In the United States alone, more than 65 million people provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or elderly loved one during any given year. Caregiving is a job that can take its toll physically and emotionally, as the duty of looking after loved ones can add additional pressure to life’s day-to-day responsibilities. T.V. host and advocate Leeza Gibbons understands this struggle after taking care of her own mother during her fight with Alzheimer’s and going through additional health problems with her father. But while others might feel overwhelmed, Leeza is empowered to help other caregivers cope with the unique role of looking after their loved ones with her charity, Leeza’s Care Connection, using the money she won on President-elect Donald Trump’s former program, The Celebrity Apprentice. Tonight, in honor of National Caregivers Month, Leeza Gibbons joins us to talk about her organization, share her advice, and support other caregivers around the country.
Leeza’s Tips for Caregivers
Tip #1 Take your oxygen first
Caregivers are nurturers, but if you really want to nurture someone, you have to fill yourself up first…mind, body, soul and spirit. That’s the first way to give love to your loved one. When you feel better and are mentally stronger as the caregiver, your loved one will notice a positive change.
Tip #2 Talk as a family
To keep everyone on the same page and ensure everyone’s voice is heard, set up time for a family “check in.” This could be a family dinner or monthly video conference, where family members come together to talk through important topics and emotions top of mind with everyone. This also serves as an open environment to have everyone be heard. You may not all agree, but it’s a time to go from conflict to consensus.
Tip #3 Incorporate technology into your caregiving
There are solutions available here and now, and they are only getting better every day, that can support your role as caretaker. In addition, these solutions can help engage your loved ones to help improve their overall quality of life. One solution is a medical alert service. Have a conversation about how this service can benefit both of you – as it will give you peace of mind knowing they have help if you’re not there.