Praise for Linda Abbit & The Conscious Caregiver
A Proponent of Caregiver Self-Care
Linda not only advocates for those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias, she helps families navigate their journeys, as well. A proponent of caregiver self-care and mindfulness, Linda shares her personal and professional insight through her book, The Conscious Caregiver, podcast interviews, lectures and more. She has counseled countless caregivers, making a positive difference in the lives of so many families. Thank you Linda, for all that you do!
Experience, Knowledge, and Enthusiasm for Caregiving
Working with Linda Abbit on our informational caregiving event was a fantastic experience. Linda is a true professional, and her experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm for caregiving were evident in her presentation. She tailored her information to make sure it was most relevant to the members of our employee resource group, and carried on an engaging and informative conversation with our second speaker. We would not hesitate to engage her again for a future event.”
Highly Recommend Linda Abbit as an Elder Care Speaker
I thoroughly enjoyed having Linda Abbit as a guest speaker on my monthly seminar series. Not only is she very knowledgeable on the topic of Elder Care, but she also brings a nice combination of compassion and energy.
Her humanity, ease, and excitement is a perfect combination for a speaker! I personally learned a lot on the topic and highly recommend Linda Abbit as an Elder Care speaker for events, workshops, and seminars.
Linda’s Action Steps Were Outstanding!
From start to finish, working with Linda Abbit was a great experience. Booking speakers for The Journey To Wellness Workshops events has its challenges, but working with Linda was so easy and a great pleasure.
Hiring a speaker who can reach everyone often proves difficult. This time, I hit the nail on the head by selecting Linda’s carefully crafted speaking engagement for my event. Based on the evaluations, our attendees felt the program delivered useful information.
I always ask my presenters to provide a list of take-aways so attendees can immediately begin to use what they’ve learned and Linda’s bullet-pointed action steps were outstanding!
I would recommend Linda to any group looking for an informative, caring presenter—no matter the audience.
A Delightful Speaker with a Uniquely Compassionate Point of View on Aging
In the spring of this year (2021), Linda Abbit was keynote speaker at our annual conference, The Aging Project. The theme and title of the conference was, “Conscious Caregiving in a Time of Isolation,” and was offered to both professional and family as a time for honoring their work and exploring new caregiving and self-care skills. Ms. Abbit’s presentation accomplished both goals knowledgeably and warmly.
Linda Abbit is a delightful speaker, easily relatable with many personal stories and experiences that give context and a uniquely compassionate point of view to important principles that we, as caregivers, often find easy to ignore… I confess I have Linda’s PowerPoint on my desktop still, and her book – The Conscious Caregiver – on my shelf. We will definitely be asking her back.
A Great Resource to Our Senior Living Community
Linda recently did a presentation for our residents, families and prospects at our Las Palmas Senior Living community on the topic, “Combat Social Isolation and Maintain a Healthy Brain.” Linda was so knowledgeable and informative to our attendees.
Linda is a great resource to our senior living community and comes with a great perspective from which she educates our audience.
The Conscious Caregiver Stands Out as a Helpful Guide
Author Linda Abbit is the Community Outreach Manager for the Mind and Memory Program at the St. Joseph hospital north of me in Mission Viejo. Her book, The Conscious Caregiver, stands out as a very helpful DIY (Do It Yourself) guide for those who may not have had any prior exposure to meditation or other mindfulness teachings.
You’ll like her vignettes that give some very practical ways to implement the suggestions. We all aspire to being mindful but what do you do when you catch yourself being anything BUT mindful? She actually has a subheader entitled “If You’ve Exploded at a Loved One.”
Other bits I appreciated in her book:
- role confusion (it’s not simply role reversal, and you knew that, but how many authors acknowledge it?)
- mindfulness here is explicitly stated in the caregiving in dementia context
- the R-word (RESENTMENT) is acknowledged and allowed here
- a section on Accepting Help. Not just saying it’s important but giving you ways to accept help
- Happiness L.I.S.T. for activating Self Care
She recommends recording your conversations because there may come a time that you actually miss the story that’s being repeated endlessly now…but I think maybe you’ll be surprised to hear your own tone. Could allow for a quick reality check on whether you sound the way you want to be heard?
Remarkably Comprehensive Recommendations for Caregivers
It is estimated that roughly 40 million Americans spend a significant amount of time caring for an ailing or disabled loved one. It is to that largely invisible army that The Conscious Caregiver (Adams Media) is addressed.
Author Linda Abbit, who blogs about eldercare and has walked that walk herself, defines conscious caregiving as allotting “time, energy, and compassion to themselves as well as their care recipients.” Her recommendations are remarkably comprehensive, covering everything from communicating with other family members to effectively advocating for a loved one (and for oneself) to handling the transition to assisted living. Her case studies and exercises give her advice a real-world edge.
Caring for others can be both stressful and joyful. The Conscious Caregiver may help these dedicated helpers keep the stress levels down enough to actually enjoy time spent with the loved ones who need them so much.
Compassion Filled Book for Family Caregivers
The Conscious Caregiver – A Mindful Approach to Caring for Your Loved One without Losing Yourselfis an accessible book for family caregivers and those who support them. Blogger and former caregiver, Linda Abbit’s mindful suggestions preserve caregivers’ and care recipients’ dignity and self-respect. Her compassion-filled techniques help reduce feelings of guilt and caregiver stress. Throughout ten chapters, she gently reminds readers to step back and be aware of what they are experiencing and feeling.
Clearly Organized and Accessible
The Conscious Caregiver features easy-to-follow chapters. Each begins with an overview of objectives. While exercises are often glossed over in books, Abbit makes them accessible for the busy caregiver. Instead of losing sleep making sure you don’t forget something, her checklists, questions, role plays and more, help you to remember. You may even find ideas you hadn’t considered. When you’re tired and can’t think, case studies of what others have done help bring to life what you’ve read. Finally, each chapter concludes with a bulleted summary.
There were a few instances, where you might say, “There’s no way, I can do this.” Keep reading and her words of reason prevail over doubt. She acknowledges there are exceptions for some families and offers ways to work around obstacles, such as uncooperative family members or rude doctors.
Here are six highlights to give you a flavor of Conscious Caregiver.
Colleen and Caregiver Burnout
Short and realistic case studies. For example, Colleen, a caregiver for her father asks people for help with specific tasks. She shares weekly updates to inform her support team who then feel vested. She ends up feeling better and not alone. (p.43).
Spiraling Benefits of Self-Care
Caregivers often juggle too many responsibilities. They feel greater stress when an expert advises them to take care of themselves. Abbit shares a case study of how small steps toward self-care have a positive spiral effect. Initially, a little self-care results in an elevated mood. Another step leads to happiness, which encourages more acts of self-care, leading to a more relaxed state. This is better for both the caregiver and the person receiving care (page 65).
Any tips that help us focus on how we communicate with loved ones – the words we use, our tone of voice, and other nonverbal modes of communication – will strengthen our connections. Abbit sensitively addresses issues with mutual respect in Chapter 4. Caregivers, people with memory-impairment, or those having difficulty hearing, retain a sense of dignity following these tips. We better appreciate the effect of our communications when we visualize being the recipient of our own communications. This is a powerful tool that goes beyond caregiving, impacting the rest of our lives (p. 91).
Advocating for Your Loved One and Yourself
In chapter 6, she describes the various roles of potential members on your loved one’s medical team and how to communicate with them to ensure optimal care. As in every other chapter, she reminds you the caregiver to take time for a little self-care.
Tips for Considering Residential Care
While most of us want to age in our homes, geographically widespread families make it nearly impossible to live safely at home, alone without familial support. When it’s time to weigh your options, there is a lot to consider. Abbit offers six pages of questions you can ask to ensure you and your loved one make a wise decision regarding assisted living or memory care (pages 183-188).
Throughout the book are boxed digestible morsels for caregivers called “Conscious Connections” In one, she shares something family members may not notice. “Long-married couples are very good about ‘covering’ for each other’s weaknesses or deficits.” Only after one is hospitalized, do family members notice how poorly the other one is doing at home (p.119).
The Conscious Caregiver is one of the more grounded and realistically approachable books for family caregivers and professionals.
Linda Abbit maintains a Facebook presence at Tender Loving Eldercare, to help ease the journey for caregivers.