A few months after I started this blog, I found Caregiving.com. That point in time changed the course my caregiving trajectory in a way that I never expected.
I completed my final activity for the certification, a webinar (Reach for the Star: Integrating Supports for Caregiving), last week.
Today, I am honored to announce that I am a Certified Caregiving Consultant™! The Certified Caregiving Consultant™ training program offered at Caregiving.com. The program helps family caregivers turn their personal caregiving experiences into a profession. When you participate in the training program, you are able to share your wisdom, lessons learned and resources to help those who care for a family member or friend.
I feel blessed to work at an organization that houses a family resource center, so even before my own caregiving journey began, I was well aware of the issues that families have to deal with when they have a loved one who has a disability or is aging. This training truly helped me put the unique experiences of family caregivers into perspective, learn strategies to use to support family caregivers to solve their own problems, and helped me reflect on my caregiving journey, both what is in the past and what lies ahead.
As a result of participating in this program, I connected with an awesome tribe of fellow family caregivers, from all parts of the country and a wide variety of talents and gifts. In November, I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago to share my personal caregiving journey as a millenial caregiver at Caregiving.com’s Second Annual National Caregiving Conference (that’s me, with my fellow CCC, Deb Hallisey at Advocate for Mom and Dad at the left!). Everyone there was so warm and kind and respectful. When I went to that conference, I felt like like I finally found a group of people who truly understood what I was going through. When I came home, I knew I had to create that here for other people.
My next steps after this program are to start a support group for family caregivers in Kansas City, so people can connect with each other here locally. I have plans of quarterly events, sponsors providing prizes for our valued family caregivers, and awesome resource sharing and connecting happening! I hope to use what I learn in my current professional role and to help me as I move into the next chapter of this adventure. It has truly been a life-changing experience.
A special thanks to my boss, Sheli, for funding this incredible opportunity!