Bill Harder Speaks On Caregiver/Compassion Fatigue

The Caring Connection - Cardston District was happy to be able to host speaker Bill Harder in December.

Bill Harder is a former pastor specializing in encouraging people to be their best. After 10 years of parish-based pastoral care, and several bouts of compassion fatigue, Bill founded InsideWise, and the Pause, Breathe, Listen workshops to provide opportunities for others to awaken to their potential to thrive as caregivers.

In Part 1 - Surviving: The Cost Of Caring, Bill Harder speaks to caregivers about signs and symptoms of caregiver/compassion fatigue. In Part 2 - Thriving, Diving Into Wellness, Bill identifies some strategies for thriving in life. For more information visit Bill's site at

Taking the 40 Day Challenge!

Choice is a delicious feeling, isn’t it? Wow! Empowering! As Diane Roblin, Home Care for Greystokes explained, if you can give someone a choice it takes the resistance and struggle out of the equation. Diane said it works especially well with husbands and children! Not, it’s time to…rather would you like to do that now or in an hour...which would you prefer? 

So often we think “I have no choice”. As changes occur and we go back to depending on others for help (that second childhood thing) we often rail that we have no choices and have to get up when we are scheduled and eat what we are offered—no wonder it sounds like reliving our childhood! Joan Tillack, Home Care for Greystokes, wisely suggested that sometimes we have no choice in what is happening around us but we do have the choice of how we respond. We always have the choice of our attitude. Joan told me of a group working on attitude that took a 40 Day Challenge. One half wrote one thing they were thankful for on a sticky note and put it on the mirror every morning. The other group did nothing. The group that started their day with a positive action and thought of gratitude reported an increasing feeling of well-being exponentially. 

On Tuesday, at the Caring Connection Resource Group at Lee Crest, we started our 40 Day Attitude of Gratitude Challenge! Sticky notes were passed out and those that can’t write, Tina, from Recreation, HCA’s and other residents will help. Dixie Still, HCA, told us about a book, The Slight Edge, that shows that doing certain tasks; a gratitude journal where you write 3 positive things a day, 15 minutes of exercise, 15 minutes of meditation, reading a positive book for 10 minutes a day will exponentially increase your inner happiness!

Today, I start my 40 day challenge. I am thankful for the wise and inspiring caregivers we have in the community through Greystokes and in our facilities. Choose to join us in our 40 Day Challenge to increase happiness and an attitude of gratitude! Get your sticky notes and write one thing you are thankful for and put it on your mirror every morning! Come; join us with your experiences in 40 days! Remember, attitude is a choice!

An Essential Part of Healthy Caregiving Relationships - David Creed

David Creed shares his journey in the Alberta FCSS Storybook for 2015. "The Caregiver Motto is to take care of yourself first so you are more able to take care of someone else. I thought I was doing that, but my health gave out and my wife passed away. I can now see the stress I was under. Looking after someone is stressful because you are responsible, always looking out for someone else's needs. It is so important to identify stress and eliminate it. I was not getting sleep and this and other things caused health issues, exhaustion and burn out. I have learned how to control my thoughts and feelings and take responsibility for every part of my life. I began training my body to sleep again, disciplining my mind and totally living in the now. Depression is living in the past and anxiety is living in the future. It is a process, a journey and not something you can do all at once. You have a goal in mind and work towards it. Having the support group really made a difference! Hopefully, what I have learned may help someone else."

David has come a long way since joining the Caregiver Support Group. He states he has strengthened his coping skills, his self-awareness, and increased his overall mental, emotional, social, spiritual and physical health and well-being. David now contributes by sharing his skills, knowledge and experiences with others.