FIND OUT EXACTLY HOW YOU ARE DOING AS A DEMENTIA CAREGIVER

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Have you ever wondered how you can effectively track your stress for dementia caregiver?
In the world of caregiving, stress management is crucial but often overlooked.

Enter Team CarePal, a groundbreaking app designed to help caregivers monitor and manage their stress levels effectively. This tool offers caregivers the ability to track their stress in real-time, ensuring they can take action before reaching burnout.

Cindy Sim is the CEO of Team CarePal. An app designed to help caregivers track stress and burnout levels. Cindy shares her personal experiences as a caregiver and the inspiration behind creating Team CarePal. She emphasizes the importance of monitoring caregiver burden levels and how the app can help caregivers identify when they need help.

The app provides features such as caregiver burden assessments, educational resources, and a community platform for peer support.

2:39 The Frustrations of Caregiver Stress Tracking
22:31 Begin with the End in Mind and Speaking Dementia
34:51 Building a Community for Peer Support
38:37 Stress Tracking and Support Strategies
42:13 Connecting with Team CarePal for Caregiver Support

The Power of Track Your Stress

Understanding and tracking caregiver stress is not just about acknowledging its presence. It’s about quantifying and strategizing how to handle it. Team CarePal brings science-backed, evidence-based data right to caregivers' fingertips, allowing for precise monitoring and management of caregiver burden.

This proactive approach helps caregivers recognize warning signs early, potentially averting the dire consequences of unchecked stress.

Real-Time Stress Management

The app doesn’t just track stress; it helps manage it by providing actionable insights and resources. With Team CarePal, caregivers can see which specific aspects of their life are contributing to stress, whether it’s lack of sleep, isolation, or the overwhelming responsibilities of caregiving.

 Understanding these stress "buckets" helps tailor personal care strategies that are effective and sustainable.

Community and Support

One of Team CarePal’s standout features is its ability to foster community. Caregivers can connect with others in similar situations, share experiences, and offer support. This community aspect is vital, as caregiving can often feel like a lonely journey.

By building a network of support, caregivers can share burdens and find relief, knowing they are not alone.

Conclusion

Managing caregiver stress is pivotal not only for the health of the caregiver but also for the quality of care they provide. With tools like Team CarePal, caregivers have a resource that supports them in real-time, backed by a community that understands and shares their challenges.

This app is more than just a utility; it’s a companion in the caregiving journey, helping to ensure caregivers can provide the best care without sacrificing their well-being.

Read More:

Walking By Faith: One Christian Caregivers Dementia Care Journey

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Transcript

Lifelong Friends and Team CarePal Introduction

[0:00] Have you ever met someone in your life that immediately when you meet them, you know you're going to be lifelong friends?
Well, today's guest doesn't know that I'm saying this today.
Her name is Cindy Sim, and she lives in Canada, and she is the CEO and developer of an app that we're going to talk about today called Team CarePal, where we are now having the ability to actually, in our hands, on a phone, be able to track caregiver stress and burden so that we can start to turn this Titanic around before it hits the iceberg in caregivers burning out.
So I'd love you to listen to episode 108, How to Immediately Track Your Stress for Dementia Caregiver Long-Term Health.
Welcome to today's episode.

[1:12] Have you recently found out someone you love has dementia?
Struggling to wrap your head around how to be a Christian caregiver?
Searching for answers by joining countless Facebook groups but find them toxic?
Learning how to cope with dementia feels difficult, but learning a Christian caregiving worldview can be easy.
Hey, brother and sister in Christ, I'm Lizette, occupational therapist, pastor's wife, turned dementia coach, and a daughter of dementia.
In this podcast, you will learn the truth that the The way to make dementia care easy is your faith.
Knowing that a loving God has decreed this hard providence in your life makes all the difference.
Here you will gain skills.
You will be challenged by what God says in his word about caregiving, and you will learn exactly what dementia is and is not.
Find clarity and certainty from God's word so you have perseverance for this journey.
Use science-backed solutions and biblical principles to redeem your time.
Praying this blesses you as we dive into dementia from a Christian perspective.
Let's glorify God despite dementia.

family caregiver tracking the dementia stress

The Frustrations of Caregiver Stress Tracking

[2:39] Well, welcome back to today's episode. We are in for a very special treat today.
I have a good friend by the name of Cindy, who is the CEO of an app that I have started to use with my customers called Team CarePal.
And Team CarePal is very near and dear to my heart because the day I saw and the day I started working with Team CarePal, it was like all of the pieces started to come together for me.
And the reason I say that is because one of the biggest frustrations I've had as a person working with people living with dementia, when I see other people say, well, we're going to decrease your stress.
We're going to decrease caregiver stress.

[3:26] We're going to cut down on burnout. I kept on thinking to myself, well, show me the money.
Show me the money. How How are you going to cut down on caregiver stress and caregiver burden if we don't have a way to keep track of it?
And the day I saw Team CarePal and I realized what Team CarePal has done to take some of this science-backed, evidence-based data and put it into a caregiving app that we can have it in our hands and we can independently now start to track caregiver burden that has the data attached to it to say, hey, Houston, there's a problem.
We've got to do something to fix it now versus, oh, I'm stressed, you know, because quite frankly, I'm stressed.
I'm stressed every day of my life, you know, working as an entrepreneur and managing all sorts of things.
But when you say to somebody, I'm stressed, what does that really mean if we don't have a way to look at it? And.

[4:39] Stress is in different buckets. Not everything is the same type of stress.
And so if we don't know where a person, where their stress is coming from, how can we solve the problem?
So today's episode, we're going to talk to Cindy, and she's going to explain where the concept of Team Carapel came from, how it all works, and tell us a little bit about her story. She has a wonderful accent.
She is from Canada, and I love the Canadian accent.
They enunciate extremely well, which makes it very wonderful to have a conversation when something's being recorded.
So, Cindy, welcome to Dementia Caregiving for Families. please.
I love that so much. When you say I have an accent, that's adorable.

[5:32] You're going to make me cry right away when you talk about that caregiver burden assessment.
We put that in the app because I've been a caregiver.
I was a caregiver multiple times throughout my life, different journeys from my daughter who was premature, navigating her survival.
And, you know, At that point, I was bathing in hospital bathrooms because I just didn't know there was support.
I was going hungry most days. We were so young.
All the way to my mother having her knee replacements and shoulder surgery.
So you have that mobility and medication management and navigating the system.
And with my mother, it was really mental health with her. Her mental health went down.

[6:16] Your patient's mental health really affects caregiving. And so I remember with her sitting between two vehicles in her parking lot, because I didn't want her to see me from the house, and I just cried and I cried.
And then, you know, with my grandparents at the end of life stages, you know, I was there providing care for them at the bedside and managing the family.
And that brings a whole different dynamic to caregiving as well.
And so with all of these, there was so much distress going on.
And, you know, I just felt very lost and that nobody was nobody saw me.
Nobody saw, you know, what I was doing.
And so, yeah, I kept bringing up this app idea with my husband over and over again. And then, you know, when the pandemic hit, you know, caregivers were hit hard.
They weren't able to access, you know, health care, a reasonable time frame.
Home care wasn't coming in. They weren't able to go and see their loved ones in long term care.
You know, it just all of a sudden caregivers were not only caregivers, but they were now teachers, too.
They were, you know, kids were at home and the world was so heavy and so broken.
And, you know, caregivers were pulling all of that, you know, on top of everything they were doing.
And so, you know, my husband came in and he had mentioned it.
And I said, yeah, you know what, enough is enough. I think this has got to stop.

[7:35] Because, you know, I dove into the market and I looked at what was coming.
I saw our health care system struggling. I saw our incredible, amazing elders were hitting that age where our aging population is getting older and older.
And we are prepared for this wave. and so somebody's gotta somebody's gotta look after our beautiful caregivers so yeah I dove in I made team care pal I went out and I learned everything about caregivers one thing about caregivers is that when they don't generally plan it's not like you know you grow up as a little girl and you're like one day my husband's gonna get a stroke you know and I'm gonna plan for that like nobody plans for it it happens over the night it can happen just with a diagnosis and And all of a sudden your world has pivoted and changed very, very quickly.

[8:21] Information is bombards you from all different directions. And, you know, caregivers were completely overwhelmed and being lost in that they had no one place to put it.
They had notes over here, calendars on a fridge, you know, and they were losing things.
And a lot of times, you know, the burden landed on one person, because that one person kind of took the ball, and they just started running with it.
And they don't know how to ask for help. Or, you know, people assume they were okay, or wonderful caregivers say they're okay, even though they're not, I've done it.
We're all failures at it. You know, how are you? Good.
You know, but like, where do you even start? The moment you start, you're going to start crying and fall apart.
So we put all of what caregivers were using into an application so that they could come together. And that was great.
And we loved that, you know, they can bring their friends and family and they could all work together for their patient, but it didn't really get to the core things.
And one of the things was we have to monitor their burnout levels.
This is really important. We have to empower caregivers to really dive into what it is they're doing.
Research shows, you know, five hours of care, you're doing okay.
You could probably manage that just fine.
Once you start to hit that 20 hours of care per week, there is something major that changes.
You know, caregivers' mental health starts to struggle. They're physically getting sick. They're getting sick. They're getting sick. They're getting sick. They're getting sick.

[9:42] We did a health economic model on caregivers and women caregivers.
Women just in general are susceptible to coronary heart disease more than men, just because we're lovely women and all our glory.
But you add the distress of caregiving and the burden of caregiving on top of that, and it actually doubles for women.
So we knew that all of a sudden, caregivers are getting sick, sicker than their loved ones in some instances.
So this was not okay. OK, so we decided to put the caregiver burden inventory assessment.
And that's that's a really big word. Basically, it's just a great little survey that you can take once a week in the app.
But what it does is it walks you through and it asks you all those different things.
Like you talk about these buckets, like these might be those physical buckets.
Like, how are you sleeping?

[10:28] Oh, my goodness. Sleep is so important. Are you pulling away from your friends?
Like now we're into the social.
Are you becoming isolated? insulated, you know, so there's all these kind of buckets around what makes, you know, your mental health or that caregiver burden.
And so we wanted caregivers to really take this and it tracks it in the app on this cute little graph.
So if you're projecting maybe in, you know, a high amount, like, then at least, you know, caregivers know that, oh, this is different, things are changed, now it's time to get help.
And we actually had, you know, a caregiver stand up at a presentation we were doing, she was in the audience.
We didn't even know we had one of our caregivers using our app in the audience.
And she said that she's like, you know, for the first time ever, when I took that assessment, she was like, I was almost brought to tears that somebody cared enough about my well being to make an assessment for me.
And she was like, I just thought that was the coolest thing ever.

[11:25] And so it just validated a lot that caregivers need to be seen and they need to be monitored.
Um you know and then of course there's the whole resource there's an education piece of the puzzle which is massive which is why you know we started connecting caregivers to to people like you lizette and building out that community and building out you a platform so that you can support caregivers and so that's the whole other piece of the puzzle and then very very soon next month we get to launch our cute little ai bot it's just this cute little guy it's going to be in the application that you can you know caregivers can have conversations with and he's going to be trained on the caregiver burden inventory assessment so you know again and he'll be sharing resources and tips and tricks and stuff like that and he'll be like lizette's co-worker if you will a 24-hour co-worker because 24 hours a day i am very excited to announce this next part of our journey together once a month On a Thursday evening, I'm going to do a segment called Ask the Dementia Coach, where you can actually come into a coaching session with me and a.

family caregiver checking the stress tracker

Free Monthly Workshops and Coaching Benefits

[12:39] Music.

[12:55] On your own and may feel like you're at the end of your rope.
And in order to help serve you better, I wanted to open up this opportunity once a month for you to register for a free Ask the Dementia Coach segment.
Like I said, it will be Thursday evenings, once a month, six o'clock Eastern time in the evening.
And the segment is called Ask the Dementia Coach.
So if you're interested in signing up for that, the link will be in the show notes below.
And I look forward to seeing you on one of these special sessions.
So one of the things that I really find very interesting about everything that you just said, Cindy, is, you know, I do these free monthly workshops and my workshops are extremely interactive.
And so I ask people on the workshops questions.
And one of the questions I've recently started asking people is, when you go in to the doctor.

[14:06] As a family caregiver, to the person who you are taking care of, or even your own doctor's appointment, does your doctor ask you, are you stressed?
And a whole bunch of people said, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
And then my follow-up question was, do they actually do an assessment?

[14:29] And every single one said no. So physicians are asking people, are they stressed?
But still, asking somebody are they stressed is like asking somebody are you happy yeah or asking somebody are you sad how can you how can you quantify are you stressed you know you can do or a pain scale right zero to ten pain scale are you in pain um i'll i'll just use this as an example because i'm an occupational therapist by background.
I can't tell you how many patients I have worked with over decades that I'm like, are you in pain?
Yes. From zero to no pain to 10 being the worst pain you've ever had.
Like I'm having a baby, you're cutting off my arm with no anesthesia.
How much pain are you in? And they'll say an eight or a nine, and there's like no facial expression or grimacing or anything to substantiate the fact that you are saying your pain level is a 10 out of a 10.
The same thing with stress, right?
Saying to somebody, are you stressed? And they say, yes.
And you say, okay, zero is no stress, which is a fat lie. Everybody has some amount of stress.

[15:56] To 10 out of 10, I'm ready to burn out.
Where are you? You can't really get an accurate picture of a person's stress.
So in my community, what I started to do when people are onboarding with me is I do have, I'm now having them just fill out a real simple Google form that is the same index before they get into Team CarePal where they can now start to track it.
So I have a baseline of where their stress levels are.
So I can see where each person is functioning and now be able to, over time, repetitively track it.
So I meet with all of my clients at the beginning and I say, hey, this is where you are right now.
And I've even started to color coordinate it related to like a stoplight, like I told you.
And I have several people that are in the red and I'm like, I know that.

[16:56] Of the people that I'm working with, these are the people I've got to help find practical solutions to be able to get respite in the house.
Like the gentleman I worked with this morning, I'm like, you need to consider an adult day program.

[17:13] I know it's not ideal. I know you don't necessarily want to do that, but we need to do something now before you burn out because you are in the red zone.
And then other people that are kind of like in that yellow light zone, I'm talking to them about, okay, you're still okay, but you're getting close.
We've got to watch this. Where are we going to build in the respite?
So now it gives me the information I need to be able to look at where they're answering their questions and say, okay, how do I coach you?
How do I help you understand and not just pull it out of whole thin air and have no basis to actually formulate a, you know, a solution for people.
So to me, it's been the biggest benefit to be able to bring people into this community where they can keep track of it.
I don't need to see their individual stress levels every day.
Yeah I'm a family caregiver I've been tracking mine now since December last year beginning of December last year and I can tell you know I'm still very much early in the caregiving journey.

[18:38] Mine's only like a one two or the highest it's ever been has been a three but then I I see it go up and down and so I can kind of keep track of it and I'll be able to tell when something happens, that things are changing and I need to accommodate.

[18:55] Yeah, yes, absolutely. Yes. Because, you know, caregivers are so quick to set aside their own personal needs for those of their loved one.
And that's such a bad habit. We need to break that habit.
Because when those caregivers hit that burnout level, that's when things, you know, terrible start to happen.
Their loved one risks being institutionalized, which they may not have wanted.
I mean, the caregiver might have wanted their loved one at home with them for longer than that, or, you know, or they're all of a sudden their relationships start really suffering with their significant other, or their kids, you know, or they pull away from friends, like, you know, it just we need to get ahead of that beforehand.
And what you're doing is creating healthy habits and setting some really great things in play for them.
And that's incredible, Lizette. Yeah, I will tell you, it is tremendous benefit for people that they do not even realize.
You know, I've been, we talked about caregivers burning out and you talked about women's cardiac health issues.
And according to the Alzheimer's Association's facts and figures report from last year, 2023, 66% of family caregivers are female.
Yeah. And so of people with dementia.
So 66% of those 66%, 60% are daughters.

[20:17] And of those daughters, most of them are still working 30 plus hours a week.
So when you put all of that information together and you have the whole cardiac history on top of it, all of a sudden it really starts to make sense why caregivers die before the person that they're taking care of.
And I've heard anywhere from, I've heard 63%.

[20:45] Of caregivers passing away before the person that they're taking care of, all the way, you know, for Alzheimer's, 18 to 41%.
There's no good data specifically to it.
How do you track a caregiver dying before the person that they're taking care of?
You know, that's a hard study to do.
But I know for a fact that you know it it makes a lot of sense if so say of the 66 percent a third of them are are spouses right yeah so and then so if you have about a quarter to a third percent spouses they're the same age as the person they're helping and now their stress levels are off the charts.
So yes, it is very possible, very likely that a lot of those family caregivers who are spouses are dying prematurely because of taking care of someone.
And how do you track that? Because the person goes to an institution or they go live with a child.
And so I don't think it's very easy to track how many people we are actually changing their lives because of being a family caregiver and truly understanding.
And what I want people listening to the podcast to understand is it doesn't have to be this way.

[22:12] We do not have to keep, you know, what's the definition of insanity, right?
Repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again. And expecting a different result. Yeah.
Right? So we are expecting a different result, but we're not doing things differently.

Begin with the End in Mind and Speaking Dementia

[22:32] And, you know, one of the things that make me different in how I work with family caregivers, And I had a lady tell me this one day.
She's like, I've never heard anybody say this to me.
I say, begin with the end in mind, right? We know at the end of your caregiving journey, if you're in a dementia caregiving journey, that you will be on the other side of this at some point or another.
Other same thing for a cancer diagnosis same thing for any long-term family caregiving situation, it's going to end at some point we don't like to think about that but it will so when you get to the other side of that what do you want to look like what do you want your life to look like what do you want your relationships to look like what do you want your health to look like, Like, do you want to be the journey, the journey leading up to like, I know, like my, my uncle was just diagnosed with early onset, you know, dementia.
And, you know, I know when looking after my loved ones, I want to just do the best I can for them.
You know, I don't want to do it. Well, I don't want to be stressed and I don't want to stress them out.
Like, yes, you know, nobody planned to, you know, to happen, but like, can we get through it with everyone intact and and still have some sort of quality of life.

[23:59] Absolutely one can. And, you know, and that's been one of my biggest frustrations in the greater healthcare economy.
And I actually recorded another podcast with another gentleman today.
And I was born in the 70s and I like watching TV.
It's, you know, when I'm done with my work, I don't own a television.
But I love to actually watch like on Hulu or Netflix or whatever a television program and what I'm noticing on a lot of television programs recently is they are bringing out dementia they're talking about dementia and Alzheimer's way more but what really like drives me batty is that the very first thing out of the actor's mouth is you know if they're a physician or whatever well well, there's nothing we can do about it.
And I'm like, we are setting people up for failure. It drives me nuts.

[25:02] Maybe we cannot cure dementia right now, but 50 years ago, we couldn't cure cancer.
In the 80s, when I was growing up, if you were diagnosed with HIV, you died. You know, if you got HIV, you developed AIDS and you died.
People get HIV still, but they don't die from AIDS because we now have medications to control and maintain and cure, to a large extent, that process.
But in the 80s, it didn't exist at all, right? Right.

[25:38] Dementia is going to be able to be managed better.
Do I know if it will ever be able to be cured? I don't know.

[25:48] I'll be long gone before we get to that point. I just, I don't foresee it being.
We are working on it. I know doctors who take pictures of the brain and every, you know, just learning more and more and more about it.
Absolutely. And I think we are going to get there.
But in the meantime, if you have just received a diagnosis of dementia and all you ever hear out in the big bad world of the health care and the narrative in the world is, oh, doom and gloom and woe is me, this is terrible. Yeah.
You don't even look for help. Yeah. You just struggle on your own.
And I desperately want that to change for people.
Because without changing people's view about the process, and that you can still have a good quality of life, and the family caregiver can still have a good quality of life.
Yes, we've got to do things differently.
I get that. But we absolutely do not have to, you know, I hate it when they say suffering from dementia.
I hate it. That's probably one of the biggest, like I'm like.

[27:10] Don't don't say that people live with dementia some people don't even call it a disease some people call it a condition you know and I actually prefer condition over disease because it it's not a disease per se you know so I I just really like you got me on my soapbox here can you tell well no but you're absolutely right just like the biggest thing that caregivers you know know, who are loving a person with dementia is education and respite.
And I will say that over and over and over again, they need education because you're right now they have to start doing something different.
So when you know, your husband or grandpa is, you know, you're like, Oh, can you put that in the dishwasher?
And can you come to the bathroom, and then we're going to do this, like they might have been okay with those three steps.

[28:02] But you know, now with dementia, caregivers have to do one, you know, one at a time, you know, but they don't know that.
And so just learning those basic skills is a game changer.
You know, it brings a way of living back into their life and increases that quality of life again.
You know, so it's just a different way of learning how to do things.
And it's totally doable.
And it is doable. And so in the free workshop that I do once a month, sometimes I do it a couple of times a month, one of the analogies I use is that working with and helping somebody living with dementia is learning to speak dementia.

[28:43] And people don't believe, as family caregivers, that they can learn to speak dementia.

[28:50] And what I mean by that is, you know, we're adults, we all can learn new information.
My husband has the Babbel app on his phone. He's learning to speak Spanish.

[29:04] He can learn to speak Spanish. He doesn't speak Spanish.
He's learning to speak Spanish. He has to work at it. He has to put some effort into it to learn to speak Spanish.

[29:16] I speak dementia, not 100% fluently all the time, but for the most part, I can make it look very simple for people.
And they're like how did you do that it's because I've seen thousands of these people over 30 years and I've just figured out how to speak dementia right I know how to look at it I know how to talk to the person I know what to look for and so my challenge to people is to early on start to learn how to actually speak dementia and how to do to do that differently but the reality of the matter is because, and I think you see this a lot, Cindy, because, you know, one of the things that you guys have on your website talks about, if you were doing this, you are a caregiver.
And they're like, there's a list of different things that people do not even realize that they are a family caregiver because I'm just helping my mom.
Did you know that caring for a person with dementia doesn't have to be this hard?
If you are struggling and you would like to join our next free workshop.

[30:33] I invite you to walk away with science-backed dementia caregiving skills that many professionals don't even know after attending this free workshop.

[30:49] If you'd like to register, message me the word.

[30:55] Workshop on Instagram, or check out the link in the show notes below.
Or my dad can't mow the lawn anymore, but the person doesn't see themselves in the role of a caregiver.
And so what I really believe is happening over time, because people don't even identify as a caregiver, that's part of the reason they're burning out because humans have a tremendous capacity of being able to adjust and adjust and adjust and adjust, right?
We change and we adjust, you know, something else happens and you throw the ball on, you know, and you keep adjusting and then one day you're just, you're done and you can't adjust anymore and then you burn out.
And so putting this tool, putting Team Carapel actually in people's hand where they can start to use it.
And what I love about the product is that not only can I have my community, like I can build a community, which one of the things that research has shown is the most effective thing for family caregivers, Givers, specifically of people with dementia, is community, longitudinal support.

[32:20] What is the healthcare, right? It is not a community, and it's one and done.
You go today, you're done, you see the doctor in six months or a year.
It's not longitudinal support, right? Right.
And Team CarePal has built the ability for me to put people in a community in an app and do the education and support them over an extended period of time.
But the second part I like is that each family unit can then also have their own community.

[32:54] Caregiving circle absolutely so for for for someone who is listening to this who is wanting to to you know have a family circle and track their stress team care pal is perfect they don't even have to join my community they can do it for themselves they can they can put all the siblings and mom and uncles and paid caregivers, everybody into one place to communicate related to the person that they're supporting.
But if they wanted another community where they actually get support from other people, they can join.
And I'm not the only community that Team CarePal has.
There are other communities out there. So if somebody doesn't resonate with me, that's fine. I just want them to get help.

[33:51] Somewhere, you know, and you're, oh, I'd love that so much.
And, you know, I'm listening to what you're saying and how we're supposed to break down these barriers and these cultural ideas that, you know, caregivers go at it alone.
You know, we just sort of start and, you know, we make adjustments, make adjustments until we're burnt out.

[34:06] You know but like when when we have babies you know we get all this support oh you have a baby so you have all this stuff right you're hardly sleeping you know let me babysit let me help you i'll bring you a meal you know and then even like during the teenage years if a mom says oh yeah i've got three teenagers everyone just sort of goes oi like how are you doing are you okay like are you you know like is there anything i can help you like and then you there's just like this empathy, like they get it. Right.
But when you, you say, if you were to be like, well, yeah, you know, I'm caring for my aging parents, like, where's that?
Like, where does that, or like, you know, you say that age group, like, it's just not quite there yet, you know, and, and it really ought to be,

Building a Community for Peer Support

[34:48] it really ought to be, we really need to bring that community back into it.
And what you're providing on Team CarePal, building that community for that peer to peer support is is insanely needed for for other caregivers to relate to to talk to everyone's journey is so different and it's like this massive roller coaster of ups and downs and you think you might have it all together one moment and then the next hour you just don't and that's just okay you know and and caregivers need to be a part of a community where they can show up just as they are you know, in that moment, feeling all the feels and it's okay, you know, because Lizette and everyone else, they've got you, you know, and I think it's beautiful what you're doing.
And I'm super excited to support you.

[35:35] And, you know, one of the biggest and most interesting parts of, you know, the process for me was starting with a small group of people that I've, it's a larger group now, but when I started out, it was a very small group of people.
And we worked worked for almost nine months every single week, week in, week out, week in, week out, week in, week out.
And what was super fascinating about maybe five, six weeks ago.

[36:06] One of the ladies wasn't at, and she had been at every single one of the coaching calls.
And she wasn't there. And I, you know, I text people.
I'm highly accessible, which could be a big problem, but I'm highly accessible.
And I'm like, hey, are you okay?
And she's like, I don't have time right now. I'll be back next week. I'll tell you then.
And come to find out her mom had a little blip, you know?
And so she was she was dealing with the mini crisis it wasn't a full-blown crisis but it was a blip you know it was a speed bump it wasn't it wasn't a mountain it was a speed bump but it was enough of the speed bump that that caught her attention and took her out of the the routine and the day-to-day to deal with the with the speed bump and she she's explaining to me what it happened.
And what she said was, I don't know that I could have done this without all of them, without having listened and been in those coaching calls.
Because the entire time I was dealing with the speed bump, I heard you in my head.

[37:15] And I was able to stay calm. I was able to talk my mom off a ledge, not a real one, but off the ledge, calm her down, get her back in the car, and get her settled back at home.
And I didn't freak out because before that I would have freaked out.
Yeah. You know, and so, so the, the thing that I, I really want people listening to take from today's conversation is there are tools.
Yeah. Like Team Carapel that you can track your stress levels.

[37:49] And there are tools like what we are growing and what we're developing in coaching, which is different than healthcare. Healthcare is one and done.
Coaching is ongoing over time.

[38:04] And being able to put these things together has created a platform for people to get education, community, and coaching all in one spot.
And what I love is based on evidence-based practices.
Yes, 100%. Yes. That to me is the biggest, one of the biggest benefits.
And I don't think people realize what a benefit that is.

Stress Tracking and Support Strategies

[38:37] Because it's one thing to, you know, you can, if you start tracking your stress levels and you see, okay, it's going up, my stress levels are going up.
And then going to a family member and saying, look, y'all, you need to help me.
Right? Stuff's happening. The line is going too high. Things are red now.
I can't do this without your help, right?
What I love about the caregiver burden inventory is that it actually does talk about relationships.
Do you feel like you're being supported by, and I don't remember the exact question, I have it somewhere here, by your family, your other family?
Do you resent your family that could help but don't? Things like that.
Pull in to really start to get data as to where, where is the stress line?
Because if we know which one of those five buckets it's in, then we can build in support.
In those buckets. In those buckets. Because not like, yeah, it's not like zero to 10. Where are you stressed? Five. Okay.
What does that mean? What do you do with that? Money? Is it time?
Is it relationship?

[40:04] Is it feeling left out in life? You know, what, what's causing it?
So what a great job you guys have done. So if somebody is interested in getting the app, tell them where they can get it, how they can get it.
If they're just a family unit or a family caregiver that just wants to start on their own, how do they connect with Team Care Pal?
And then we'll put all of that information in the show notes as well.
And then people can reach out to me if they're interested in joining my community and we can certainly, I can talk to them about that.
But if somebody just wants to get into Team CarePal.

[40:48] Yes, they can. We are on the app stores, you know, just go to the app store, whether it's an Apple or Android, whichever Google Play, whichever one you, you know, go there, type in Team CarePal, download the app and get started.
It you sign up and then you start your community and inside that community is where all the magic happens you can invite all your friends and family for free you can find think different dementia you'll find lizette in there and you can actually subscribe to her and she'll get a little ping and uh she can get you to join in her community and then you can bounce back and forth between the two but yeah or not or just hang it in there and get your friends and family in there and really take advantage of that caregiver assessment um tool and really start to monitor your own burnout um there's there's an amazing journal feature in there for you and your family to you know keep track of everything you can even record your clinic visits which is such a big thing um doctors use all kinds of big fancy words and it can get very confusing so go in record it revisit it with your you know your other family members um and make care planning make your advanced care planning in there.
You know, you can schedule appointments in there. You have a cute little social feed.
You guys can send pictures back and forth with the family, but there's so many neat features in there.
Yeah. And Lizette is just literally a click away in there.

Connecting with Team CarePal for Caregiver Support

[42:14] Well, Cindy, thank you so much for being so willing to spend your time with me this afternoon.
As always, it's such a pleasure to have you.
And I cannot wait to continue to see how Team Carapel grows and how many people we can bring into the communities to actually get the help they need.
Because to me, that's what it's about.
Absolutely. 100%. Yeah. And if you're listening and you think somebody could use us, please just share us. You just never know.
Oh, for sure. Absolutely. Well, thank you so much, my Canadian friend.
Thank you, Lisette, for having me. It's always a pleasure spending the afternoon with you.
All right. Take care. Bye. Bye.

[43:00] Thanks for joining me today, Success Seeker. I pour my heart and soul into this program to serve you.
You can serve me by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts and join our free Facebook group, Dementia Caregiving for Families.
It's a positive and proactive space to navigate dementia caregiving together.
Get practical tools and find support, but without the verbal vomit.
Be a part of our community where we seek to find peace of mind and ease, despite the dementia diagnosis.
So join today and see you next time as our flight takes off.

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About the author

“Think Different” Dementia’s owner, Lizette Cloete, OTR/L graduated as an Occupational Therapist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1992. Lizette has almost 30 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings, the latest being in the home health environment. She enjoys teaching on the topic of dementia, most recently presenting at a national conference on the topic “Dementia Made Simple”.

Disclaimer: These blogs, videos and any work done by Lizette Cloete OT, as a Member of Think Different Dementia, LLC, is given only as educational content and consulting work. This does not create an Occupational Therapist-Patient Relationship. The educational content and consulting work performed should not be considered medical treatment as an Occupational Therapist. The consulting work does not take the place of medical work normally performed by a licensed Occupational Therapist. Please consult a licensed Occupational Therapist for medical advice.

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