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Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate Podcast: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!

Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate Podcast: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!

By Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman
Caregiver stories, tips, and strategies to help other caregivers navigate their journey with duty and honor!
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Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: How Do You Really Feel As A Caregiver
The truth can be liberating. Truth has nothing to do with the love we have for our loved ones. Truth has everything to do with the job that a caregiver must manage. What truth does is acknowledge that one is human and subject to the feelings of burnout and a mental health meltdown. Listen in for more insights.
04:29
May 26, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Flowers to brighten the Caregiving Space
I took two weeks off to take care of my mental health. I wanted to share that I have enjoyed restful moments of doing nothing and sitting on the patio. Listen in for more insights.
01:47
May 23, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Debt & Death?
How many family caregivers are facing debt after a loved one dies? This can be an overwhelming burden stacked on top of grieving the loss. It’s a widespread attitude. Listen in for more insight. Have you ever asked yourself what proactive steps have been taken once becoming a caregiver responsible for the financial elements?
03:07
May 09, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregiving in Generational Households
On the news today, I heard of a family who consolidated their living to take care of each other. What an amazing thing to do. Can you just imagine the support available? Many cultures have maintained this practice for years. I thought about what lessons can we learn from generational household living. Listen in for more insights!
03:20
May 02, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: No Caregiving Experience is the Same, But Consensus Should
Since caring for a loved one in the home is becoming increasingly common, specific ways to organize and give exceptional care is individualized for every caregiving case. No caregiving experiences are the same, but the mission must always be the same. Listen in for more insights!
02:16
April 29, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr Cynthia Speaks: Topic: Caregivers: Flexibility and Safety is Key
Who has felt like a slinky as a caregiver? Be honest? I sure have! Have you heard the old Proverbial saying, if it can go wrong, it will go wrong?  How about… any job worth doing is worth doing well. How about… put 100% effort into everything you do. How about…your mental approach to your job dictates the outcomes you'll receive. How about...leave no stone unturned. What about…better safe than sorry. True words of wisdom, especially in the caregiving space.   Flexibility and safety are a part of life, right?  Listen in for more insights!
03:58
April 26, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate Topic: Elder Orphan by Default!
The term elder orphan is a real term and a real reality for many older adults. Some find themselves within the population because they remained single and childless. What about a population where there are children, grandchildren, or maybe an X-spouse who has not shown themselves responsible or willing to step in when care is needed. Getting older has its own set of stressors, but being alone on the journey has to be very difficult. Listen in for more insights.
04:23
April 14, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate Topic: Why Am I "Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate? Dr. Cynthia Speaks!
A colleague asked me…" Why are you called Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate?... Here is my answer. At 15-years old, I saved the life of my pool manager. I was a lifeguard back in the day. He left the pool office to change a chlorine tank. I found it odd that it took him a while to return. Upon searching for him, I found him semi-conscious and bearly breathing because he had inhaled chlorine gas. My first-aid training came in handy that day. Listen in for more insights.
03:50
April 06, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregiver and Disease Management-Aging in Place
The health and wellness of our most vulnerable population, our elderly loved ones, is the responsibility of family members. Helping them age in place, while tending to their needs is our role in the circle of life. It will be our turn one day to receive care. We all have a part to play… Yes, You Do! Listen in for more insight!
04:05
March 18, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!-Topic: When Eldercare if Hindered in Wartime
As many know, I have a passion for eldercare and seniors living their best lives with caregiver support. I was trying to find a way to share my pain and anguish in the current situation in Ukraine, watching the mass exodus of its people, especially the elders. I recently read that more than two million older people in Ukraine are at great risk as a consequence of the Russia storming the country. The lives of millions of people hang in the balance. Listen in for my personal reflections.
04:29
March 09, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!Topic: Caregivers are Protectors
Caregiver advocacy matters when it comes to providing support to our loved ones as they age. The level of responsibility to ensure their wellbeing must be a top priority. A dear friend is facing the understanding of advocacy up close and personal. We know the desire for autonomy with our older adults will always be paramount until it is no longer feasible. Listen for more insights.
04:02
March 04, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregivers- Laugher & Fun is Necessary
Many loved ones lose the capability to do activities they once loved. As caregivers, we have a unique opportunity to be innovative and help our aging care recipients to enjoy activities they once held dear. Fun and laughter go a long way to bring joy in the caregiving space. Listen for more insights.
03:59
February 23, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Does Your Loved One Have Heart Failure?
I am facing the challenge of managing heart failure in my family, up close and personal. Since it is heart health month and I am a registered nurse with many experiences of caring for cardiology patients, personal experiences make such good conversation. Firsthand experiences are testimonials to help others going through health challenges and illnesses. I wanted to share a few pointers to help others who may have loved ones facing this particular health issue, heart failure. Listen for more insights.
03:58
February 11, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: WHO Looking Out During Cold Weather for The Elderly?
Hypothermia is a genuine concern for our elderly. As a nurse, I have seen first-hand how cold weather can impact our vulnerable populations. I have witnessed amputations due to frostbite. Did you know it can occur inside the home? For our elderly living in older homes, where insulation is not the best, the extreme cold can cause real problems, especially if the cold temperatures are prolonged. Since we know our elderly population are most susceptible, please check on family, friends, and neighbors who may fall into this category. Listen in for more insights
02:38
February 04, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregivers- Communication Must Be Simple With Loved Ones?
It is often taken for granted, as simple as communication seems to be.  We assumed that all understood what came out of the hole in our face.  However, with the elderly population, we have to be concerned about the best way to communicate with our loved ones as we care for them. Slow down when speaking with the elderly. Listen for more insights.
03:42
January 26, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregivers, I Had a Moment?
The feelings aligned with being an informal caregiver do not go away when the loved one passes on. From time to time, the associated factors that were a part of what goes on from day to day can often cause sadness or even depression. Listen in for more insights.
03:06
January 24, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: How Would Our Elders Rate Us on Martin Luther King Day
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy is not so much about the man but more about the mission. How would our elders rate us? The racial justice of my mother's time, the 1930 and 1940, have shown slight growth. Our role in the 20th Century... Remember! Celebrate! Act! Listen in for more insights.
02:22
January 18, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr.Cynthia Speaks-Topic: The Definition of Insanity-A New Year With Same Challenges
What did we learn in 2021? Have you heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result? We made it! Welcome to 2022. If you are like me, most don't mind kissing 2021 goodbye. Grateful that God has granted us the presence of another year. We have been through a lot, and for many caregivers, the New Year brought the same challenges that require us to navigate the role. Listen in for more insights.
03:34
January 06, 2022
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks Topic: Caregivers, We Are Embarking on a New Year
Caregivers, I salute you! I appreciate you! I value you! I respect you! I know your struggles. I know your pain! I know your challenges, and guess what? They will continue in 2022. Take heart; we have each other. Listen in for more insight.
02:55
December 31, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Twas the night before Christmas in Caregiverland
Caregivers continue to work despite the holiday season in Caregiverland. Caregivers may smile, but the reality is that the work continues, even during the holidays. The bathing, dressing, feedings, turnings, paying attention to the health conditions, maintenance of medical equipment, ensuring medications are given, washing clothes, drying clothes, changing linen, handling business affairs for your loved ones, and doing it all over again, with little rest and limited sleep. Listen in for more insights.
03:45
December 24, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks Topic: Nutritional Health in our Elderly
You may or may not know my dissertation centered on nutritional health in the baby-boomer populations. The population has retired or is close to retirement. This population also has adult children and grandchildren. The eating habits of the family typically are cultural and generational. Once we begin to watch over our elderly, we have to think about preparing meals for those in our family who become unable to prepare their meals. Caregivers become responsible for the nutritional health of their loved ones. Listen in for more insights.
03:50
December 11, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks Topic: Your Role in Facilitating Parents to Age in Place
On yesterday, I had an outstanding interview with Pastor Michele Irby Johnson, as we discussed helping our aging parents age in place. I was so proud to hear that she and her husband took the blinders off and relocated to be close to her aging mother. It really warmed my heart. Listen in for more insight.
04:41
December 07, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregivers, Prepare for Cold Weather with Older Adults
Being a caregiver to an aging loved one can be a genuine challenge overall. However, with cold weather on its way, I felt compelled to share my insights as a professional nurse and healthcare practitioner. Lay-caregivers do an excellent job caring for loved ones; however, sometimes, they may not know all the ins and outs of what to pay attention to with the elderly. Listen in for more insights.
03:36
December 02, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: The Determination Of A Caregiver!
Being a caregiver for a loved one is a commitment like non-other. You give up the life you once knew and take on life with uncertainties. You may ask what matters most to a caregiver. I will tell you that it is a true desire to make a difference in someone’s life, with compassionate care and support. Listen in for more insight!
03:40
November 19, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregivers- Travel with Elderly Loved Ones during Holiday Seasons?
Eldercare is a rising concern, especially in the home where caregiving is necessary for our loved ones. As society ages, diligence is crucial, especially if there are travel plans for seniors. Many seniors use adaptive aids, require oxygen, are on dialysis, need daily wound care and daily tube feeds. With these kinds of demands, proactive steps are essential before traveling anywhere with loved ones. Caregiving in the home is tough, but adding travel can be challenging, and pre-planning must occur. Listen in for more insight.
03:41
November 16, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: What Type Of Caregiver Are You? That Is The Question
While caring for my mother, I would ask myself, what kind of caregiver am I. The question would often fall on my deaf ears because of my professional background. I had a working knowledge of the ins and outs of the "laying on of the hands"- taking care of humankind. Most of my movements centered on my training as a nurse. What type of caregiver are you? Listen in for more insight.
03:17
November 10, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topics: Caregivers: Open the Blinds to Improve Quality of Life
Many senior citizens feel trapped in their own homes. The inability to move about and get out as they once used to can cause depression and sadness. Open up the blinds, pull back the curtains, and let our loved ones take in all the natural light they can handle.  Listen for more insight.
03:01
November 08, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Celebrating my 100th Blog Post
CAREGIVER...We are in it together! All About the Love of Caregiving! Celebrating 100 blog posts that share many of my experiences of being a caregiver for 20-years. Listen in and enjoy!
03:37
October 29, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: All Eyes on Deck with Bedridden Loved Ones
Caregiver for bedridden loved ones can be challenging. Get help from health care professionals and physical therapy. Listen in for more insight.
03:54
October 27, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregivers’ Compensation Requires a Living Wage
We are approaching National Caregiver Month. November has been set aside to celebrate caregivers, here, there, and everywhere. There are over 53 million Americans who are unpaid caregivers to family, friends, and neighbors. I was on the unpaid caregiver side. While on the other side, I have a real passion for paid caregivers because their contributions are undervalued as it relates to wages, in my opinion. The purpose of celebrating caregivers is to provide responsiveness of caregiver concerns, educate caregivers(formal and Informal) about self-discovery, and magnify support that will decrease stress and burnout in the caregiver roles. Listen in for more insight.
04:03
October 25, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Hesitancy for COVID-19 Vaccines Caring For a Loved-One
Selfish acts as a Caregiver in COVID times is heartbreaking. Losing a care recipients due to a decision not to get vaccinated can be an overwhelming reality. Listen in for more insight.
04:11
October 19, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: From Nurse to Caregiver to Educator, Speaks From the Heart
We must protect healthcare professionals. My nursing profession began in 1985. Now, I am a nurse educator. I am so proud to be a professional nurse. It is my sacred profession! Passing the state- boards on the first try aided me to realize that I took my studies and training seriously. I vowed to use my knowledge and skills to be a rainbow in the lives of patients and families facing health challenges.  Listen in for more insight.
05:25
October 15, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Family Caregivers, Get Your House In Order!
Get your house in order. Consider this, what if your parents can no longer live by themselves? They sell their possessions and come to live with a son or daughter. Consider this,  the son or daughter passes away, and you know nothing about the house you now call home or its financial responsibilities. Consider this, a natural disaster hits, and significant damage has occurred. Listen in for more insight.
03:46
October 11, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks-Topic: Caregivers, Don't Let Someone Else’s Experience Be Your Outcome.
All caregiver journeys aren't created equal. What do I mean by this statement? In caring for older adults, it is essential to pay attention to signs and symptoms of chronic health conditions and situational outcomes shared by other caregivers. Listen in for more insight.
03:57
October 08, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregivers, Eldercare Includes COVID-19 Boosters
On yesterday,  Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate received her booster vaccination. I'm a Phizer girl! Whatever I can do to keep my family and others safe, I am in the front of every line. Seniors need protection as well. Listen in for more insight on Boosters.
04:03
October 05, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks: Topic: Coping with Caregiving Responsibilities
Learning to cope in the caregiving space is vital, while caregiving for yourself. When we hear or read the word,' coping,' related to caregiving, does one's mind go to the terms of stress and burnout? Why is that? Is it because of the lack of preparation? Is it because of the lack of knowledge? Listen for more insight!
04:10
September 27, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregivers, How are you Making Seniors Smile?
Senior needs smiles. I know you have heard that smiling can be contagious. Smiles can make someone's day. Smiling can brighten someone's pain. Smiling can change someone's perspective on a situation. We should want to put a smile on someone's face. Listen in for more insight
03:56
September 24, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregivers, Do You Burn the Candle at Both Ends?
Who can relate? Who wants to relate? Burning a candle at both ends is an accident waiting to happen. The idiom implies, “To exhaust one’s energies or resources.” Without acknowledging overtiredness in the caregiving space, it can lead to errors, mistakes, injury, and death of a loved one.  So, shining a light on this topic is critical. Listen in for more insight.
04:27
September 20, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topics: Caregivers - Are You Unofficial or Official
Caregiver, you must be engaged with your loved ones who are elderly. The topic today comes from a conversation I had with a dear friend.  The goal of caregiving is to help loved ones reach their final goal. For many years, the space she called home was no more. She continued to age gracefully while living alone; however, health challenges created the raw reality that living on her own was no longer safe. Listen for more insights.
04:56
September 16, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregiving And Weather
What advice is essential to have as it relates to weather and caregiving? Going out should be mindfully and well-thought consideration. Where there is a history of known problems related to long-term raining, staying indoors is the only option. We careful in bad weather. Listen for more insight.
04:14
September 13, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Pets in the Caregiving Space.
Pets are powerful companions in the caregiving space. Listen in for mre insight!
05:48
September 09, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topics: What Caregiver Activities Have You Adopted for Your Loved One?
Activities that engage our seniors and loved ones in the caregiving space are pivotal to their health and well-being. What activities do you do with your senior or loved one? Listen in for more insight!
04:08
September 03, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: When is Hospice Appropriate?
The subject of hospice is an uncomfortable one. Why? Because losing a loved one, up close and personal is hard.  None of us have crystal balls giving us the inside scoop of life expectancy or how a life-limiting condition will complete our earthly exit. Why have a hospice conversation? Listen in for more insight.
03:38
August 30, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregivers: What Is in it for me? Have you ever asked that question?
Caregivers, be honest…have you ever asked the question… why me or what's in it for me? Giving up your time, resources, independence, and sleep is a lot of giving up. Wouldn't you say? It is a valid question. We are humans of autonomy. We go about our day managing our personal and professional world, working to make our millions, having fun, going, and coming as we please…then BAM…our loved one becomes ill or has aged to where immediate care is necessary. What Is in it for me? Have you ever asked that question? Listen in for more insight.
03:24
August 24, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Caregiver: Abuse, Physical, Verbal, Emotional...Suicide!
Murder-suicide! Yes, it happens! We do not want to think about it or talk about it, but it happens. It can occur in a person's home, a nursing or group home, an assisted living center, and even the hospital.   When the pressure of caregiving leads to the end of the road, we have not done our job as caregiver advocates. The stress of taking care of someone while watching them decline can be unbearable.  Listen for more insight.
04:09
August 20, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Caregivers Whom Multi-Task Need Support.
Caregivers multitask every day, all day. But if they work outside of the home, the caregiving worries heighten. How to support working caregivers is the focus of this podcast. Listen in to hear more.
04:47
August 18, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Take the Blinders Off-Your Parents Are Aging!
Take the blinders off! Aging is a part of life! We all can agree that if we keep saying good morning and good night, we will age. It’s called the circle of life. Along the way, our bodies break down and slow down, sometimes simultaneously. It is tough to watch our loved ones get older before our eyes. New Flash… It’s coming! Listen in for more insight.
04:14
August 16, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Paying Attention Too Late Can Be Costly!
Hindsight 20/20 is a concept caregivers need to avoid. As we care for our loved ones, giving our authentic self with confidence is required. Have you heard the saying “Hindsight is 20/20? The use of the term is associated with decisions and choices (or the lack of) that seemed obvious after looking back and revisiting an unsettling outcome.  It is the voice in our head that shares how we could have predetermined a situation or consequence. The more you pay attention as a caregiver, the more you will heighten your awareness and revamp your daily movements necessary to continue to accomplish your obligations. Paying attention requires an intentional action of self-awareness, but realize, one second or one minute can change everything.
04:28
August 09, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!
CAREGIVING: Sons, Brothers, Uncles, and Husbands. They can provide loving care authenticity! Listen in for more insights.
03:30
August 06, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks-How do you know when it is time to ask for help.
 We will never think someone else can take better care of our loved one. Did you know, asking for help is self-care? Listen in for more insight.
04:13
August 05, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! When the Caregiver, Caregiving Develops Health Challenges!
As Caregivers...We must take care of ourselves. We must be mindful of the consequences aligned with the lack of maintaining personal health. Listen in for more insight.
04:06
August 02, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advovate: Topic: Caregivers Just Scream!
Caregivers, recharging our battery is essential and screaming may help. Listen in!
03:17
July 29, 2021
Caregiving and Music Therapy: Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!
Is it true, that music can calm a raging sea? It is true, that music can change one's perspective?  I found that music in the caregiving space made challenging days brighter. Listen in for more insights.
02:46
July 26, 2021
Caregiving with Difficult Diagnoses-Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate
Accepting a difficult diagnosis of a loved one can be an overwhelming feeling. No one expects our loved ones to end up with a chronic illness, let alone a terminal condition. There is no right or wrong answer to managing in this environment. Listen in for more insights.
02:48
July 23, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! You are a Surrogate Decisionmaker.
Making decisions for others as a caregiver can be a challenge. Often because we lack information and knowledge that align with our loved ones. What do you wish you would have known before becoming a caregiver? Listen in for more insight.
03:22
July 09, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Senior Care in Hot Weather
Summertime and the living is easy…Maybe? For the elderly, this season could create serious health problems. During the summer, older adults are at an increased risk due to high temperatures and humidity. Seasonal heatwaves are dangerous and deadly, so it is critical we are mindful as caregivers and those with elders under their care to pay attention. Listen in for helpful nuggets.
02:52
June 18, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks: Parenting your Parents
Parenting your parents is a real reality.  Once an adult, twice a child is a true statement. The Circle of life shows us, if we get older, we will need support. The sandwich generation is in line to consider this thought. Listen in to learn more.
03:30
May 24, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Attention to Aging Skin is Important!
Paying attention to the skin of our aging loved-one and care recipients is critical. Our skin is the largest organ of the body, and we should take care of it. Our aging loved ones may not be able to check all the important parts of the skin if physical and health issues are present. Listen in for more insight.
03:03
May 19, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Self-care as a Caregiver; Caregiving
What! You mean a caregiver needs to take care of self? Say it ain’t so!LOL! As caregivers,  men and women, we become lost in our duties with little thought about self. I remember a time during my caregiving space; I wore the same tee-shirt for five days straight, with a spit bath somewhere in between. Yes, I said it. Yes, I admit it, and no; I am not ashamed. All too often, caregivers ignore themselves for the duty of others. Listen in for more insights.
03:26
May 17, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Is Home Medical Equipment’s Knowledge Created Equal?
Question…Is home medical equipment knowledge created equal? As our loved ones and care recipients get older and experience health challenges, medical equipment in the home may be required. Using medical equipment (also called durable medical equipment-DME) required education, instruction, and return demonstration. Listen in for more insight.
03:39
May 14, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Caregivers & Caregiving-Music Therapy Works Both Ways
For some reason, I woke up thinking about the many hymns my mother enjoyed. One, in particular, was the Church In The Wildwood(The Little Brown Church-(1932), which is very old, but mommy would hum it occasionally. One stanza that stood out was…No spot is so dear to my childhood… As the little brown church in the dell. Her childhood was full of music! My mommy was born to a missionary mother, and her father was a Methodist (CME) minister. Music was a huge part of her upbringing. My mother knew what it did for the body, mind, soul, and spirit. Listen In for more insight!
02:46
April 30, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: When the Elderly Drop Their Medications
As populations age, an array of medications become a part of the daily routine. Polypharmacy means 'many medications. Adherence to a medication regime is necessary for a variety of reasons. But when older people do not take medication prescribed to them, problems can arise for both their long-term and short-term health.  Listen in for more insight!
03:00
April 28, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregiving in Minority Populations
Did you know that April is Minority Health Month?  Annually, this month is set aside for discussions on an array of health topics, needs, and concerns, hoping to shine lights on the many disparities that still exist in the 21st Century. In the caregiving world, caregiver awareness lags other populations, mainly because of a knowledge deficit on available services and resources in the minority communities.   Listen in for more insight!
03:27
April 26, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Nutritional Health Is for You!
Thank you for journeying with me during the month of March. I appreciate you taking the time to hang out with me and learn about the importance of eating to stay healthy and feeding your loved-ones in healthy ways. Listen in for some closing thoughts on nutritional health.
01:35
March 31, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Nutritional Health Is for The Caregiver and The Care Recipient
Well, we did it! Remember, I committed the month of March (my birthday month) to share proactive tips to better care for our care recipients. The month of March has come to an end. The last blog on nutritional health will consider both, the caregiver, and the care recipient. Let us end the month by sharing insights on the fact that nutritional health goes both ways. The caregiver needs to eat healthily and provide healthy meals for our elderly parents or relatives. Listen in for more insight!
02:07
March 29, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Do Men Do Better with Nutritional Health as Caregivers?
Don’t you ever count out the men in our society who cares for their loved-ones? Yes, I know; people think it is a female-oriented role. Tis true! That is accurate information, documented in an array of research journals. Men are navigating the role of caregiving from all aspects. I am not sure why as a society, we compare each other.  Caregiving does not have a gender. Male caregivers have the same goals and desires as female caregivers; to provide care and proper diet and nutrition to their elderly loved-ones. Listen in for more insight!
02:40
March 24, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Nutrition, Teeth and Dentures
Caregivers, have you check on your loved one's mouth often, if not daily. Did you know bad teeth and poorly fitted dentures and painful gums can affect nutrition? Did you also know there are foods that are problematic with dentures and bad teeth? Maintaining a usual diet could have challenges to enjoying favorite foods. This does not suggest you have to forgo the array of foods you may like. We know what happens when someone tells us" NO." We want it even more, RIGHT? What to eat with a less than perfect set of choppers may surprise you. Listen in for more insight!
02:45
March 22, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Nutrition and Medicine in The Elderly
As I continue to honor my word of sharing nutritional health tips in March, let’s think about the foods seniors love to eat and the medicines they take daily. Some medications can affect appetite or the capacity to take in nutrients because of medications. Foods can augment, delay, or lessen drug absorption. Listen in for more insight.
02:15
March 20, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Should Nutritional Supplements be Given to the Elderly?
We all have heard, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. What about those expensive nutritional supplements that are plentiful and questionable? We all want to achieve good nutritional health, and many will tell you supplements are the way, the truth, and the light. Listen in for more insight.
01:57
March 17, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: What Foods Should Senior Avoid Eating
Healthy eating for seniors can help with illness and disease and better management of chronic health problems. To help older adults accomplish health benefits that align with proper eating, certain food groups should be avoided. Listen for more insight.
01:41
March 14, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Nutrition and Sibling’s Caregiving Contributions
Disagreement among siblings rarely happens with wanting good nutritious meals for parents. We would all suffer if nutrition were not provided to our care recipients.  A significant part of being a caregiver is providing meals and snacks. How do you deal with siblings looking for their place in caring for an elderly parent? Listen in for more insight.
02:34
March 10, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Nutrition, Swallowing Concerns with Elders
Seniors can have trouble eating such meals. They can choke and suffocate from foods caught in the throat. There are also health challenges that can create swallowing problems. There is a word for swallowing problems. It is dysphagia. Listen in for more insight.
03:09
March 08, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Nutritional and Bone Health in Seniors
Bone health is an important conversation to have as it relates to seniors and falls. The kinds of shoes worn are also very important. The kinds of food to provide is important.  Listen in for more insight.
03:49
March 05, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks Topic: Nutritional Health and Heart Failure (HF)
One of the most challenging consequences of having a chronic disease is the adjustments many must make associated with nutrition. For our elderly population, with often additional health challenges, repeated insults on the compromised heart muscle only lessen its ability to perform, and a poor prognosis is often the sad outcome.  Is it possible to slow down repeated exacerbations with nutritional strategies that decrease heart failure symptomatology?  Listen in for more insight.
03:10
March 03, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Nutritional Health to Fuel Our Comeback from the Pandemic
I have dedicated it to nutritional health, my dissertation topic. No doubt, the pandemic has been brutal of us earthlings. We all know of families this horrible plague in our homeland has affected. For me, it has been heart-wrenching seeing how vulnerable we are with the most fundamental realities of life, food. We know one of our basic needs is food. Unfortunately, healthy foods are pricier than the go-and grab items, often high in fat, sugar, and calories, hampering the nutritional health narrative. May I ask that you consider small but deliberate steps toward healthy health practices? Listen in for more insights.
03:35
March 01, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Caregiver Firmness Without Apology
Anyone who has taken care of someone who was once independent, and now the aging process has presented memory decline, physical slowness, or suffering from a debilitating condition, will understand and appreciate this discussion. Being motivated after a health challenge can be a real issue, but as a caregiver knowing the abilities of the one you care for should continue even when they do not want to participate. What does a caregiver do?  Listen in to hear more.
03:02
February 26, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! When the Caregiver Needs Care
Being a caregiver is giving care to another. In Texas, during the winter storm and freezing weather, the loss of power in many homes made my home "Hickman Hotel." With family everywhere and glad we all were safe, the gathering of the family made me sad. I was missing my mommy. Listen in for the real and raw reality of being vulnerable in thought.
03:03
February 20, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Seniors Care in Cold Temperatures
Cold weather and harsh conditions are hard for anyone to handle, but they can be dangerous and deadly for our older adults. Safety First! Safety Second! A proactive step is to make such movements ahead of time. Listen in for more insight.
02:17
February 15, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Seniors Living Alone and Safety
How many seniors in your family or neighborhood live alone and use adaptive aids? My mother lived alone until we changed the narrative. In the United States, millions of older adults live independently with the help of walking aids. While you work on a transition plan, there are a few things you can do. Being proactive is essential with seniors living alone. Listen in for more insight.
02:20
February 10, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Your Parents are Aging: What's The Plan?
I am the first to acknowledge how difficult it was seeing my mother age. Watching the changes in the day-to-day activities, let alone suggesting she needed help, was an interesting time. She initially was resistant but later took much joy in all the pampering she received. She was so grateful for all the care, inside the family and outside the family circle. Have you thought about who is in your care village? Listen in for more insight!
02:09
February 05, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregivers-, Ears, Earwax and Eldercare
The diminished hearing of someone could result from earwax buildup. Do not go straight for the hearing aids. When earwax is unable to perform its duty due to buildup, or earwax blockage (hardened ear wax) that covers the opening in the ears, this can cause hearing loss.  Listen in for more insightful information!
02:58
February 02, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: COVID-19 & Vaccinations in Seniors
COVID-19! Yes, I went there! What one believes in, one shares!  I want our precious elders to live as long as God allows. I know it is scary with the massive amounts of information and might I add, misinformation that has us all in a tizzy. Listen in for more wonderful and insightful information. Let's take care of our seniors.
02:54
January 29, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Caregivers, Multi-Tasking and Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)
Caregivers, Multi-Tasking and Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)  Caregivers are jugging an array of activities and duties. They cover the gamut of areas, like work, schools, children, and home obligations while caring for a loved one. Lord knows; I did it for many years. Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) provides employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave. Please take advantage of your right to use FMLA if needed. You should not have to choose between holding a job and the care of someone you love!  Visit the website: U.S. Department of Labor for more information.
02:28
January 25, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Elder Orphans!
I was listening to a podcast yesterday and heard the term ‘Elder Orphans.’ Have you heard the term before? I had not, but it aroused my interest as a life-long learner. So, what are Elder Orphans? Listen in! If you consider yourself an “Elder Orphan” now is the time, today is the day to begin putting a plan in place.
03:33
January 22, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks Happy Inauguration Day!
Caregivers and Caregiving on My Mind - this Inauguration Day!  What 'say' we to the New Administration on caregivers' needs and the art of caregiving. I will continue to ask for visual outcomes and continual conversations.  We have made progress, most noticed with AARP's presence for senior information and support. There are also a host of caregiving platforms; all aligned with the same mission; to seek help for our aging population and their families. As the population ages, it is essential to understand the obligation of caregivers and the care recipients. Whatever we can do to help with the variety of tasks caregivers do or care recipients need, our elected leaders can contribute by using their pens and paper to help lessen the societal impact from the lack of preparations and resources to those of us that embrace the world of caregiving. Remember, "we have not because we ask not." If you ask and if I ask, what a bright world caregiving will be. Can I count on your voice?
02:56
January 21, 2021
Caregivers: Here is a Quote Martin Luther King, Jr., Left Us to Ponder:
Happy Luther King, Jr. Day! Caregivers: Here is a Quote Martin Luther King, Jr., Left Us to Ponder: Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t’ have to make your subject and verb agree to serve ... You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.” Martin Luther King, Jr. As caregivers, the role often gets crowded by the many tasks associated. Indeed, it is the role of service. At times, it does feel like you are a servant to the numerous tasks that are essential. I ask you…is there anything wrong with being a servant?  Be an agent of change; make a difference generated by love, be a servant!
02:36
January 18, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Do Not Overlook Vision Health...Dr. Cynthia Speaks
As we age, our vision ages with us. Make no mistake about it! We know our vision is a huge part of our movements. Frankly, our vision owns us and if you do not believe me, ask someone who has diminished vision or has lost their vision entirely. Vision health is important! Make regular vision examinations a part of your caregiving role. Vision health is just as important as other health needs.
02:19
January 15, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Caregivers: Consideration for Elderly Skin Care
As we get older, so does our skin. The skin, also called the epidermis, is the outermost layer of the body. We think in detail about our skin when we are young and self-sufficient. However, as a caregiver and responsible for others' care, we must think about detailed skin care practices in the elderly. As a caregiver, your role is to pay attention to the skin of your loved one. Start at the head and finish under the bottom of the feet. No matter your situation, skincare is a part of the caregiving journey.  Pay Attention.
03:25
January 12, 2021
Make Caregivers and Caregiving Count! (MCaCC)...Dr. Cynthia Speaks
It has taken me a few days to collect myself. For sure, being silent was NOT an option! As with many of you, the 6th of January 2021 will forever be in our minds and memory. While more critical issues are facing us, we witnessed an event that left me, saying, “God heal our land.” What else can one say? I am your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, and my platform is to a voice and resource for the caregiving community — those who may tackle the role of caregiver and needing guidance in the caregiving space.
02:51
January 08, 2021
Caregiving with Words of Gratitude
The word CAREGIVING is recognized as an action role, meaning that helping someone (elderly, children, ill persons) is the primary function. The individual(s), often a part of a family’s network assists with helping loved ones navigate their personal world. What words can we put in our spirit to embrace serving others? Listen to hear more.
02:30
January 06, 2021
Caregivers and Dental Health: A Mission to Become Proactive
One of the essential tasks in the world of proactive caregiving is health awareness. Have you taken dental health seriously? Before a problem or situation arises, open and say Ahh.  That’s right look around the food reservoir cavity. Dentist health is as important as physical health.  So, as we look at ways to be proactive, let your mission consider dental health.
02:18
January 05, 2021
Caregivers: No Never Alone!
Caregivers: Let the Year 2021 be the year of asking for help! Many feel, including me, that being a caregiver is a lonely role. It does feel like it sometimes, but the reality is, we are never alone.  Let the year 2021 be the year of asking for help. Happy New Year!
01:37
January 01, 2021
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks
Caregiving: The Last Wednesday of 2020 When one takes an oath not to harm, the commitment is based on the care of others. There is no algorithm to care for others, no secret sauce, or unique concoction necessary to care for someone. It starts with a yearning to help and a heart to serve. It begins with the spirit that considers putting yourself in the place of someone needing care. Reach out to someone you care about. Do it now. Do it today. 
02:19
December 30, 2020
Caring During Christmas Time: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!
How did we do caring for each other during  Christmas time? Did we stay away or did we travel and put our loved ones in jeopardy? Time will tell if our actions were worth it. Until next time, be safe, be well, bye for now.
02:26
December 28, 2020
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Caregiver and Chronic Disease Monitoring and Management
Chronic health conditions can make everyday responsibilities challenging for older adults. Chronic health conditions are defined as ongoing and lifelong. Many chronic diseases generally offer a prewarning. Pre-warnings that are often ignored by the hearer. Managing chronic health conditions is lifelong, in most cases, controlled by an array of treatment options and guidance. Caregivers need to know about health needs of their loved ones.
03:06
December 23, 2020
Being a Caregiver...Being a Care Recipient During The Holidays
The holiday season can be a distressing time for seniors, especially those living alone and in nursing facilities. As caregivers, we need self-joy first and then we can share the joy with our loved ones. This episode offers ways to bring joy and infuse laughter.
02:23
December 21, 2020
Caregiving and Finances: Preparation Prevents Challenges
Have you ever considered how costly the caregiving role can be? The financial portion of caregiving is assumed by those not directly involved in the role's day-to-day duties.  Money matters, plus, it is needed to provide supplies, services, and equipment that a loved one may need. Money helps in making choices, and if not discussed, it can create friction between family members.
03:12
December 17, 2020
Men Caregivers: We Salute You!
Male caregivers are capable of caring for a loved one. They must be recognized and have the necessary resources and support, so they too can effectively navigate the role.
03:16
December 14, 2020
Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate Podcast: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!
Introduction to my 1st Podcast Entitled: Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate Podcast: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Caregiving is something we all will face at some point in time. We will be a caregiver. We will need a caregiver, or a caregiver will need us.  My 20-year journey of caring for my mother and my professional background as a nurse has given me a passion to help others navigate the world of caregiving. I hope you will join in to hear how to become restored, renewed, and refreshed should you find yourself caring for someone you love. The challenges are real, but the rewards have no words.  In by book: From the Lens Of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor shares why this topic is essential and necessary to share. Until we meet again....Dr. Cynthia Speaks!
01:11
December 12, 2020