Tag Archives: Caregivers

Caregivers, BE the change!

Written by  Amy Dier – Director of Education & Training | Indrani’s Light Foundation

BE the changeIndrani recently wrote a blog about the phrase that many of us use too often ….. “Same ol’ same ol’, nothing ever changes!” When I was in law enforcement for 20 years, this was a very common statement I heard over and over again. I worked with many government agency employees, and many were my friends. They, too, used this phrase to describe their discord, and lack of enthusiasm around their jobs.

Now that I’m the Director of Education and Training for Indrani’s Light Foundation, I have been given an opportunity to lead our Caregiver Project, where we reach out and train the staff, volunteers, and administrators of women’s shelters and organizations.  These are the “Caregivers” who work with the women and children who are in need of shelter, counseling, medical and psychological help.  Many of these caregivers are burning out, and quitting their jobs at the shelters because of the every day stress of working in this kind of environment.  Not only is it emotionally hard to work with the women and children, it can also be stressful to work at a shelter with internal personnel issues, which is commonplace.

When I reach out to the shelter caregivers and ask them their biggest source of stress, they tell me when changes are made to improve their work environment, it only lasts for a little while, and then everything goes back to the “same ol’ same ol’.”  There are feelings of abandonment, or lack of trust.  There are shelter administrators who are under an incredible amount of stress to keep their shelter open based on funding, and not be able to pay their staff what they really deserve.

So Indrani wants our training and follow up calls to the caregivers to include a way to challenge the staff to change the language of “same ol’ same ol’.

So here is what Indrani wants the caregivers to do:

“If you are in a work environment and you feel and think that nothing ever changes, I challenge you to live with your values and have the courage to be the one to change in any given situation.  The next time you hear someone say, “Same ol’ same ol’, do the opposite of roll your eyes. Be curious and say, “What do you mean?” Try to engage the negative person to see if you can change the energy in the situation.  Do not succumb to the negative, step away when you feel like you are losing your own positivity.  You take control of YOU, and take YOU out of the negative equation.  Give it s try and see if same old same old can become same situation different me!”  Click here to read the full blog

If you are a caregiver, or a leader of caregivers, or work in an environment where it seems as though nothing ever changes, we challenge you to be brave, step up your game, and take control of YOU!  Step away from the negative and BE the change.

If this blog resonates with you, please comment below.  We’d love to know if this has encouraged you to make a difference at your workplace, and BE the change.  If you’d like to know more about our Caregiver Project, click HERE.

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What is the Caregiver Project?

Some of you are wondering what our Caregiver Project is all about.  Well, let’s start by defining the word, “Caregiver.”  There are a few variations of the definition, but this is the one that best fits our mission:

“Relatives, friends, or professionals who provide a wide range of paid, or unpaid care to dependent relatives, friends and/or people needing physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual support. Caregiving is the action of providing care to these individuals.”

Caregiving can include:

  • Emotional and social support (e.g. visiting, transportation, talking about emotions)
  • Finding and accessing services (e.g. housing, medical supports)
  • Behavioral support (e.g. communicating effectively, managing challenging behaviors)
  • Financial help (e.g. financial support, managing finances)
  • Practical assistance with basic activities of daily living (e.g. housekeeping, shopping, meal preparation)
  • Personal care (e.g. help with monitoring medication, bathing)
  • Physical help (e.g. assistance with movement, supervision, direct medical care)

Overarching all of these activities, caregiving is the assumption of responsibility for providing care, along with the concern, worry and emotional involvement this entails.

Why is ILF involved with the Caregivers at women’s shelters?

Early last year, the founder of ILF, Indrani Goradia, began talking with the staff of shelter facilities who were caring for victims of violence.  They began sharing their concerns for the high turnover rate of staff within their organizations, and the burnout that naturally happens due to the nature of this work.

Indrani quickly went into action.  She knew if we were losing these passionate people who work with victims of violence, we could lose the shelters, or cut the number of women, men, and children who need be housed.   Now, how could ILF help?  We can train and educate the shelter staff (the Caregivers) how to keep from burning out.

 

What we teach the Caregivers?

  • Our trainers are teaching the caregivers about different tools they can use for self-care, and lead a more balanced life.
  • We educate caregivers on how to recognize their own triggers of shame, guilt, and humiliation that effect their work and personal lives.
  • We help them improve their personal boundaries, and how to say “No” to things that compromise their well-being.
  • And we remind them that they matter, that they are loved, and that they are “seen,” for the work they do.

 

Where can we teach the Caregiver Project?

  • We can send our trainers to anywhere in the United States, and some areas of Canada.
  • We teach in women’s shelters and organizations that directly have contact with victims of violence.
  • We are currently training ILF trainers all over the world to help us reach the caregivers in other countries.

 

How much does the training cost?

We offer the Caregiver Training at NO COST to the shelter or organization.  We do, however, rely on donations to fund the 2-day training class. The training requires two certified ILF trainers, and the cost for travel, transportation, food, supplies, and pay for the entire training is approximately $5,000.00.

How can you help us with the Caregiver Project?

  • You can SPREAD THE WORD! Use social media, email, or mention us at a party or event. (facebook.com/indranislight  Twitter: @indranis_light)
  • You can BECOME AN ILF TRAINER! We will be offering the Train-the-Trainer Course every year to certify trainers to teach our ILF curriculum to their own communities and shelters.
  • You can DONATE! Here is where you can donate ANY AMOUNT to help our Caregiver Project, or any other area of our mission to end domestic violence.

 

We need your feedback. 

  1. What do you think of the project?
  2. Is this something you would love to support?
  3. How would you like to support us?
  4. What more could we do?

 

If you have already supported our mission in any way, we want to extend our deepest gratitude.  If you would like to do more, or maybe you haven’t taken the step to support us yet, please reach out to our Director of Education and Training, Amy Dier, at amy@indranislight.org.  She will be more than happy to talk with you about your options.

 

Love & Light,

 

Team ILF