Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 5 of the Virtual Carolyn_BrentBlog Tour of author Carolyn A. Brent, whose book, “The Caregiver’s Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself” is celebrating its big Amazon launch on January 27, 2015.

CAROLYN A. BRENT is a nationally acclaimed author, speaker and caregiver advocate. She has dedicated her life to preparing caregivers and their loved ones to face end-of-life issues. Carolyn is the founder of Caregiver Story, a non-profit organization that provides free medical, legal and wellness resources to the public.

Yesterday, Carolyn visited Krystalya Marie where she interviewed Carolyn on the subject of the caregiving talk, self-love/self-care and tips to get family involved.

Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Carolyn when I got to ask her on the subject of self-care, overcoming guilt and reconcile death/maintaining stance as primary caregiver. I hope you enjoy it.

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Renee Baribeau: How do you suggest taking care of yourself spiritually, physically and mentally while caring for another?

Carolyn A. Brent: The caregiver should seek out uplifting wellness; individuals, network, and or support groups that are spiritually based, teaching meditation and self-wellness. In my case I did my homework and research for the help, when searching for a coach that was spiritually based, to answer the questions I had in regards to; “Why I had to go through so much pain and heartache as a caregiver?” I recognized I needed someone with the credentials as well as the“caregiving” experience. I did find that person whose office was located over 90 mile from where I lived. However, I received my breakthrough when I found my wellness-coach to help me reach my spiritual understanding. After I received my spiritual blessing with the answers to my questions, I then was able to work on myself from a physical and mental point of view. I highly recommend professional coaches in all three areas; spiritually, physically and mentally. You will find and keep your wellness in check when you alien yourself with likeminded people on a continuous base. In addition, I highly recommend running from all negative people that are in your life. And not feel guilty when doing so. You will find that your caregiving experience will be more peaceful with greater understanding.

Renee Baribeau: How do you work with the guilt of leaving a person during self-care, especially when they do not want a stranger in their home?

Carolyn A. Brent: When caring for a loved one who does not want a stranger in their home. There are several things you can do to help your resistant loved one feel more at ease and relaxed. Remember trust is the biggest concern for your resistant loved one, and only time can correct that.

• As a caregiver, you MUST be patient in this area; in time your love one will trust you and the other person (stranger) in their home. It’s going to take time, and when you are consistent and patient, you will find your job as a caregiver will become more enjoyable, as your loved one feels more relaxed.

• If your loved one is healthy, you may want to take them with you, and the two of you can enjoy self- care & wellness treatments together.

• Start having the person (stranger) that will be caring for your loved one visit on a daily bases posing as a good-old friend of the family. The more your loved one sees and has conversations with the other person (stranger) your loved one will start feeling more relaxed, and at ease and will began trusting that other person (stranger).

• Schedule daily or weekly routines for yourself and loved one. You will find yourself Banishing the guilt when you start taking care of yourself.

Detailed information is in Chapter 8 of “The Caregiver’s Companion: How to Have Crucial Conversations.”

Renee Baribeau: How do you reconcile death of a loved one, and maintain the stance as a primary care giver?

Carolyn A. Brent: The passing of a loved one is never easy and it is one of the most difficult and heart-breaking experiences I have ever dealt with. Unfortunately, family members are not aware of the five stages of grief identified by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. In my case, while caring for my father I was unaware of the fact that I had been grieving for many years during his illness. After feeling depressed and searching for answers about my father illness — I learned about the five stages of grief. After understanding the stages, and where I stood in the process, I was able to move forward by resolving and understanding my grief. To this day I now focus on all the wonderful things my father taught me during his lifetime, and now I have resolved his passing by creating the positive and powerful legacy about his life that I now share with world. Learn what the five stages of grief are, and create a family bond by becoming a support for each other. Understanding the grieving process and knowing where you are in the process will help you “to grieve mindfully.” To grieve in such a manner means that you and your loved ones have a better understanding about where you are in the process and how to get the help you need to get to the stage of acceptance. Always remember you are not a lone as a caregiver. Primary caregiver, ask for the help you need and always share your concerns, heartache and challenges with a trusted friend or healthcare professional. If you feel you need to take a break form caregiving — then do so. And do not feel guilty in the process. Remember there are qualified professionals to help you!

Learn more in Chapter 5 of “The Caregiver’s Companion: Hospice Care for the End of Life.”

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I hope you enjoyed this interview with Carolyn A. Brent and that you’ll check out her book on Amazon January 27, 2015:Caregivers

The Caregiver’s Companion: “Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself.”

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

AND… be sure to follow Carolyn tomorrow when the next stop on the Virtual Blog Tour is Andrea Hylen, who will be interviewing Carolyn on the subject of Caregiver preparation support for the loved ones who soon need it. To visit that “stop” on the tour, go to http://bit.ly/14z0Aeb

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