Being a caregiver is hard work. There will always be times when it all seems to be too much and you feel like you have had it up to here. At those times it is not unusual to resent everyone around you. Your parent, your partner, your children, even friends. No one seems to do enough or give give you much help with your caregiver chores.
It is for times like this that The Q.U.I.C.K Map was developed by a former colleague of mine, Lisa Kendall. QUICK Map is an on-line course that has helped lots of caregivers who felt like they had reached the end of their tether.
Lisa is a social work psychotherapist and a clinical gerontologist with years of experience working with older adults and their families. She has taught a lot of people how to care for older adults and understands the stresses caregiving can cause families. There are lots of challenges that come from helping older adults cope with chronic illness, trauma and loss. Lisa is noted for being a compassionate champion of older adults and their families.
The online education program Lisa offers is called The Q.U.I.C.K. Map. It is designed to help people learn how to
- reduce anxiety,
- set limits,
- build a care team
- improve relationships within families.
The Q.U.I.C.K Map also shows you how to take care of yourself. As a caregiver it is essential that you focus on your own well-being, too.
There are seven modules in The Q.U.I.C.K. Map, with a bonus module that will help siblings who are struggling with the shared role of caregiving.
Once you are enrolled you work with a virtual group following guidance from the online materials and Lisa herself.
The Q.U.I.C.K. Map will help you to identify and understand what creates the most stress for you as a caregiver. You will learn how to develop your own personal strategies to manage your stress.
One part of the course that I believe is especially important is that you learn how best to ask others to help you. This way you can develop a team of people to help provide care. That way is isn’t just you left holding the bag and all of the responsibility.
The relationship between caregiver and recipient is always very important. If there is not a balanced, respectful, caring relationship, everyone suffers. The result will be lots of anxiety, stress and friction.
The Q.U.I.C.K Map provides learning strategies to help build and maintain the kind of caregiver-recipient relationship that is healthy and productive. This makes life easier for everyone.
Caregivers’ stories about their personal situations often contain a good deal of conflict and struggle. Like family members who refuse to work together and parents who refuse to face up to all the risks the elderly must face.
Watching and experiencing the decline of someone we care about can bring up many emotional issues. It is all well and good to say “listen to the older person’s goals.” But, in the real world that is harder. The urge to take over is pretty strong. And families are never perfect. It is not unusual to find imbalance in expectations and conflict where the older person can be diminished by others who step in to control the situation. Learning how to better cope with the stresses of caregiving and of the interpersonal dynamics would be very helpful.
I keep my eyes open for practical resources that could be helpful to families and The Q.U.I.C.K. Map is one such resource.