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Article

Finding Certainty to Create Wellness

By Margery Pabst Steinmetz

Uncertainty is not a good condition for my wellness.  Most people are probably like me, especially when caregiving.  Uncertainty can drive a caregiver crazy!!  Not knowing, not having all the information to make a clear decision is a common occurrence for most caregivers and is a major contributor to daily stress.  When I cared for my late husband who suffered from Leukemia for two years, clear information that discriminated between one course of action and another was key to our daily quality of life, but it was also hard to obtain.  When I could drag some certainty out of ambiguity, my husband and I were much happier.  Much of the time,  questions like, "What did the latest blood test indicate?"  "Was there a definite course of treatment?" occupied our daily thoughts.  Clarity was illusive. Now for some good news!   Sometimes, medical professionals can provide us with information that helps families, caregivers and patients make more effective decisions.  Possibilities for some certainty do exist.  Fortunately, there are some aspects of a caregivers role that can be clarified by specific medical information and medical team support.   Over the next few months, I am so excited to host physicians (both blogs and radio shows) who will provide us with ways to discern one condition from another, so we as caregivers have more certainty in our lives and can make more effective decisions. Dr. Barry Jacobs' most recent post on this website, mycaregivingcoach.com, and The Huffington Post, identifies ways to determine whether a disease is chronic or terminal.  Figuring out that thorny question provides families with a certainty for planning the future.  Thank you Dr. Barry Jacobs!! Be sure to also listen to "Caregivers Speak" on Tuesday, May 9 when Dr. Jacobs and his wife Dr. Julia Mayer, who is a clinical psychologist, will return to inspire us with their strategies for self forgiveness. In April and June, Dr. Rosemary Laird, chief geriatrician at Florida Hospital will help us consider and discern two key issues caregivers often face:   -When do I know if my parent/s can remain independent? ("Caregivers Speak" on Tuesday,  April 4) -How do I distinguish between age related dementia and the onset of Alzheimer's? ("Caregivers Speak" on Tuesday, June 13) Clearing your mind by answering the questions than can be answered is key for caregiver wellness.  Goodness knows there are so many ambiguous issues surrounding family dynamics, ("Should I ask my sister for help?"  "How often should Dad's friends visit?"  "Are these issues that should not be shard with siblings?"), that it helps to have strategies that create certainty. Margery Pabst Steinmetz is the founder of mycaregivingcoach.com and is eCareDiary's caregiving expert.  She is the author of "Enrich Your Caregiving Journey" and host of "Caregivers Speak." 

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