Children Have After Effects of Caregiving Too!

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Common Sense Caregiving
Children Have Aftereffects of Caregiving Too!
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Hi Folks,
Enjoy this week’s article and feel free to share it where you believe it may help.

Also I would like to invite everybody to my On-Line Dementia Care Webinar today, July 7th at 3:00 pm EST. If you would like to attend, send me an email info@commonsensecaregiving.com

Children Have Aftereffects of Caregiving Too!

Time and again I have heard from caregivers who have told me how proud they are of their kids for stepping in and helping them with caregiving duties. Like adults, these young heroes are all different in the way they grieve, process death and dying and also in how they deal with their own version of the aftereffects of caregiving. Keep an extra watch over the younger ones as they may not be able to grasp “death” in any way, shape or form.

We all know that children learn by asking questions, so assure them that it’s okay to ask away. In fact, encourage it!

Nobody likes to be lied to and that includes children. They can spot a liar, especially and adult liar, a mile away. Be as honest as you can without shocking them. And do try to stay away from clinical sounding answers. When young children hear something like another family member saying, “Your dad passed away. It’s such a loss. He will be missed so much,” they may think that he’s simply been misplaced. Children can be very literal. They may even think that the missing person will return someday.

Be direct but gentle, using words and phrases like, “I’m so sorry your dad died.”

Again just like adults, children need the chance to say their goodbyes. If their loved one is living in their home or even spending those last days at a Hospice facility, don’t miss out on the valuable chance to experience closure.

As early in the disease as possible, show respect for these young people, initiating conversations with them about what’s going to happen. Using words soothing to their souls, familiar to their spiritual upbringing, let them know about the peace that lies ahead. Explain the wonders of a peaceful destination.

If children have never been to a funeral or memorial service, prepare them ahead of time. Explain to them what the significance of the service will be.

Quite clearly I can recollect being about 10 years of age when my next-door neighbor died. For whatever reason, my mother brought me (or should I say forced me to go to) his “wake.” It was my first, and since it was an open casket I didn’t know what to expect. Interestingly, I have to say it was not what I expected. I did everything I could not to go, but my mother sternly insisted it was the proper thing to do. When I walked up for my viewing I was shocked at how peaceful the old man looked. (Maybe some of that was because he wasn’t yelling at me for a change!) When all was said and done, I was truly glad I went.

Children also learn by watching their parents. It’s okay to grieve in front of them; in fact it’s perfectly fine to grieve together. You’re not fooling them one bit by hiding your grief behind closed doors. Remember what I said earlier, kids can spot a fake a long way off.

An important part of the grieving process for everyone, including young ones (and it is a process, not an event) is remembering. Start a conversation with kids by saying, “That father of yours really loved to fish.” or “What was the last trip you and your mom took together?” But don’t talk too much. Instead, utilize a valuable tool: your ears . . . listen! Pay close attention to what they are saying and what that might mean they are feeling.

Grief is hard work no matter what age you are. There’s another way to look at this, as I said in the earlier chapter “Once a Caregiver, Always a Caregiver.” I found myself looking to heal anything and everything I could find. Positively and constructively, investing your time and energy into helping your children grieve also may be helpful in your own healing process. I know that’s exactly what I would have done if a child had needed me after my dad died.

Of course, don’t smother youthful family members or friends of the deceased with this, just find a healthy balance. Also, make sure it doesn’t take away from your own time to grieve.

There was a study done by Harvard University that lists four ways in which all children, no matter what age, need to cope after losing a loved one.
• Accept the reality of loss
• Experience the emotional aspects of loss
• Adjust to an environment in which a loved one is missing
• Find ways to remember or honor that person

I personally believe: Find a way to honor that person. Therein exists the noblest and most heart-healing way to bring closure.

If you and your family need an item of remembrance, here’s an idea I just love. Plant a tree in your loved ones’ names. Every year of growth can be a reminder of how many lives they touched in this world, and that their impact continues. It will always be their tree with a piece of them still living on.

This article will be appearing in the
Feather Sound News & Hernando Sun

New Feature! This week’s Dementia Mentors’ short video.
How Colors Can Effect Your Dementia
Norm McNamara talks about different colors can effect him while living with dementia.

Also, I’m happy to announce that both of my paranormal suspense novelettes are now available in paperback.

Shannon’s Journey

Profile of a Fisherman

Upcoming Speaking Events

Below is a listing of my 2017
seminars and training events.
If you love my writings, you’ll love my speaking events. I have learned it’s best to not only educate people on dementia through their minds, but through their hearts

Portsmouth Regional Hospital
Alzheimer’s/Dementia Hospital
Wristband Program
Training the Trainers
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
July 6th 9:00 am
Highland County Sheriff’s Department
& County Leaders
Dementia Awareness Class
Sebring, Florida
July, 11th 10:00 am

Atria Park of Baypoint Village
Dementia Care Seminar
7927 State Road 52
Hudson, Florida
July 20th 6:00 pm

Highland County Sheriff’s Department
& County Leaders
Dementia Awareness Class
Sebring, Florida
July, 24th 6:00 pm

Franke at Seaside Assisted Living
& Memory Care
Dementia Care Training
(Seminar on the 10th Open to the Public)
1885 Rifle Range Rd,
Mt Pleasant, South Carolina
August 9th Staff Only & 10th 8:00 am

Acti-Kare Responsive In Home Care
Dementia Care Training & Seminar
(Open to the Public)
Great Life Church
14494 Cortez Blvd,
Spring Hill, Florida
August 22nd 6:00 pm

Beach House Assisted Living & Memory Care of Wiregrass Ranch
Dementia Care Seminar
30070 State Road 56
Wesley Chapel, Florida
August 24th 11:00 am

Heron Pointe Health and Rehabilitation
Dementia Care Seminar
1445 Howell Avenue
Brooksville, Florida
September 6th 10:00 am

Pasco County Sheriff’s Dept.
Dementia Awareness Class
15325 Alric Pottberg Road
Shady Hills, Florida
September 15th 10:30 am

Superior Residencies of Cala Hills
Dementia Care Training
2300 SW 21st Circle
Ocala, Florida
September 20th

Beach House Assisted Living & Memory Care of Wiregrass Ranch
Aftereffects of Caregiving Presenation
30070 State Road 56
Wesley Chapel, Florida
September 21st 11:00 am

Hernando County Sheriff’s Department
Dementia Awareness Class
Brooksville, Florida
September 27th 8:30 am

Juniper Village at Naples
Dementia Care Seminar
1155 Encore Way
Naples, Florida
October 25th

Available on Amazon

Managing Alzheimer’s and Dementia Behaviors
(Health Care Edition)

Now 3.5 CEUs APPROVED

AFTEREFFECTS OF CAREGIVING

STAYING AFLOAT IN A SEA OF FORGETFULNESS

Also don’t forget to go to
www.dementiamentors.org and check out our short amazing videos all done by those living with dementia and the rest of the website.

Stay strong everyone!
Gary Joseph LeBlanc

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