By Dr. Santo D. Marabella, The Practical Prof®
The Lessons of Caring: Inspiration & Support for Family Caregivers
Are you caring for a loved one or family member? Maybe a spouse or partner with a long-term illness; a child with a physical disability; or, a lonely relative who needs your daily help? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re among the 43.5 million Americans the National Alliance for Caregiving says provide unpaid care to a child or adult.
Hi, I’m Dr. Santo D. Marabella, The Practical Prof®, and I know from personal experience that caregiving for loved ones of any age can be both a life-affirming and a spirit-draining experience. Since 2014, I’ve been the primary caregiver for my parents, ages 94 and 89, one of whom has Parkinson’s Disease and the other was on permanent hemodialysis.
Caregiving is rewarding on so many levels. At the same time, the job can leave you feeling burnt out, isolated and unable to find balance in your own life. But there is hope and help. I believe that what I am learning throughout this process may help inspire and support you as you care for your loved one. So, I want to share the lessons I have learned with you in this course, based on my latest book, "The Lessons of Caring: Inspiration and Support for Caregivers".
I think we need to take better care of caregivers. So, if you would like some support and tips on ways to make your role as a caregiver a little easier, then this course is for you.
About the Course I have been a college professor for most of my career, but this course is about the lessons that I have learned in the personal course called “Caregiving.” I present it for two reasons. First, to share some of the insights I have gained from helping my parents deal with the challenges of advanced and complex medical issues and their aging. Second, I present it in the hopes that my insights and perspective will provide support, inspiration and affirmation to other caregivers.
I have deliberately presented and formatted this course with the caregiver in mind, at least as I understand her and him to be from my experience. If your life as a caregiver is similar to mine, then no matter how well-researched and informative the source may be, you have neither the time nor the energy, or for that matter, the desire, to work harder than you already are working to sit through a “heady” course about caring. If you’re like me, you’d turn on mindless TV for an hour and fall asleep before you read someone’s epic dissertation on caregiving.
So, this course is presented as a source of inspiration and support for the contemporary caregiver. The Lessons of Caring is short, sweet, and to the point - relatively short lessons with video commentaries from caregivers to comfort you, video messages from me to encourage you and exercises and questions to help you. It’s the book I would want to read for inspiration and support.
I truly hope that working with me in this course will feed your spirit, recharge your energy and affirm your amazing and life-changing impact as a caregiver! It has been cathartic to prepare!
Course Layout Beginning with Lesson 1, the layout of the Course is:
Caregiver Video* – commentary and advice from caregivers and professionals
The Lesson + Video – my experience and thoughts about the Lesson’s topic
A Mantra – a statement for you to repeat and focus
The Questions – a question or two about the issues and challenges raised in the Lesson
A Reflection – suggestions for thinking and considering the Lesson
The Prof's Message - brief video commentary from the author/teacher
The Homework – activities to help you improve or work on the Lesson
A-Musing – a light way to end each Lesson
*A Note to Course Participants: This course is based on my book, "The Lessons of Caring: Inspiration & Support for Caregivers," and many of the videos in this course are taken from the electronic version of my eBook. For the most part, with the exception of the opening and closing videos, they are not professionally produced, and that is intention. I wanted you to hear and see these messages from authentic caregivers who I respect throughout the country - so phone and video conference recording was the most feasible way to do that.
Course overview - 9
The Losses are Many
The Sadness is Gripping
The Regrets are Avoidable
The Role is Respect
The Goal is Protection
The Advocacy is Paramount
The Job is Draining
The Caring is Love
Closing and Thank You!