Dannelle speaks with Jenn Chan, CEO & Founder of the Senior Shower® Project. In this episode, Jenn shares her story of caring for her grandmother as a young adult and how her caregiving experience has deeply informed her current work. You’ll learn about compassion fatigue and caregiver burnout, as well as how to celebrate and support caregivers. Jenn and Dannelle also discuss seeking out spaces and connecting with others who are in a similar caregiving position to help you feel supported.
“The dynamic of who your loved one used to be - do you want to hold on to that or do you want to let that go and do you want to be present? It's your time, make the best choice of the time that you have, and all your feelings are valid.” – Jenn Chan
1. Millennial caregivers generally walk a very different journey than older counterparts. Many are holding off or limiting dating, career, social life, and personal goals while taking care of a loved one.
2. Creating connections with other young caregivers is so important for emotional health. Finding support groups, educational workshops, and community resources can help develop self-care routines and navigate unfamiliar caregiving territory.
3. Although it affects many, anticipatory grief can be hard to put a finger on. It can manifest as anger, sadness, frustration, or a loss of control. Being able to name it and identify the loss (of personal time, career opportunity, social life, etc.) in that moment can clarify the root of our emotions. With clarity, we can begin to accept what we cannot change.
1. Seek out spaces – whether virtual or in person - that help you feel less alone. A supportive friendship, young caregivers group, or educational workshop are a few ways to consider building the kind of connections that keep us in balance.
2. Invest in what helps you feel better (physically, emotionally, spiritually) to care for yourself. It might not look the same as it did before caregiving, but you’re worthy of being looked after, too.
3. Celebrate the caregivers in your life! Jenn has created the Senior Shower® Project to lift up and honor caregivers and caregiverhood. Let’s act on showing how much we appreciate the work of caregiving.
Jenn Chan, CSA®, CCC™, is the CEO & Founder of Senior Shower® Project, a startup gift shop with a mission to celebrate family caregivers of older adults with a party. Inspired by caregiving for her grandma, Jenn dedicates her career to elevate the family caregiver role with fun, love, and positivity. As a Certified Senior Advisor and Certified Caregiving Consultant, Jenn also facilitates support groups for LGBTQ+ seniors, dementia caregivers, and young caregivers.
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