Today on my walk, birds caught my attention. May I reflect? Birds represent happy memories of days past. Memories of birds that would frequent (and still do) my backyard, with their agenda, even though I have no idea what their plan was, outside of feeding on the goodies I provide. So many birds would come and go without permission. They were chirping, flying, here and there. Most often, they appeared to aimlessly journey from one place to another. From tree branches to rooftops, from tops of cars to tops of light poles. From mailboxes to bushes, and so on.

I…


Nursing is my sacred profession!

I have a story to tell. The first encounter in the world of nursing was as a lifeguard, saving the pool manager’s life. He inhaled chlorine gas, changing a tank. His absence from the office was unusual, and in searching for him, I found him unresponsive and barely breathing. Putting the first aid skills into action learned in lifeguard training and seeing him recover was the first time it dawned that a profession of serving others was my calling. That experience framed who I am today. The laying on of hands saved his life. I wanted to learn and know…


Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!

Do you have a safe place for important papers? Do family members know where to find them? Who is in charge of your affairs?

Preparing for the known and unknown is a topic that many are not interested in discussing. While taking care of my mother, the repeated lesson learned and one I share in my book: From The Lens Of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor, the vital need to know the wishes of family under your care. …


I know you have heard that smiling can be contagious. Smiles can make someone’s day. Smiling can brighten someone’s pain. Smiling can change someone’s perspective on a situation. We should want to put a smile on someone’s face. We all should want to be a rainbow in someone’s world. Life has been hard lately; separated from family and friends due to a relentless pandemic. There has been no time like the present to share smiles. We can even do it 6-feet apart!
In addressing older adults and senior care concerns, loneliness is a real issue. Feeling alone(with a houseful of…


Topic: Caregivers, Do You Burn the Candle at Both Ends?

Who can relate? Who wants to relate? Burning a candle at both ends is an accident waiting to happen. The idiom implies, “To exhaust one’s energies or resources.” Without acknowledging overtiredness in the caregiving space, it can lead to errors, mistakes, injury, and death of a loved one. So, shining a light on this topic is critical, more so, because we are not only dealing with the usual format of caregiving, we have added the pandemic to the care of older adults. We all know caregiving is ‘hard work.’ Even for those who have been doing it for years, our…


Topic: Caregivers: Are You Unofficial or Official

The topic today comes from a conversation I had with a dear friend. The goal of caregiving is to help loved ones reach their final goal. For many years, the space she called home was no more. She continued to age gracefully while living alone; however, health challenges created the raw reality that living on her own was no longer safe. She relocated to live with family, and the adjustments and readjustments began.

I recall when my mother came to live with us. As an independent person, her movements and way of life centered on her world. Because we lived…


Topic: Caregivers-Caregiving, and Weather

Today is a great day to discuss caregiving and weather. It’s a rainy day in Texas! I love the rain. My garden loves the rain. My lawn loves the rain, and my lawn maintenance company loves the rain, too. When we think about the weather, we must also care for our older adults and loved ones during inclement conditions. Safety, first…Right?

As a people, we rarely think about the weather until an event presents itself. That is not the time to get in gear! Being practical based on situations or circumstances is proactive. In the thick…


Topics: Pets in the Caregiving Space

Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate & Joey

I will never forget the look on my mother’s face when Joey came through the door. Let me explain. Five years before mommy’s passing, we had to give Joey away because Joey’s actual owner became pregnant, and my caregiving duties and employment schedule at the time did not make me a good dog owner. With much hesitancy and unhappiness, we found a forever home in a neighboring city for Joey. We said our sad goodbyes, and off Joey went.

When mommy was up and about, Joey was a welcomed visitor at our home. He…


Topic: Caregiver Can Experience Mental Distress

Caregiver Can Experience Mental Distress

Mental distress (or psychological distress) is a term used by mental health practitioners, to describe a range of symptoms and experiences of a person’s internal life that are commonly held to be out of the ordinary. In the caregiving space, mental distress can potentially lead to harm and injury as well as how care is provided to a loved one. Caregiving is mental, physical, and emotional. If unchecked, putting these three together can lead to disastrous outcomes.

Caregivers Must Be Proactive!

How a caregiver shows up in the caregiving space can determine how to care, that is necessary, for a loved one or care…


Topic: When is Hospice Appropriate?

The subject of hospice is an uncomfortable one. Why, because losing a loved one, up close and personal is hard. None of us have crystal balls giving us the inside scoop of life expectancy or how a life-limiting condition will complete our earthly exit. When I placed my mother in hospice, it was the most difficult decision I had to make as a caregiver. I knew it was the right one, but in my mind and heart, the thought of watching my mother slip away was hard for me to unravel from the personal side. Even with the financial plans…

Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman

Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman is author and speaker. Her book: From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor shares caregiving tips.

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