Self-Caregiving Strategies Podcast artwork

Self-Caregiving Strategies Podcast

Created by Alison van Schie & Theresa Wilbanks • 16 episodes

Self-Caregiving Strategies Podcast

Welcome to the 'Self-Caregiving Strategies podcast' where Theresa Wilbanks and Alison van Schie, both Certified Caregiving Consultants, explore the 12 Strategies for Sustainable Caregiving. These strategies were developed by Theresa and originated from her caregiving experience as she looked after her dad for the last 7 years of his life. When the challenges of caregiving began to impact her physical and emotional well-being, she knew that the path she was on was not sustainable and she needed a new approach to caregiving before becoming completely overwhelmed and burnt out. By asking herself: “What Am I Feeling?” “Why Am I Feeling this way?” and “How can I feel better?” she developed these strategies. Theresa and Alison will be discussing one strategy per episode throughout the limited series. We invite you to submit your questions or comments as there will be occasion to devote an episode to addressing your feedback.

These strategies and discussions are presented to provide a perspective that will enhance your caregiving experience and can be incorporated into your daily life to help you prioritize your well-being, help you cope better and avoid burnout. Not all strategies will be applicable to your situation right now, but hearing what they are and remembering that they exist will help when you need them. The strategies are:

- Setting and reinforcing boundaries

· Developing mindfulness and awareness

· Cultivating our capacity for compassion, importantly self-compassion

· Re-imagining and micro-dosing self-care

· Accepting the role and the gifts that it offers

· Accepting help and using the bonus time for self-care

· Discovering the power of accepting alternatives

· Embracing and transforming obstacles

· Venting and releasing the pressure

· Journaling to process the emotions

· Forgiving to free your mind and heart

· Planning and preparing

· And a bonus strategy – Embracing the routine

Meet the Hosts

Alison van Schie avatar
Alison van Schie

Alison is no stranger to podcasting. She is the host of the Island Treasures podcast for caregivers – and she entered the podcasting world as a way to reach caregivers during the pandemic, when lockdowns and restrictions made it more difficult for caregivers to access resources and supports in person. Alison has a background in social work and it is her second nature to seek out and provide resources to folks who need encouragement, support and a reminder that they’re not alone. During the pandemic she turned her focus solely onto caregivers after capping off her social work career working with seniors in a residential care home; a position that highlighted the need for more supports for caregivers. 

As a life-long learner, she became a certified caregiving consultant and founded her business, Alongside Caregiver Consulting, designed for caregivers, and more specifically, caregivers of folks with dementia or chronic illness. She had been a caregiver for her mother-in-law for a brief period of time, and now her caregiving consists of being a caregiver for caregivers.

Alison lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. She has spent most of her working years in the prairie provinces in Canada and when her husband retired, they had the opportunity to relocate to Vancouver Island. Alison however was not ready to retire and has taken this chapter in her life to embrace one of the most rewarding and yet challenging career opportunities thus far – entering the world of small business ownership. One of Alison’s biggest challenges is to practice one of the strategies you will hear about – that of setting boundaries – as she finds it difficult to pull herself away from the needs of her clients to participate in the amazing activities that Vancouver Island has to offer – including kayaking, hiking and sightseeing and whale-watching, which are her preferred self-caregiving activities!

Theresa Wilbanks avatar
Theresa Wilbanks

Theresa managed care for her mother until she passed 14 years ago. She cared for her father until his passing at 99 years of age in 2020. During that time she experienced the raging river of emotions that come with caring for a family member. She says that, overwhelmed and drowning, she navigated toward a more sustainable caregiving experience. 

Theresa founded Sustainable Caregiving, became a Certified Caregiving Consultant and works with fellow family caregivers to help them navigate their caregiving journey. 

From blueberry battles to her Dad wanting to jump out of a plane at 94, Theresa shares stories and strategies in her book, Navigating the Caregiver River: A Journey to Sustainable Caregiving and is here to talk to us this evening about the caregiving journey and how we can support our family and friends who are caregivers.