By Sonya Stinson
Imagine being able to listen in on a frank conversation about the worries that keep you up at night and that you thought no one else understood. What if you could hear someone clearly explain the mood swings of dementia or the legal remedies to a senior financial scam? Or maybe you'd love to hear, in their own words, what aging care recipients are going through.
With an extensive library of podcasts for family caregivers available, your access to professional insight and inspiring personal stories is a click away. Tune in to one of these sessions and you might hear a caregiving expert dispensing practical advice and emotional support in a smooth, reassuring voice. Another might feature a celebrity giving an interview about a personal experience with caregiving. The programs are distributed through a variety of platforms, including nonprofit organization websites, blogs and audio apps like iTunes and Stitcher.
Blog Talk Radio is one notable site that provides a convenient central point of access to several podcasts about caregiving. For example, Micheal Pope, CEO of Alzheimer's Services of the East Bay in Oakland, California, hosts a program called Life is a Sacred Journey, with episodes like “How to Choose a Long-term Care Facility for Your Loved One" and “Keeping the Romance Alive When You're the Caregiver to Your Spouse." Denise Brown, founder of Caregiving.com, hosts Your Caregiving Journey, a portal to talk sessions like “How to Get a Break When Vacation Means Caregiving" and “Managing Difficult Caregiving Emotions at Work."
Jana Panarites hosts a weekly podcast called Agewyz, in which she often interviews experts and family caregivers. But one session, “After the Falls," had Panarites doing a lunchtime interview with an 88-year old resident at the same rehab facility where her own mother is receiving treatment. Between bites, the elderly woman shares her life story, her favorite pastimes, her advice about aging and even her opinions of the presidential candidates.
On the Caregiver SOS Podcasts, a production of the WellMed Charitable Foundation in San Antonio, you can hear actor/producer/director James Keach discuss his documentary of Glen Campbell's battle with Alzheimer's disease.
The Area Agency on Aging in St. Joseph, Michigan, produced a series of podcasts called Take Break to inform caregivers about local classes, community services and ideas to make their lives easier. You can listen to the sessions on the agency's website.
For the often forgotten perspective of the male caregiver, check out the podcasts of Dave Nassaney and Peter Rosenberger. Nassaney, aka “Dave, the Caregiver's Caregiver," has been caring for his wife since she suffered a massive stroke in 1996. Rosenberger, author of Hope for the Caregiver, has spent more than 30 years caring for his wife, through nearly 80 operations and the amputation of both her legs.
That's just a small sampling of the audio talks aimed at caregivers. An online search of caregiver podcasts turns up more than half a million hits. From any one of those links, you might discover a voice offering just the right words of information, reassurance or inspiration to help you become a better caregiver.
Taking a few minutes to listen to a podcast, on your own schedule is also a good way to combat caregiver burnout. For more tips, read our post on ways to avoid burnout in just a few moments a day.
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