AARP AARP States Colorado Advocacy

The Caregiver's Carin: Caregiving - A Colorado Concern

Greetings one and all... 0000016b-01ab-dd13-abeb-61efcac90000


I hope you and yours enjoyed a lovely Memorial Day weekend. The holiday heralds the coming of summer and the many activities associated with the season—outdoor adventures, fun in the sun, and excursions. As the Caregiving Ambassador for AARP Colorado, I enjoy traveling throughout Colorado during the summer months to present educational programs in various and sundry places. It matters not where I travel, caregiving is a common concern for both professional caregivers and family caregivers.

This week on June 9, I have the honor and the privilege to keynote at the 6th Annual Community Challenge in Durango, Colorado. The one-day conference offers seniors, providers, and caregivers the opportunity to learn from local, regional, and national experts in the fields of aging and caregiving. We will discuss the many challenges as well as opportunities encountered as we age—a balanced approach to the discussion of aging and caregiving. The La Plata County Senior Services organization sponsors this event annually. Although this blog will be posted too late for your attendance this year, be sure to check with the organization in 2017 for conference details. ( http://co.laplata.co.us/government/human_services/senior_services/)

After Durango, I am headed to Pueblo, Colorado to present a program for the Parkinson Association of the Rockies. The topic du jour is change and transition—a challenge for anyone dealing with a progressive, chronic condition. How can we effectively deal with the disruptions generated by change, large or small?

Well, we must first recognize that we are not in control of everything that happens in life. However, we retain the freedom to choose a response to life. We will discuss beneficial ways to deal with the consequences of change. Please check out additional educational events sponsored by the Parkinson Association of the Rockies. ( http://www.parkinsonrockies.org/)

My last trip in June will be to Wray, Colorado—a gem of a community on the Eastern Plains of Colorado. Working with Encore Life in Wray, we have scheduled a community event and in-service programs for both the Wray Community District Hospital and the Hillcrest Care Center. As a community, we’ll be exploring the fundamental importance of attitude related to aging. With the health care providers, I will be highlighting the issues of professional boundaries and the personal impact on health care providers who witness the demise of patients. The community event is scheduled for June 21. If you are interested in attending, please contact Encore Life @ 970-332-4071 to register. The program is FREE, but registration is required by June 17, 2016.

My travel plans for the month of June reflect the common concern in our society today—caregiving. It matters not in what direction I travel in Colorado, caregiving is common ground. Personal or professional caregivers. Young or old. Male or female. We are all concerned about how we will care for our family members, friends, and/or clients. And, we are concerned about who will care for us! I believe our concerns are best addressed by understanding the potential challenges (acquiring the needed knowledge), identifying the available resources, and then preparing to care. So, I invite you to proactively seek the needed information to address your concerns. And by so doing, I hope our paths cross in the near future somewhere in the state of Colorado!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I invite you to share your perspective on the caregiving journey. Make suggestions. Pose questions. Provide resources. Share your story. Coming together and sharing, we will improve the process for one and all. I look forward to continuing the conversation next month. Til then, blessings to you and yours...Jane W. Barton

Do you have a question for Jane? Please email us at coaarp@aarp.org and we will be in touch soon!

Jane W. Barton, MTS, MASM, CSA is a passionate speaker, writer, and listener. Jane is the founder of Cardinal, LLC, a consulting firm that provides educational programs to assist people in confronting the daunting challenges posed by aging,  serious illness and disability. Jane is well-versed in the areas of grief and bereavement, caregiving, hospice and palliative care, change and transition, and spirituality and health. She presents innovative, transformational programs to community members, healthcare providers, pastoral caregivers, clergy, funeral service providers, and national audiences to improve the experience of people and families challenged by serious, advanced, or terminal illnesses. Previously, Jane served as Director of Education for a hospice and palliative care educational institution. She has also served as a hospice chaplain and bereavement facilitator in hospice and palliative care. Jane is a certified Spiritual Director as well as a Certified Senior Advisor. In a former life, she worked as a financial services representative and an exploration petroleum geologist and manager.

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