Self-Help

With Peter Rosenberger

Episodes

David from Ohio called the show with deep emotion as he struggled caring for his son who is on the autism spectrum.  At thirteen, David's son is a handful ...and David broke down trying to wrap his mind around getting his son through to adulthood. 

We discussed this and took the conversation into a path he didn't expect: the relationship between David and his wife ...as well as an important self-defense lesson I learned from my martial arts instructor.

As caregivers, we often live in the wreckage of our future ...and fear the worst. Yet, we're not there in the future, so we don't have to be held hostage by something that hasn't happened. in our conversation, David discovered the opportunities available to him in the "here and now" that will greatly assist him in caring for his son through difficult times that lie ahead. 

 

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How would you feel if your adult child (30+) lived at home with debilitating migraines?

Caller from Mississippi shared her frustration at her daughter's challenges ...and behaviors. From what she describes in this call, the problem has expanded to addiction and other behavior issues. 

Caregivers can easily fall into the trap of enablers. Lost in what I call the FOG of caregivers (Fear Obligation Guilt), we can easily veer off the road into dangerous situations. 

There is a path to safety ...but we're not going to find it alone. 

That's why we have a show for family caregivers! 

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This episode of HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER was filled with phone calls of caregiving mothers....starting with a mom of an adult child with chronic migraines who is also addicted to pain killer. We also had another mother in the last stages of caring for her son with cancer, and another single mom caring for two adult sons with autism. And the calls just kept coming. 

Hope for the Caregiver is committed to pointing struggling family caregivers to safety. As caregivers, even though we often deal with heartbreaking realities, we can live a calmer, healthier ...and even more joyful life.

But we can't do it alone. 

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As caregivers, we know the journey is tough. We're used to that.

But it doesn't have to be crazy! 

Yet the isolation of caregivers can take us down dangerous paths. HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER is committed to punching through that isolation and giving caregivers a fighting chance against the craziness that can overtake us.

This clip identifies what a path to safety looks like for caregivers. Share it with your social media group, email list, pastor, and anyone else who either serves as a caregiver ...or knows a caregiver. 

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“How can you laugh through what you all live through!?”

Peter Rosenberger often hears that question when people learn of his 33 year journey as a caregiver for his wife, Gracie, who lives with severe disabilities. (80+ operations including the amputation of both legs).

Yet, both Peter and Gracie draw hope from their deep faith which strengthens their hearts and their sense of humor.

Peter’s weekly radio show, Hope for the Caregiver, is heard on more than 185 stations.  Through his show, along with his books and speaking events, Peter address the challenges of life, business, and relationships with candor, compassion, and comedy.

Drawing upon his martial arts studies (Peter has a 2nd degree black-belt in Hapkido), Peter equips audiences to practice self-defense of the heart.

This episode is from May 5 2019.  Opening with show producer, John Butler (AKA the Count of Mighty Disco) Peter takes listeners on journey through humor, compassion, and hope ...and points fellow caregivers to a place of safety. 

www.hopeforthecaregiver.com 

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Kenneth C. Haugk, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and pastor, is founder and Executive Director of Stephen Ministries. He is the author of Journeying through Grief, Christian Caregiving—a Way of Life, Cancer—Now What?, and many other books and courses in the areas of caring and relating, assertiveness, spiritual gifts, conflict resolution, and leadership. He received the National Samaritan Award from the Samaritan Institute for the significant contributions he has made to field of caring ministry. His ministry took on deeper significance as he cared for his wife, Joan, when she had ovarian cancer.

 

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Stephen Ministries, an international not-for-profit Christian educational organization, provides the Stephen Series system of lay caring ministry to over 13,000 congregations and other organizations in the U.S., Canada, and 29 other countries. It has developed caring and training resources on topics such as effective relating, leadership, grief, dealing with cancer, and crisis care.  

For More Information Visit:  www.stephenministries.org

Peter Rosenberger is host of radio program for family caregivers broadcast weekly from Nashville, TN on more than 200 stations. He has served as a caregiver for his wife Gracie, who has lived with severe disabilities for more than 30 years. His new book, 7 Caregiver Landmines and You Can Avoid Them releases nationally Fall 2018.

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The Overlooked Demographic in the Opioid Crisis

In a recent op-ed, I drew attention to the one demographic that remains absent from the opioid crisis discussion:  caregivers. Politicians, pharmaceutical companies, physicians, patients, attorneys, and law enforcement all weighed in on the public health opioid crisis. Yet one demographic remains absent. With significant input into this issue, caregivers receive almost no mention in the discourse of chronic pain patients and opioids, and consequently, are forced to struggle alone through the challenges of caring for someone on opioids.

Serving as a caregiver for my wife for more than 30 years, I’ve handled enough opioids that their street value easily runs into the millions. Washington Examiner 12/12/2017

No one said anything!

With a lengthy history such as mine, you would think that medical professionals would offer a path of education and support for me.  Yet,  not one physician, physician assistant, or nurse ever took seconds to offer guidance to me.  Rather than offering help to me as a caregiver (and subsequently to my wife …their patient!), I never heard, “Hey, she’s got chronic pain issues, and taking a significant amount of medication for an unforeseeable amount of time … you might want to seek some counseling and/or support groups for yourself through this journey!”  

A Family Issue

Chronic pain is a family issue. Furthermore, it affects all significant (and a few insignificant) relationships of the person in pain. Treating someone in chronic pain is also a family issue. When opioids are introduced or removed in the treatment of chronic pain, the patient is better served when the family caregiver is healthy.  Caregivers must possesses the necessary resources to seek to their own emotional well-being through what will inevitably be a rocky journey.

An Additional Challenge for Caregivers

Furthermore, paid caregivers attending loved ones can also represent a problem with opioids are involved. Many families are spread out and paying for an individual or service to care for an elderly loved one. Consequently, those families employ paid attendants to help with aging loved ones.  In the events of falls or surgeries, those loved one are often placed on opioids.  Maybe the employee is upstanding and dedicated. While that may be the case, families need structure boundaries regardless.

“You Don’t Respect What You Don’t Inspect.”

While paid attendants are in the home, vigilance in inspecting and auditing opioids (and other items) remains paramount.  Setting clear boundaries on the front end help both the family and the employee. When families engage, fewer opportunities for misunderstandings, mistakes, and even theft occur.

Family caregivers all too often perform significant medical tasks beyond their training, and furthermore, they tend to be isolated.  Consequently, the isolation of caregivers tends to wear down the caution when dealing opioids and other medical related issues.

For those caregivers of chronic pain patients using an opioid (s), please seek help. Talk to your physician and ask for a referral to a counselor. In addition, pastors and clergy also can connect to some type of professional counselor.  Furthermore, support groups also help connect to other individuals struggling with similar issues. If nothing presents itself in your area that is specific to your circumstances, try Al-Anon.

A Path Towards Healthiness

The first step for caregivers towards a healthier lifestyle for caregivers is to recognize the need for outside help.  Yet, we caregivers often feel reluctant to do so for a variety of reasons. Since things such as finances to feelings of embarrassment may keep us from enlisting assistance, all too many caregivers go it alone.  Consequently, we tend to “white-knuckle” our way through brutal challenges in isolation.  Asking for help, however, is not a sign of weakness; it’s wisdom. Furthermore, asking for and learning to accept help is a major step towards becoming a healthy caregiver. Because … Healthy Caregivers Make Better Caregivers.

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