IS THIS YOU? A snapshot of REAL caregivers joining the KIRC movement

Hello everyone!

I am so proud to say that Keeping It REAL Caregiving Meta Bulletin Newsletter is coming close to celebrating our one-year birthday!

Thank you to all of you who have joined this journey, subscribed, supported the effort, and shared your stories in an effort to help others. I hope you are as proud of our work as I am!

For those of you new to the KIRC family – or – who may not always open each and every newsletter post, a quick refresher of what KIRC is all about.

I’m Julia Yarbough. I spent more than 20 years as a broadcast news journalist covering all kinds of heavy-hitting stories in Pensacola, Louisville, Miami, Los Angeles and Northern California.

In 2000, I began traveling down the often challenging road of family caregiving. I served as the primary point-person for my aging and health-declining mother.

Sadly, I lost Miss Nellie in September 2020. She had just reached the age of 90 when the realities of Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and old-age finally caught up to her. I miss her every day.

Nellie P. Yarbough Riding in Golf Cart – Final out-of-town trip visiting Nevada/2019

During what I call the ‘heavy-duty and hands-on’ years of caring for my mother, who lived with me in her final chapter, I realized we (our society) is just not fully prepared for the realities of an aging population. It is getting better, because we are raising our voices and demanding attention to the issue.

You don’t know what you don’t know

Those of us who are family caregivers quickly recognize we need help!

We learn the healthcare system, social and support services, insurance outlets, doctors’ offices and many senior care facilities, do not always live up to our expectations of offering care and safety to our elders.

Related articles

What is palliative care and how to access this option (podcast)

Letters you need to know and why they could be life savers

Where can you find Keeping It REAL Caregiving?

My goal is to share our successes, our failures, and our lessons learned as a way to help each other.

In just one year, we are close to 5-thousand members strong! So thank YOU for the support.

Faces of care

Who are some of the individuals who make up the KIRC family?

  • We are women, men, and all age ranges.

  • We come from different races and ethnic backgrounds.

  • We live in states from coast to coast.

  • We do not want to feel alone.

  • We want to give the best for our elders.

  • Many times we are emotionally and physically tired and overwhelmed.

Do any of those describe you? Take a look at just some of the personal stories of our members and reasons why they decided to join Keeping It REAL Caregiving.

REAL Caregivers

Photo Courtesy: Canva

I’ve been caring for my mom for nine years and counting. I take care of her full time. My mom had a brain aneurysm/stroke March 1, 2012. Mom has to have around the clock care because she can’t walk and she requires a hospital bed, hoyer lift and wheelchair. Some of my duties are making sure she eats, getting her dressed (she lost usage of her left side but can use her right arm), operate the hoyer lift to get her in and out of bed, run the household, take her to/from the doctors, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping ~ K.S.

I have been my mother’s caregiver since her 2018 stroke. She now has dementia as well and lives in a great, small memory care facility. I visit her several times per week. ~ J.SJ.

I became an instant caregiver last fall when my father had a traumatic brain injury. I want to be able to learn from other caregivers.~ D.M.D.

My niece and I took care of my late mother while she was undergoing cancer treatment. I am now my 79-year old husband’s primary caregiver since having a hemorrhagic stroke in October 2020. ~ L.W.

My 84-year old mother is currently caring for my step father with Parkinson’s, who is also experiencing Lewy Body Dementia. I would like to alleviate some of my mother’s stress and keep both of them safe. ~ T.T.

Resources & Support

Photo Courtesy: Canva

So you see, you are not alone. If you are or have faced any similar situations as the above caregivers, do you have any advice, guidance or lessons you have learned that you can share with our fellow KIRC members?

I would love to hear from you and share your comments and words of encouragement in future articles.

**My piece of advice: Having cared for my mother with Parkinson’s disease I say, don’t simply take a physician’s word regarding various medications. Ask questions. Probe. Why? You must also learn how any neurological meds might interact with other medications your loved one is taking. Our doctor prescribed a medicine known to interact with a patient with irregular heartbeats (my mother). The doctor prescribed it anyways. After further research, we chose NOT to use that medication. It said right on the box that it could cause heart attack or death for patients with irregular heartbeats.

I found the EPOCRATES app quite useful.

To learn more about Parkinson’s disease

The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research

Stanford Medicine – Stanford Parkinson’s Community Outreach

Until next time~

*Cover photo: Courtesy Canva

*Please let me know what you think of our content by leaving a comment below.

✍Do you have a personal story you would like to share that you believe could help others? Submit your information here.

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