As I sit here in my room watching Oprah's Life Class, I am once again made aware that I have found my purpose through Boomers "R Heroes.
Oprah said that when you find yourself doing a "job" that you don't want to do, but have to do to earn a paycheck there's a hole in your heart, in your life you need to fill. The occasion will arise out of what seems to be a very bad situation, getting fired, demoted or displaced, may in turn, become your first step toward what it is you're purposed to do. You are here to honor -- your calling feeds everything else you do in your life, making it better.
Personally, I had to give up on my job which had given up on me long ago. This job, thankfully was there and supported me through the hardest and most physically/mentally draining times in my life....advocating for my dear husband while he was slowly transitioning from this life to the next. He went through 32 months (3 yrs) of hospital/rehab/hospital ping-pong as a patient in the NJ medical system where he endured unthinkable procedures, tests, probing and prodding that such a proud, professional educator as himself should not have had to face, but he did it. He always managed to give me a smile with a light in his big, bright eyes that let me know he needed me there with him and he knew he was safe when I was there. Those eyes, smiles, touches and kisses are what kept me goign to whereever he was moved and ensure he received all the care he was due. Being his advocate meant that I had to speak for him and this was something so new and odd....he was my rock and here I'm speaking for him..and he loved me for it.
Anyway, it's because of all of this that BOOMERS is my purpose. On giving up my job and moving back to Philly and living with my mom, I found my purpose. I feel my husband leading me to help other folks gather the strength they need to help their loved ones through unthinkable procedures and tests; to be able to speak up when their loved ones cannot and know they're doing what is needed. We all need help at sometime or another...we must be ready to give it and ready to accept it.
I attended the MALT along with my sister, Michele, and about 500 other folks. It was a fun night. You must make plans to attend the next one. The dance teachers conducted lessons before the actual "party" started and we all danced all night, so to speak.
My instructor, Aaron Boyd, did a showcase with us. It was fun, but kinda scary to be in the "spotlight" as one of the crew, but it did help bolster my courage and was busy learning as much as I could when everyone hit the floor. My friend Estelle was there and she was participating in a training class when I arrived. She was having fun with
Glad I went and will make sure to participate in more events around the city. That's the only way to grow.
Heroes, Please take a moment to read the minutes on the Meetings/Notes blog page. It has some great information about the first class.
In addition to the actual class, I'm reporting that there have been some great contacts made. I have been in touch with the Senior Care Adult Day Care Program, Laura Grassia, to gather some information about what they offer with my friend's mother in mind. She has Moderate/advanced Alzheimers and her daughter would like to have her become involved with some socialization which would hopefully help her to focus and regain some growth. While talking with Ms. Grassia, we discovered that she knew my name from the MALT brochure and was happy to offer to come and address the third class in the series. This was very flattering and made my day. I have forwarded her some information about the class and she's scheduled for the March 7 class to edify our heroes about Adult Day Care and how it can be helpful in their caregiving, while giving them a respite from the daily issues.
Also, we have speaker on 2/29 from Courtland Manor, Deborah Cross, who located me through the Caregiver.com newsletter as a Support Group Resource for Philadelphia County. She contacted me to address a group meeting and I invited her to speak with us at MALT. It is good to know that the information highway is working and getting in front of the right people.
On 2/18, I attended a Line-Dance Certification Seminar and I'm now a segment 1 certified instructor. It was a very enlightening course and I find I'll never look at the dances in the same light again. The Master Instructor, Lawrence Bradford, was very eloquent and taught us many things that seemed technical but helpful in giving us a better understanding of how to maintain good posture and alignment while performing and teaching dances. Estelle Crossley attending the class with me and found that what was taught tied in directly with her Sr. Firness program.
Thanks Michele and Aline for getting us involved in this class.
This week has been absolutely phenomenal!!! This is that week, as a friend said, that showed me that “if you have no money and you get some money, it’s a lot of money!!!!” BOOMERS was contacted by three different organizations this week via the
www.CaregiversNewsletter.comPhiladelphia Regional Resource section and the www.MEETUP.comwebsite. Sticking to my plan to live out my dream of developing a successful Caregiver Support Group for Baby Boomers and eventually an Elder Care Agency, is worth all the time, effort, prayer and sleepless nights.
MALT Caregiver Self-Support Group seminar has been booked up with 2 speakers per night covering Respite Care, Home Care, Fitness, Relaxation, Stress Relief and Financial Planning for attendees on Wednesdays 2/22 thru 3/14/12 @ NIM – 7047 Germantown Avenue, 7-8:30 pm. There’s not much room left, please ensure you secure a seat at
www.mtairylearningtree.org and register for $19.00 for the 4 class series.
I was living in fear of losing my "job security" to reach my goals, when my job gave up on me and I had to make the decision to either continue living in fear under a ridiculously stressful environment or leave it, move to Philadelphia and rebuild my life thereby regaining my sanity. I chose the latter making choices I would never have made before these life changing events. Stepping out on faith and leaning on the Lord for his mighty blessings and guidance to where I need to serve is keeping me moving forward in attaining these community service goals. With the support of friends, family and church, everything’s
Thank you for your continued support. BOOMERS ‘R HEROES is here to assist you through the Caregivers’ maze from doctors reports & medical bills to making the environment comfortable for your loved one and yourself when they are in a “sterile environment” such as the hospital or rehab centers, nursing homes.
Never give up. Keep your dreams alive, no matter how out of reach they may seem, if you believe, it you can achieve it.
Look at me, who knew???
Jean Kirkley, Founder/Facilitator
My experience as a care giver began in the early 1980's when my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. As an only child this was an extremely difficult situation for me. I was working a high pressure job in the graphic arts industry and my mother and I were the only care givers for my dad.
In 1988, my mother suffered a stroke, which meant that dad could no longer live with us and had to be placed in a nursing home. The social workers at the hospital where my mother received care at that time also recommended to me that I place my mom in a nursing home. I chose the alternative of having a home nursing aide to come in to be with my mom while I was at work.
My dad passed in 1990 and I continued care for my mom until she passed in 1994. Because of the stress, I lost my job. I decided to return to school to learn desktop publishing to begin working freelance.
As an only son, I know what it is to be a care giver...receiving calls at work from doctors and nurses...having to rush home
when the doctor told me my dad's heart had stopped...getting a call from a neighbor when my mom suffered her stroke and couldn't talk. Getting calls from mom's nursing assistant at home, telling me she was being difficult.
Did I have a breakdown? Yes, I can admit it after all these years. I hope someone will benefit from reading this. May God bless everyone who is caring for a loved one. Stay strong and think positive.
As Boomers will be on Hiatus through the winter as a way to reenergize by networking and getting the information out to Philadelphia. Beginning on Wednesday, February 22, I will be conducting a series of 4 classes on the Cargiver Self-Support topics with Mount Airy Learning Tree (MALT). It is a great honor to be able to bring this much-needed information to the public. I took a step out on faith that MALT would see the necessity of what Boomers 'R Heroes has to offer give me the platform to put it out there---to reach out and help some folks who are going through what I've been through, in a much healthier supportive manner.
Date(s) of Course: 2/22/2012 - 3/14/2012
Number of Sessions: 4
Course Fee: $19.00
Day and Time of Course, including any skipped dates: Wednesday from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Location of Course: Neighborhood Interfaith Movement,
7047 Germantown Ave.
Minimum #: 5.
Maximum #: 15.
Instructor Bio: Jean Kirkley personally followed her late husband, Roy, through 32 months of continuous hospitalization as a result of kidney failure/sepsis condition. She needed support and had to figure out things on her own. This is an opportunity to pass on her hard-gained knowledge to others to help them through these trying times.
Thank you for being a MALT instructor, we appreciate the effort you put into
making this a better community.
I NEED YOUR TOPIC/SPEAKER SUGGESTIONS
Thank you for participating in Boomers 'R Heroes and we are growing stronger with each meeting as we move forward. I am pleased that we have experienced guest speakers: The Inner Journeys' Kathy Morris and Sheila Quarles, and Estelle Crossley, Personal Trainer. In choosing different topics for each meeting (the 1st & 3rd Thursdays monthly) I need your input as to what YOU want and need to know to help you with your caregiver experiences.
Please share your experiences through this blog. It's a great way to see, in your own words, what's going on with you. This plus journaling, will help you to access you true feelings and will also act as a positive affirmation. Try it, you'll see it helps.
As of this writing, I am planning to follow the suggestion by Roz Anderson, that we have her Marketing Director for the Natural supplements organization she represents on October 6th.
See you on the 6th......
Remember, Boomers 'R Heroes.
Jean Kirkley, Founder/Facilitator