Expressing and Experiencing Your Love for Those in Need

Do small things with great love CGJ

Spring reminds us that small things, like seeds or a raindrop, can help produce life and multiply in the form of a beautiful flower garden or a new spring creek. “Hope springs eternal” is philosophy that caregivers know well. Caregivers know that love doesn’t need to take up much space or a be a “big to do” to be felt. We know you do small things with great love every day.

When you choose – or it is chosen for you – the caregiving role, we encourage you to look at it as an adventure where you are in control of expressing your authentic nature in the way you love those around you. Adding something more to your life sounds exhausting, but you don’t have to add lots more overwhelming activity in order to make an impact in the lives of those for whom you are responsible. The regular day-to-day in our lives – taking a loved one to the doctor or checking in on a neighbor – are the exact places in which we express and experience our love for those in need.


Here are some ideas on how to experience the joy in the little things that can have great impact:

  • Hang up a cherished picture in a cherished space
  • Say, “I love you” without expecting anything in return
  • Listen to your favorite song and share it and the memories associated with it
  • Listen to their favorite song and ask them about the memories associated with it
  • Thank the parent for whom you are caring for something that they taught you that has changed your life
  • Ask your loved one the following question, “What is the one thing noone knows about you?”
  • Hold hands
  • Share some of your favorite quotations that help you keep going, inspire you and give you strength as they may do the same for others

What other ways to you do small things with great love every day? Share with us on our Facebook page today.

For some inspiration created through color and life and light, we hope you enjoy this video link that we saw shared on FB. You can use it to take a minute away from your caregivers duties, appreciate the beauty of nature and simply breathe.



Spring Cleaning Tips for Caregivers

The Caregiver's Journal Spring Cleaning Tips for Caregivers and Seniors

Spring Cleaning for Your Whole Health
Spring cleaning has a new lease on life these days. In “olden times” you would scrub every surface of the house to remove the dark, sooty grime that built up from using candles, kerosene lamps and wood stoves throughout the winter.
Caregivers today can use spring cleaning as an important “excuse” or a new routine in homes where seniors may no longer be able to keep up with regular housekeeping chores themselves.
Start with a thorough checklist – then check it twice
– Cleaning up computer files and organizing photos, etc.
– Physical cleaning of home, including carpets
– Medical paperwork and other tax dependent documents
– Medicine cabinet (expired medicine or no longer needed)
– Old food in the refrigerator and pantry
– Any fire hazards like hoarded paperwork, newspapers, and fire safety issues like expired fire extinguishers and replacing old batteries in fire detectors
– Yard debris, indoor and out door tripping hazards
Make a time commitment
– Create a time line or schedule for when each things should be done
– Be sure to also schedule in quality time with your loved one or the one for whom you care
– Create an opportunity for some “fun” and celebrate your achievements too perhaps with some fresh spring flowers to brighten the room
Enlist help
– Call upon family, friends and paid help
– Involve your loved one and ask them to lend you a hand as they are able
– Make conversation and feedback part of the process
Be aware of what you “Find”
– If you uncover more serious issues while cleaning (like perhaps depression, dementia, or other physical manifestations of deeper psychological and mental health issues) call your loved one’s physician for recommendations on next steps
– Keep track of important papers and other items of value in a systematic way, including medical information with your copy of The Caregiver’s Journal.
– Financial issues are often uncovered during spring and tax time too. Check out this video for some quick tips on tuning up your financial heath too from CBS’ Jillon Money.

For more tops for caregivers, visit our Pinterest page .

Take a Leap of Faith on Leap Day

“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~Unknown

Significance of the Leap Year

Today, February 29th, marks a leap year. A leap year, where an extra day is added to the end of February every four years, is due to the Gregorian calendar’s disparity with the solar system. An orbit of the earth around the sun takes exactly 365.2422 days to complete. The Gregorian calendar uses 365 days. So leap seconds – and leap years – are added as means of keeping our clocks (and calendars) in sync with the Earth and its seasons.

Leap Day irare disease days also the day the world celebrates International Rare Disease Day. When you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a rare disease, there is no roadmap. In the event it is also life-threatening, it throws you into a new world with new language and systems to learn. Your family members, siblings and spouse may react very differently adding stress to the mix as well as hampering decision making. Financial, legal and health/medical industry navigation can leave you exhausted. Worrying about the other children and adjusting to new schedules can overwhelm even the healthiest of partnerships, and leave everyone wondering, “How are we going to do this?”


Take the Leap of Faith

This leap year might just require you to take a leap of faith. There are two basic human emotions that are the driving force behind each thought, each daily inspiration, and each life-changing decision. Those are forever intertwined – fear and love. In order to feel passionately about something, fear and love must coexist.

Learning to adjust and moving forward to care for the one you love requires you to get over the fear of asking for help. Enlisting help – whether on a volunteer or paid basis – can be challenging especially when there are so many unknowns that it seems impossible to add one more thing to the list (Will they care for my loved on in an adequate manner? Can I trust them? How can we afford it?). Here are some things to consider when you are ready to make the decision:

  • Replace fear of the unknown with a sense of desire for what’s to come by envisioning a positive outcome, for example as good a quality of life as possible under the circumstance for you and your loved one
  • Let yourself be supported by likeminded people and those who have a happy heart when they help you
  • Avoid falling into feeling sorry for yourself, which will hold you back versus propel you forward into action
  • Celebrate what’s you’ve manifested to date, for example a loving family or having the fortitude to pursue and obtain a medical diagnoses for your loved one
  • Account for your finances and options through a professional in the field

logoLuckily, in the Reno/Sparks area, there is a group called Solutions and Resources Associates (SARA), a non-profit collaborative of specialized healthcare and life services professionals. SARA was brought to life by a team of healthcare and life services professionals who saw the need for a single information and resource destination service to assist families and individuals meet the complex challenges of life transitions. They recognized the need for easy and rapid access to “the best of the best” services when faced with life changing events. They offer a commitment to a returned phone call within 24 hours. Once you make a decision to enlist help, they can assist you in identifying what next steps to take and then refer you to the professional legal, health and financial services that you will need to consult. The Caregivers Journal believes in the mission and vision of SARA and we are involved as part of their board of executive partners. Visit or call them today at 775-742-3288. If you are outside of Reno/Sparks, SARA is also aware of similar organizations through the US to which they would be happy to refer you.

8 Tips to Keep Seniors Safe and Healthy this Season

8 Tips to Keep Seniors Safe and Healthy this Season

8 Tips to Keep Seniors Safe and Healthy this Season

We’ve had quite the winter weather throughout much of the US which means frigid temperatures, fierce winds and record snow accumulation. Keeping seniors safe and healthy throughout the year can be challenging enough, and this is even more so in severe winter conditions. Here are some tips to help caregivers:


  • Wear sturdy shoes and take small, steady steps.
  • Get an ice grip attachment for canes and discuss when and where to use a walker safely to navigate on rainy, snowy, or icy days.
  • Download the Red Cross First Aid App and earn some badges for yourself or with your family. Share them on Facebook. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores.
  • Make some safety home improvements while you’re cooped up inside. Empty clutter around escape routes or fire-prone areas, install new grab bars in the bathroom, etc.


  • Help seniors find relief from arthritis pain when it’s cold outside: 1) keep seniors warm with extra layers of clothing, including hats and warm socks, as well as additional blankets for naps or nighttime sleeping are great ways to keep warm and joints more flexible, 2) Talk with their physician about supplements like fish oil which can reduce inflammation as well as adding Vitamin D because deficiency might make joints hurt more; and 3) Address weight loss as losing just three pounds of weight reduces pressure on the knees three-fold.
  • Stay active outside when it is safe.
  • Encourage indoor exercise – Low impact fitness activities like swimming or Tai Chi increase blood flow and reduce stiffness. Strength exercises keep arthritic joints flexible and protect seniors from falls. Walking programs in indoor malls are a great option to avoid inclement weather and/or icy conditions. The Arthritis Foundation’s Walk with ease program can help get seniors up and moving in the cold weather too by clicking on this video link and taking a look at their website and other online tools.
  • Try some video games. Seniors may need the grandkids’ help with this, but try a video game system like the WiiFit or PlayStation Move that offers another way to get active in the home. Games like bowling and tennis are sure to help seniors start moving and these games are a great way to get others involved, too.

For more tips visit The American Red Cross website to download their Winter Storm Safety Checklist and visit .