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Candy Arrington's Speaking Topics...

Confronting Difficult Issues
Role reversal is one of the most difficult aspects of eldercare. When forced into parenting our parents, feelings of inadequacy often surface and longstanding conflicts and emotions come to light. But despite fears and frustrations, there are issues we must discuss, including finances, antiquated and ineffective ways of doing things, end-of-life issues, and living conditions and arrangements. This talk provides tips for approaching and dealing with difficult issues.
How Personality Affects Communication
If you’ve had trouble effectively communicating with your parents or other family members over the years, talking to them becomes even more difficult as you enter the caregiving phase of life. But once you understand the role personality types play, you may find a new level of effectiveness in communication. Learn tips for understanding the motivation for and meaning behind words, while adjusting your actions and reactions to enhance the communication process.
Becoming Involved in Your Parents’ Finances
At some point in your role as caregiver, you’ll likely be faced with either advising your parents regarding their finances or totally taking over. Learn pointers on how to make this transition without making your parents feel incompetent, determine ways to cut expenses and preserve assets, and implement coping mechanisms for juggling your finances and theirs with minimal stress.
Acting as an Advocate for Your Parent
As parents age, their mental processes slow and comprehension in certain areas diminishes. Things they used to handle without a problem are now a source of confusion and frustration. Often, pride prevents them from asking for advice or clarification. But parents need our help to protect them from scams or to act as an advocate regarding medical care and financial decisions. Learn how to become an advocate for your parents in this presentation.
Tripping Points and Triumphs of Caregiving
Often it’s the little things that trip us up: an over-zealous yet inexperienced advisor, your parent’s insistence on maintaining a way of doing things that makes your job as caregiver even more challenging, or something as simple as a long wait at the pharmacy or emergency room. Many times we focus on the challenges, but there are also high points on the caregiving journey. This talk helps you identify your personal tripping points as well as recognize and enjoy the positive aspects of caregiving.
Meeting the Emotional Needs of Aging Parents
Nostalgia, physical touch, and faith are important components in nurturing your parents’ emotional well-being. But when you’re spread thin between managing two households and meeting the needs of your own family it’s often difficult to invest the kind of time that fosters nostalgia and supports emotional health. Learn ways to provide opportunities for faith connections, encourage nostalgia, and comfort with physical touch in this presentation.

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Kim Atchley's Speaking Topics...

Relationships and Caregiving Dynamics
Even in the closest of families, caregiving duties often fall to one child, but even an only child is not alone in the process of offering care to an aging parent. By defining the relationships in the family/friend network, caregivers can create their own support network for developing successful caregiving partnerships. This talk offers steps for identifying caregiving roles within any family structure and how to take proactive measures for creating a positive caregiving dynamic rather than a chore-based mindset.
Interacting with Practitioners
When you’re in the midst of dealing with multiple health care professionals and a variety of medical conditions, getting key information is essential. Understanding the dynamics of the practitioners you deal with and taking your own personality issues out of the picture help to clear the roads you travel in your caregiving journey. This increases efficiency and effectiveness, reducing headaches and raw nerves for a caregiver and an aging parent. This talk reviews the technique of removing emotion from certain interactions to get what you want and need.
How to Care for a Caregiver – even when that’s you!
Loved ones often long to provide help and comfort to a caregiver, but are most often met with “thank you, but no.” Caregivers often feel that it’s harder to pass off some of their responsibilities than it really is. This talk highlights ways to offer support for a caregiver whether she or he is a family member and whether you live near or far.
Mobility - Independence & Self-esteem
As mobility becomes an issue for an aging parent, related self-esteem issues can start to cloud other areas of caregiving, creating tension in even the most successful caregiving situations. Whether dealing with driving, the major hot button for aging adults and their caregivers, or trying to help a wheelchair bound mother find holiday shopping joy with a trip to the mall, there are many ways to ensure safety while still nurturing a parent’s sense of self and independence. This talk provides tips about mobility assistance for long distance travel and dream building to practical day to day mobility.
The Notebook – Creating a Tool for Managing the Caregiver’s Many Roles
Step by step, how to build and use a notebook that will help maintain a caregiver’s sanity. Breaking down the larger tasks into smaller steps helps the caregiver see his or her role, and where others can helps. You’ll discover how the process of setting up a notebook helps create a back-up plan when you have a crisis of your own or need to be out of town.
When Home Care Isn't the Best Care
Assessing living environments that meet the needs of your parent, as well as your own family, can be a daunting task. Breaking down the process into steps and analyzing needs starts the decision making process. As your parent continues to age, needs change, and you’ll likely have to apply the process again. This talk addresses different types of living environments, the pros and cons of each, and helps you to develop a sense of peace with your choices.
Which Hat are You Wearing Today? – The Flexible Mind-set of Multiple Roles
Visualization can be an important tool for navigating life. Identifying the different hats you wear as an adult, and as a caregiver, helps develop perspective, whether you’re wearing a nurse’s cap, a chauffer’s chapeau, a case manager’s hat, the mommy hat (for your own kids), or for married female caregivers, your bridal veil (did you forget you had that one?). With the hats off, we find ourselves; with the hats on, we care for others. The stories of hat juggling range from tragic to hilarious, but when you consciously juggle them, you gain control and a sense of peace.

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Kim with her family

Candy with Mammy

© 2009 Candy Arrington and Kim Atchley. All rights reserved.