Joining us today is Valerie Wiens, a Registered Nurse, and case manager who advises families on ways to help their aging parents and loved ones. She is the author of “ What to do about MOM ”, where she shares all the tips and insights of caretaking not just from the perspective of a nurse but also she summons all her experience as a daughter and a caregiver.
On being asked about her inspiration to write a book she shares about her own journey with her aging mom and also her own job as a Case Manager, where she works with seniors in the community to provide home support. There everyone would ask her ‘What do we do about Mom?“ . She tells us that Mom doesn’t literally mean “mom” but stands for any elderly person or family member we have a responsibility towards. When her own mom was critically ill, she and her family had to make decisions and create boundaries and strategies and decided they wanted to be “people who give” not “people who resent”. During this journey, her husband suggested she put all her work into words so that the things they learned in the process could be helpful to other families as well.
Valerie shares many insights and helpful tips, including a “happiness graph” which shows happiness is across cultures, is at its lowest during the 40s and 50s when we are usually juggling many responsibilities and increases with age as sources of joy increase and responsibilities decrease. For example, many seniors find great joy in simple moments and experiences such as just being at home, watching birds, etc Much of her job is helping families address fears and balance safety concerns with moms desires for simple joys and familiarity. We talk about ways to find joy in the act of helping, how to leverage the skillsets of different family members and ways to reduce the physical and financial burden of care while still providing for moms needs. Valerie also talks about links to different resources and information that can be found in her book and more.
To know more about Valerie
To Purchase the book:
What Do We Do About Mom?: Stories and ideas to strengthen your caregiving journey as parents age: Wiens RN, Valerie: 9781778178719: Books – Amazon.ca