Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant
Taking Care of You: Powerful Tools for Caregiving

Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant

Taking Care of You: Powerful Tools for Caregiving

Upcoming Educational Nights

Joyce Kilgore Carlin, CAPSW, will present, "Taking Care of You: Powerful Tools for Caregiving" on October 28, 2014 for the Open Forum Educational Session. RSVP for the presentation

Family caregivers are under tremendous stress. They often feel powerless and that they have little control over events. But those feelings can have a significant impact on a caregiver's physician and emotional health. Research studies show that caregivers are at a greater risk for developing depression and experience greater levels of anxiety, which can lead to health problems and a suppressed immune system.

Because of the challenges caregivers face, the "Taking Care of You: Powerful Tools for Caregiving" Open Forum Educaitonal Session will provide caregivers with tools they can use to help maintain positive mental and emotional health. Among the topics covered will be:

  1. Taking Care of You: Attendees of the session will get to know each other by briefly sharing their caregiving situations and a problem they experience as a caregiver. The emphasis will be on the individual caregiver, not on the family member receiving care.
  2. Identifying and Reducing Personal Stress: We'll address the importance of caregivers managing stress in their lives and introduce the four steps for effective stress management:
    1. Identifying early warning signs
    2. Identifying personal sources of stress
    3. Changing what you can change and accepting what you cannot change
    4. Taking action
  3. Communicating Feelings, Needs and Concerns: We will continue to focus on the concept, "We cannot control what other people say. Be we do have control over how we express ourselves and how we respond to 'you' messages directed at us." This class will briefly focus on using "I" messages for expressing feelings, needs and concerns, and avoiding "you" messages, which tend to sound blaming and put people on the defensive.
  4. Communicating in Challenging Situations: Because many people think that being aggressive is the same as being assertive, we'll highlight the differences between assertive communication and communicating in an aggressive manner.
  5. Learning from Our Emotions: We'll discuss the concept of, "Our emotions are messages we need to listen to," with an emphasis on exploring the reality that feelings occur for a reason and that feelings are neither good nor bad. It's how we deal with them that is important. We will briefly focus on three difficult emotions for caregivers - anger, guilt and depression - and constructive ways to deal with these emotions.

Joyce is a licensed Clinical Social Worker and certified Powerful Tools for Caregiving facilitator.