
Meeting Location:
7615 Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC 27615
To register,   click here or contact:
Shelly Slaczka

Radio Show that Focuses on 
Aging Concerns
Did you know there is a radio show that can help you?
Aging Matters  

With co-hosts Jason Kong (WTPF) and Nicole Clagett (Transitions GuidingLights).  Airs Saturday evenings from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
 on 680 WPTF. You may find the podcasts by clicking here.

If you have a caregiving question that you would love to have answered on air or if you have a topic you think we should cover please email: agingmatters@transitionslifecare.org.

Do You Know Who I Am?
7.0 CEU Dementia Training
"Do You Know Who I Am?" is an Alzheimer's Disease training program for both family and professional caregivers. It is a participatory, interactive, and innovative approach to learning how to more  effectively  work with individuals with dementia, especially Alzheimer's. 

February 11
March 10
May 12
June 9
July 14
September 8
October 13
November 10
December 8

Transitions GuidingLights Caregiver Training Institute

The Transitions GuidingLights Caregiver Training Institute now offers the DHSR approved Nursing Assistant 1 (NA1) program.  We also have scholarships available to Raleigh residents who qualify.  For more information about this robust and interactive program, please click  here.
Information & Referral

Transitions 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  Click Here To Contact Us 

Caring Matters

Transitions GuidingLights offers CPR/AED training.  This is a two year American Heart Association certification. Contact us if you would like to be certified.  
Interest In CPR

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.
Caring Matters

Caring Matters is a 14 video series designed to educate you about the various aspects of caregiving.  
Skills Lab

Transitions GuidingLights has a skills lab available. Are you unsure of 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 work 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