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CARING NEWS
Issue 11 - Autumn 2022
Hello Everyone,

I wanted an article directed to younger people, as they will be tomorrow’s caregivers for our rapidly aging population. 

Then, I learned my great niece, Claire, who happens to be a second-year medical student, wrote a short piece to her fellow Med students at Georgetown University and I wanted to share it with you. 
 
Her grandfather, my brother, would be proud.

Sheila


THE CALL THAT CAN MAKE A MEANINGFUL DIFFERENCE

by ENS Claire Holmvik, USNR
ENS Claire Holmvik
When is the last time you called one of your older relatives? Are you checking in on them? Do you know if they’re checking in with themselves?
 
As we age, our bodies begin to require more work to keep themselves running. According to the CDC, approximately 80% of older adults have one chronic condition and 60% have at least two. Chronic conditions require careful effort and an established operational ease to manage care. Rates of chronic conditions coincide with an increasing prevalence of Alzheimer’s dementia amongst the aging population. According to the Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures of 2020, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s dementia increases from 3% in ages 65–74 to 17% in ages 75–84 and doubles once more in the next age bracket. With the stress of managing multiple facets of health and the neurological impact of dementia; our seniors need our help.
 
All these facts and figures may seem daunting, but an unmanaged healthcare situation is not an unsolvable problem. As a medical student and the granddaughter of a late grandfather with dementia, these issues are as close to home and as important as it gets. 
John Warnock - with 3 of his 4 grand children - Claire second from right
It may be difficult to know where to begin, but the best place to start is to call, check in, and have a chat about overall wellbeing and state of mind. A health centered conversation will allow you to get a baseline for where your older relative is at and for you to establish a trusting and open relationship regarding health. It can be cumbersome to ask for help, especially when your older relative might have once been the person who took care of you. If you take the effort to reach out and create an open space, your relative may feel comfortable expressing their situation and offering opportunities for you to step in and help!
 
Managing appointments, transportation, and medication lists for numerous health conditions can be very frustrating and confusing for people to handle alone. If you discover opportunities to help by easing their health burden, team up with other members of your family and share the care! There is an organization called Share The Care™ (www.sharethecare.org) which helps guide groups handling a situation in which someone’s care requires a team effort. It may seem daunting to start the process, and it will require cooperation from all fronts, but it will bring your family and others who care together in support of each other.
Earlier this year, Ivy Slater invited me to be on her LinkedIn show SLATER SUCCESS LIVE as part of a series of interviews with non-profit leaders.
Click the image or the headline above to view the interview on LinkedIn
We are Speaking at Planetree

I will be presenting along with Board member Phyllis Quinlan, PhD, RN, NPD-BC at the upcoming Planetree Conference on Tuesday, Nov. 1st, in Baltimore, MD. We will have a booth at the event, so if you are attending, please stop by to say hello.

“A Real-Life Sustainable Community Caregiving Model Born Out of Trust, Friendship and Love”

There is an urgent need to renew society’s sense of compassion and caring by working together to introduce them to a unique evidence-informed caregiving model, Share The Care™ (STC).

We offer protocols for STC groups working with the underserved; indigenous people; patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease; people who live alone without family and LGBTQ communities; and introduce how STC could impact safer transitions, discharge planning and homecare by reducing avoidable re-admissions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to identify four findings that support Share The Care™ as a best practice for family caregiver support.
  2. Participants will review how this evidence-informed model can be applied across the full life cycle, as well as for diverse populations and challenges (LGBTQ and people who live alone and have no family).
  3. Participants will be able to explain how the model can support and strengthen the discharge process and contribute to reducing avoidable readmissions.


When I tell stories of STC groups, one that stands out is how a small Texas community pulled together to help a young couple and their newborn quadruplets.

Here's an Update...


Fifteen years ago, Suzanne and Joseph Steece moved to a new town far from family and friends and joined a local church just months before their Quads were due to arrive.
Mom Suanne Steece and the Quads
Suzanne Steece and the Quads
One of the church members, Linda Gibson, had a STC group for her daughter Marcie, a senior in college, who has ALS. Linda knew that this new mom was going to need lots and lots of help and recruited 40-50 grandmas and grandpas, as well as younger people, into a STC group ready and willing to help. Once the babies arrived home, they assisted with feeding, diaper changing, cleaning, filling bottles and rocking them to sleep as well as anything else that was needed. Long story short, they became widely known as “The Diaper Darlings.”
We wanted to share a photo of the Quads today as they just turned fifteen – Happy Birthday!!!

Suzanne and Linda continue to introduce other multiple birth moms to STC as a loving way to find needed help. Linda’s daughter, Marcie, works from home with the help of a special computer. Her friends are now getting ready to learn some new skills so they can continue supporting her as needed.
Quads at 15
Left to right: Ben, Ethan, Savannah and Andrew
Kettle & Stony First Nation Health Services
Share The Care™ Training for Stony & Kettle First Nation Health Services
This past June, I was honored to lead a virtual "Seeding STC in Your Community" training for health professionals at Stony & Kettle First Nation Health Services. We had a great turn out for the four–day (90 minutes a day) event, and every day the room was filled with enormous enthusiasm.
 
Although, we often welcome indigenous people at our trainings (Colorado, Alaska and parts of Canada) this was my second training specifically for a First Nation. The other was a few years ago for the Saint Regis Mohawk tribe in Akwesasne, New York.
 
Kettle & Stony Point First Nation comprises the Kettle Point reserve and Stony Point Reserve, both located approximately 35 kilometers northeast of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, on the southern shore of Lake Huron. The reserves serve as the land base for the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation.

ATTN: STC GROUP MEMBERS

Sheila would like to connect with you if your group is for:
  • an older adult who lives alone without family
  • a member of the LGBTQ community
  • a person who has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease

Please email: swarnock@sharethecare.org and include your contact information so she can contact you to schedule a short call to learn about your STC experiences,

ATTN: ALL STC GROUPS

PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOUR GROUP AND WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED OR GAINED PERSONALLY FROM YOUR STC EXPERIENCE.

WE’D LOVE TO RECEIVE YOUR PHOTOS, VIDEOS AND/OR STORIES (AND GROUP NAME) TO INSPIRE PEOPLE NEW TO CAREGIVING.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO.

PLEASE HELP US KEEP OUR STC PRESENTATIONS CURRENT.

Stay Safe
Stay Healthy.
Stay Engaged.

Sheila and the STC team

Share The Care | Phone: 212 991-9688 | info@sharethecare.org | Website