About Caregiving With Purpose…

Welcome to the award-winning CaregivingWithPurpose.com.

Whether you are a family caregiver, a professional caregiver or both, the journey of caregiving affects you and your family. “The Call” to caregiving often comes abruptly and unexpectedly, catching you off guard. CaregivingWithPurpose.com is here to help you to more than surviving ~ thriving in caregiving.

Not everyone is called or accepts “The Call.”  Only one who will sacrifice time, energy and money for another has The Caregiver’s Heart. 

Caregiver's Heart Wheel

 

Caregiving is a journey.  It has a beginning, a middle and an end.  And the Caregiver’s Heart Wheel of Caregiving With Purpose helps you in each stage of your journey.

Whether you are a long distance caregiver or share the same living space, you are a caregiver and can find the help and support you need here.

The Caregiver’s Heart Wheel for CaregivingWithPurpose.com is in the shape of hearts and follows the caregiver’s journey and heart.  Follow the hearts around the Caregiver’s Heart Wheel as you progress in your caregiving journey…

 

Beginning Caregiving Vortex
 
Many caregivers have a sudden introduction to caregiving.
 
“The Call” often comes unexpectedly, sometimes in the middle of the night.  That’s how it was for Lisa.  Her father collapsed at home, and Lisa was called by the Emergency Room physician after her father passed.
 
Lisa’s mother Helen was unable to cope with all the arrangements.  And she was no longer able to live alone.  Lisa moved from daughter to caregiver in the blink of an eye… literally in a heartbeat.
 
She needed to start at the beginning, with Beginning Caregiving or Caregiving 101 with an introduction to caregiving and resources especially for new caregivers.
 
Giving Care
 
After the introduction to caregiving, the next part is giving care.
 
And that’s where Lisa found herself next… Giving Care
 
Lisa and her family began making decisions with and for Helen.  And with time Lisa became more comfortable with being a caregiver and all it entailed.  Just when she thought she had everything lined up — life threw her a curve.
 
And she often found herself doing more and more.  Now she was moving into more intensive caregiving.
 
She found herself needing additional resources and support, which she found here.  And you will too.
 
 
Caring for the Caregiver
 
Too often missed is Caring for the Caregiver.
 
Lisa found herself so busy giving care, she neglected her own health and needs.  And her doctor noticed when she had signs of stress.
 
Caregiver stress can sneak up on you.  And it can have long term consequences, including serious illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, hospitalization and even the caregiver passing before the one receiving care.
 
Reducing and eliminating caregiver stress needs to become a priority before it becomes a problem.  And here you’ll find out more about it.
 
Caring for the caregiver is an important part of caregiving.
 
If you don’t care for yourself, who will?
 
Probably no one.  You need to be in top shape for more than surviving ~ thriving in caregiving.
 
Crafts for Caregiving Vortex
Crafts like knitting can help both the careigver and care recipient.
 
Lisa discovered this while caring for Helen.  Both of them are knitters, and they love to go shopping together.  They enjoy picking out supplies for new projects.  
 
Even when Helen doesn’t feel like knitting herself, she enjoys “supervising” Lisa and seeing how Lisa’s project are progressing.
 
And Helen has a “stash” that has some yarn from decades ago.
 
Crafts for Caregiving is about how crafts can reduce caregiver stress and help the caregiver. It is also about crafts that you can do with your care recipient – and how crafts can help them too.
 
End of Life Care Vortex
 
All journeys come to an end, as does caregiving.
 
It can end when the care recipient improves, circumstances change and someone else becomes the caregiver, or the care recipient reaches the end of her journey.
 
Lisa and Helen walked this part of the journey with help from hospice and an amazing support system.
 
Their journey and the resources here can help you too. End of Life Care is the stage devoted to hospice care and issues surrounding the final journey Home.
 
Living Beyond Caregiving Vortex
 
After Helen made her final journey Home, Lisa found herself at loose ends.
 
She felt grief combined with Empty Nest as her children became young adults.  She gave herself time to grieve and found hope, laughter and love after the caregiving ended.  Or did it?
 
Living Beyond Caregiving focuses on helping you continue your life after the caregiving ends, or changes.

 

 

 

Alzheimers Ribbon and Caregiver's Heart Wheel

 

When Helen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Lisa was devastated.

She found herself in the grief of the diagnosis, then moving though it to find ways of helping Helen and coping with the changes it brought.

Alzheimer’s is about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias that affect so many elderly.

 

A HEART PLAN Heart

 

In the center of the Caregiver’s Heart Wheel is A HEART PLAN.”

You have a special heart to be a caregiver, and a special plan enables you to embrace your everyday challenges in caregiving.

“A HEART PLAN” is a system gently and lovingly empowering you to walk through the stages of caregiving.  It not only helps you deal with the everyday stresses you face, it is also a plan that makes sense. 

 

A - Accepting

H – Healthy Humor Helps
E – Eliminate negativity
A – Avoiding isolation
R – Reducing stress
T – Thanksgiving

P – Purpose
L – Love and forgive
A – Advocate
N – Nurturing

 

“A HEART PLAN” can be used in each step of your caregiving journey, which is why it touches each spoke of the wheel.  And it truly is the hub of the secret of more than surviving — thriving!

 

About “The Knitting Dr.” …

Ina Gilmore "The Knitting Dr"

Hi!  I’m Ina Gilmore and for many years I defined myself as “Dr. Gilmore.”

After college I went straight to medical school, earning my doctor of medicine from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. I went on to complete a residency in Internal Medicine, and practiced primary care adult medicine for several years.

While working in a multispecialty group, I developed a passion for Infectious Diseases. So, I went back to train as an Infectious Diseases specialist. After completing my Infectious Diseases fellowship, I became
an Assistant Professor of Medicine at an inner city medical
school’s HIV Clinic.

After three years I left to assume more care of my ailing elderly parent—and to take a much-needed break from inner city subspecialty medicine.  Initially I combined Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases in a rural practice, later moving to a suburban Infectious Diseases practice.

After 9-11, I realized the full impact and stress of combining a demanding career with primary caregiving.

Especially noticeable was the isolation of caring alone for an elderly parent while working odd hours, with the nearest family four hours by car . It affected my life profoundly—both professionally and personally.

Taking charge, I made some changes including leaving active medical practice.  I moved closer to family.

There I found solace in knitting and other crafts. I realized most of my life has been spent as a caregiver—both informally for family and professionally as a physician. Finding myself without losing myself to the burdens of caregiving became my mission.

In the depths of the darkness of caring for a dying loved one with a seemingly unconcerned health care system I found my voice. My family and I realized without my medical expertise we could not have navigated that time. In the dawn of realization and recovery from this experience I found my life mission:

 

Helping Others More Than Surviving ~ Thriving in Caregiving!

 

About Lisa…

LisaLisa is a fictional caregiver who shares her experiences in Caregiving With Purpose.

She is married to David with two young adult children who have recently moved out of their house.  Lisa received “The Call” one night from an Emergency Room physician after her father suddenly and unexpectedly passed.

And in a heartbeat, Lisa became her mother Helen’s primary caregiver.  Lisa searches for answers to her caregiving questions as she navigates her way through this new journey.

 

 

 

About the logo…

You’ll notice on the right side of the header a logo.  This logo is for this site and its sister site, TheKnittingYarn.com.

The Knitting Dr logo

The open hands express the desire I have to help you find yourself in caregiving and crafts.

The stethoscope represents my medical background.

The yarn and needles represent knitting and all crafts.  Crafts can help you get through the stresses of life.

The multicolored yarn is a reminder that caregiving and crafts are multicultural, and include all people.  It also symbolizes the community of caregivers.

The heart is knit of red yarn with a crocheted border.  This signifies the passion and love you must have to be a caregiverCombining the crocheted edging with the knitting is a reminder that crocheting and knitting can coexist beautifully together. 

And…

No matter what your favorite craft–knitting, crocheting, tatting or something else–you are welcome here.  Crafts can be an important part of you more than surviving ~ thriving in caregivingAnd if you don’t yet have a favorite craft, you’re still welcome.  There is no craft better than another, and no reason why you cannoty enjoy more than one… even in the same project!

Yes, you can find joy and personal growth in assuming a sometimes thankless but increasingly necessary responsibility for acute or chronic care of your loved one. If life is a journey, this is one
leg of it.

While you may feel like you’ve been traveling without a map or a compass, you can change that starting now.

The first step is often recognizing and managing caregiver stress.

To your more than surviving ~ thriving in caregiving!
 
From my my heart to yours…
 
Laugh Well, Love Well and Live Well,

Dr. Ina signature

 

 

Ina Gilmore M.D. (Retired)

“The Knitting Dr.”

Ambassador of Caregiving, www.HowToLiveOnPurpose.com

Founder, www.CaregivingWithPurpose.com and www.TheKnittingYarn.com

 

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is for educational purposes only.  It does not replace information or recommendations from your own physician or other health care provider.  This site does not advocate medical or other health-related self-care, and encourages you to obtain advice from your own personal physician or other health care provider.

This web site is not intended to replace medical, financial, legal, or any other professional advice.  Please use your own good judgment and consult with your own professionals before applying any ideas found within this website.

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