Deacon Juan Lucero lives with his lovely wife Corrine in New Mexico. He is a special and dear friend. As I was transitioning from religious life into diocesan priestly life I spent much time with his family. They had 14 children, and one among the bunch became a fine Salesian Priest who is my age. Although God’s paths took me elsewhere I will be forever grateful to Juan as a spiritual confidant of sorts. I was happy to learn from him recently that two younger men of the parish have entered the diaconate program for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe—which brings me to my point: currently Holy Cross has only one married man actively discerning the diaconate. Men! If you have ever seriously contemplated a vocation to serve please share with me what God might be putting on your heart. Please, no hesitations with this matter.
So you are a caregiver, and YOU know that you are a caregiver. However, who else knows that? What would happen if you were hospitalized for a serious situation and could not communicate? Who would be there to look after your care receiver? Who would know that someone is depending upon you?
While this may be a hypothetical situation, it can easily become reality. Your loved one could be left stranded without any caregiving support if something were to happen to you. This unfortunate situation can be avoided with a very simple solution - carry a Caregiver’s Emergency Card with you at all times to alert emergency personnel that you are a caregiver. Fashion your card for your wallet using an index card. Make sure you provide the following information: name, address, age of your care receiver; your relationship to the care receiver; phone number of another caregiver or family member; and whether or not your care receiver can be left alone. In addition, write the same information on a sheet of paper and place it on your refrigerator. Paramedics automatically check refrigerators for information. If you are caring for your loved one in your home, also place both your loved one’s medication list and yours on the refrigerator.
In today's busy world we talk about one-stop shopping which makes life easier. This concept also applies to the busy caregiving world in which caregivers can benefit from one-click access to resources. If you are a caregiver with very little time to do research resources, then you may find the Caregiver Action Network (CAN) website to be very helpful. The website has a section that is devoted to various resources and information designed to support caregivers that are only a click away. This section contains links to information on nutrition tips, nutrition counseling for those with cancer, technology for caregivers, handling incontinence, managing medications, how to talk with doctors, managing the cost of care, understanding Medicare, advance directives, Alzheimer's caregiving, respite care for caregivers, caregiver depression and free clinical tries in addition to other topics.
To get to this one-click page on the CAN website, go to caregiveraction.org/family-caregiver-toolbox.
Over the summer I visited some friends in New Mexico. Just outside of the township of Mountainair lies the Abo Salina Ruins, and next to the ruins of this old mission church lays an amazing structure. In 1622, Franciscan Father Francisco Fonte took up the task of building next to the main church pictured here a convento which was the residence where he lived. What is remarkable about the convento is that there is a circular kiva inside suggesting that the priest understood and respected the local customs of the tribe. Kivas were circular chambers, often times built underground and used by indigenous males for ceremonial rituals. I can't imagine the Spanish European seminary where Fr. Fonte offering classes on how to build Kivas. My hunch it that is was from a real love for the people that he looked for ways of integrating his culture with theirs. The lesson comes from the great missionary St. Paul who tried to become all things to all men (1 Corinthians 9:22).
The Day Summer Hikes with the children of our parish have been extremely helpful in allowing me to get toknow them without all the intimidation of the larger adult settings at the Parish. So just a heads up, I amplanning to take our youngsters on another trip next summer to the Dells in Prescott. When the stress is up Ilike to spend my days hiking around the Dells Lake. It’s noiseless, soothing—the kind of place tospontaneously pray without interruption. But bring mosquito repellent.
Compassion fatigue, also known as caregiver burnout, is a common problem among caregivers. As caregiving responsibilities become more complex and require more time, caregivers find themselves stretched in many directions as they try to manage other responsibilities. There may even come a point when the caregiver is so exhausted that she or he just wants the caregiving journey to be over. How does a caregiver know he/she has compassion fatigue? Some of the signs include being irritable, resentful, angry, depressed, annoyed, exhausted, frustrated, sarcastic, pessimistic, apathetic and overwhelmed. If you are experiencing one or more of these on a frequent, regular basis, then you may be experiencing compassion fatigue.READ MORE