June Message from Greg Johnson and Sheila Warnock

Dear Friends, Fellow Family Caregivers and Readers,

Does this sound familiar? “Let me know what I can do”…and then you never hear from that person again.

Family caregivers are so overwhelmed with their new “normal” that the last thing they have time to do is figure out what others can do to help — or even how to ask!

Have no fear…the wonderful, passionate and dedicated Sheila Warnock and Share The Care have been providing positive, detailed and repeatedly successful answers to this issue. It is my great joy to introduce to you my friend, colleague and fellow family caregiver.

Onward,
Greg

Caregiving is The Toughest Job in the World

By Sheila Warnock

Caregiving is the toughest job in the world. And for the working caregiver it can be a living nightmare — It’s like being suffocated by an overwhelming, terrifyingly complex job with no relief in sight.

I know. I’ve been there.

Difficulties crop up in the workplace because far too many employees hide the fact they’re shouldering such a responsibility. They fear losing their job. Or they don’t know how to ask for help. Or they just think they have to do it alone. Others may know of their struggles and offer help but rarely does anyone know how to turn those offers into positive action.

Employers have taken all kinds of decisive steps to assist through a variety of programs:  job sharing, telecommuting, compressed work schedules, flex time, leave without pay and much more.

Yet in spite of all this flexibility, working caregivers continue to be overwhelmed because they just don’t have enough support at home.  

Besides their job, they shoulder complex emotional and physical demands in addition to household chores, meals, as well as critical errands and responsibilities that inevitably lead to isolation and depression.

Yet there is a simple, effective and compassionate solution that can provide a true benefit to your caregiver employees — at minimum consequence to you both financially and emotionally.

Just like the team-building models you use to solve critical concerns in your organization, our team-building model is there to solve caregiving issues.

It’s called Share The Care.  

It was born out of the need to help a divorced, working mom with two young teens and a diagnosis of a rare terminal cancer.  For three and a half years, 12 friends supported her and her daughters without ever burning out. Their systems, forms and philosophy of caregiving were documented in a manual that’s sold over 36,000 copies and guided groups into existence in 48 states (and 13 countries).

The model has empowered hundreds of thousands of friends, relatives, neighbors, acquaintances and co-workers with a step-by-step plan to form and maintain their own caregiving team to take on all kinds of complex caregiving challenges.

The team supports not just the person needing care but also their primary caregiver and other family members.  Anywhere from 8 to 80 participants collaborate to share responsibilities and allocate jobs based on schedule, skill and capability.

The immediate result for the caregiver employee is a visible reduction of stress, and improved overall physical and emotional well-being. As one caregiver put it: “I began to breathe again.”

No matter if one is caring for a chronically ill child, an aging parent, a spouse with a debilitating long-term illness or a short-term injury — the experience of sharing the care builds a sense of community both in and out of the office. 

The model teaches participants the value of working together to become stronger, more informed and more experienced for a time when they will inevitably need to take on the role of caregiver for their own family.

Together with everyone in the NYC Partnership for Family Caregiver Corps, Share The Care’s goal is to work with you to reverse the negative equation of caregiving in the workplace, restore productivity and help your caregiver employees and their loved ones experience a better “quality of life.”