Caregiver Contest Runner Up Katy: Active Listening

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
03/08/18  1:15 PM PST
Active Listening

Katy M. (middle in the picture above) is from Texas, and is pictured with her mother and one of Shield HealthCare’s representatives, Lance. Katy is a secretary who started her career in healthcare 20 years ago because she has a passion for helping people in need. Katy enjoys dancing, playing with her two-year-old grandson, and teaching her mom different activities. Her mom suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and she helps to take care of her, with the help of her siblings. She knows how challenging the situation is when caring for a loved one. She entered the contest to share her experience. After receiving the email informing her of her win, Katy wrote, “I am so happy to be one of the winners!”

What advice would you give a fellow caregiver?

My advice to a caregiver is to sit, listen carefully, write down notes, and read back. Communication is very important along with active listening. The person that is sick must be involved in the planning and care. It’s important to have a written plan and goals and share with all involved. Have a daily schedule with a routine and try to follow closely. Have down time for the person being taken care of and the caregiver. Incorporate fun activities like reading, games, etc. Physical activity is also important even if it’s just walking, raising the arms, or breathing exercises.

After all the activities that we do daily for our loved one, we sometimes forget their emotional wellbeing. Always smile at them, talk in a nice way, don’t raise the voice even if they are hard of hearing – talk slower to them or write to them. They can notice and feel our anxiety. Give them a hug and let them know that you love them.

Click here to return to the contest home page and read more winners’ advice.

Winners were selected by a panel of independent judges, including: Sandra Mitchell, Award-winning KCAL 9 news anchor and breast cancer survivor, and the Landers family: actor and comedian David Landers (“Laverne & Shirley”) who is living with MS, his wife Kathy and his daughter Natalie (“The Middle”). Click here to learn more.


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