Welcome to my website and the world of care-giving. I’m so happy that you’ve found your way here.
My business assists those directly involved in the world of caregiving; whether you’re on the front line or helping to manage a loved one’s care.
It’s the endless opportunities of healing — physically, emotionally, and spiritually — for both my clients and me, that has inspired me to create “The Caregiver’s Heart.” I call these opportunities the “softer side of care-giving.”
Before I continue, I want to be clear that I also help clients with the nuts ‘n’ bolts, in addition to the softer side of care-giving. The nuts ‘n’ bolts are things like:
- Where do I find caregivers?
- How much do I pay a caregiver?
- Should my mom remain at home or does she need to reside in a care facility?
Really, the help I provide to my clients is completely determined by their agenda, not mine.
I share, through consultations, caregiver coaching and one-on-one private care-giving, how the healing can work for you, too. How you, a caregiver or someone who is connected with a loved one who needs help, can find ways to deepen your understanding of the inherent challenges and use these difficulties to your advantage.
You might be a family or professional caregiver or someone who has a loved one that needs help. If the latter is your scenario, you might not call yourself a caregiver because you intend to hire a professional to do the “heavy lifting.”.
You’re right, in a day-to-day way, you’re not a caregiver but, in other ways that title could be a good fit. It might fit because you’re someone who cares about their loved one and is seeking guidance on how to best help them.
How I Fell in Love
The quote you see at the top of my Home page says it all. I chose “Work is Love Made Visible” – (Khalil Gibran) because it speaks about the day I realized I was in love with care-giving.
Nine years ago I was hired for my first private care-giving job. About the second or third day on the job, I realized “I’m in love with this work!” I thought to myself “Really! You want to pay me for what doesn’t even feel like work?” My spirit was flying.
Just before I was hired, I’d decided to resign from my 21 year career as an Early Intervention Specialist. Without the good income from this job, I could no longer be a homeowner so I sold my home in Mt. Angel and moved to Portland.
I had no idea what I’d do next.
As I was closing out my job and house, my friend Polly called and said “I was just hired as a personal assistant for someone with ALS and, very soon, she’ll need much more help then I alone can provide. Do you think you’d like to be part of her care-giving team?”
This offer sounded interesting, I interviewed for the position and was hired.
Why I Fell in Love
Well, this is not the easiest thing to describe. The ‘why’ is something that comes from my spirit and heart, sometimes there are no words there and, I’ll do my best.
The easiest way to describe this is by telling you a true story.
I was working with a 90 year old client (I’ll call him Frank) who had so much grace, it was sometimes palpable. Maybe you’ve had the experience of being with someone who is in a particular state, like grace, and then you notice that you’ve moved into a deep quiet place of peace.
While I was drying Frank’s fungus filled feet/nails and applying medication, there was opera music playing in the background. He was expressing gratitude for my help and then there was a sense of grace filling the room. A tender softness.
With this much grace present, often you’re in such a state of quiet and rest that it’s like being unveiled. A certain quality of transparency and vulnerability. The good feeling kind of vulnerability where you feel safe to be seen completely as you are in that moment.
This is how it felt with Frank that day. For that moment, there was nothing present other than Frank, me and the exquisite music.
Of course I saw his compromised feet and, I didn’t. What I mean is I saw his perfection as a human being and the outer parts (like feet, nails …) were not a show-stopper.
To be of service in my role as caregiver is one of the highest gifts I’ve ever been given. To witness someone in the beauty of their vulnerability is so real and perfect.
Obviously, not every day of my care-giving, consulting and coaching jobs have felt like total bliss. And yes, whether I’m doing a consult, teaching classes for caregivers or providing one-on-one private care-giving, my heart and soul are very happy.
And, there are bumps. These bumps are things like difficult conversations, me witnessing something that doesn’t feel right, disagreements between me and care-giving clients, miscommunications, poorly matched expectations ….
I’m certain that you too, as a caregiver for your loved one or client, have felt like you said or did something that you’d like to take back. It’s inherent in this role.
It’s so important for you to know that the best way you can get going is to begin by remembering that you are already enough! Things happen in life that create disconnection or separation, and those will cover the real quiet truth deep inside of you. The truth that with the proper support, you will remember that you’re enough.
When you remember this truth and begin the new journey with your loved one/client, some of the fear and overwhelm is lessened.
My years of private care-giving along with the inevitable challenges have provided very fertile ground for everyone’s healing. It’s like taking the gooey unpleasant stuff and having a chance to turn it into a lovely helpful compost.
The things that have seemed most difficult have been, for myself and my clients, opportunities for healing. Healing mostly of the heart and spirit although sometimes the physical comes along, too.
I love a statement I saw written about caregiving: “Who is helping who?” – Mark Nepo
After all, isn’t that what this thing called life is all about? Returning home to our true selves where we find peace and remember who we are.
Might seem kind of odd but , it is possible for you to use what seems hopeless and stressful to create healing for yourself and your loved one.
My capacity for deep and compassionate understanding, especially in difficult situations, along with years of experience, informs the very helpful services I provide. My services are intended to meet your specific needs.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about what I’ve written and, any questions you might have. You can contact me here.