Communications, Part Two focuses on resolving conflicts, turning them into cooperation and finding the peace that all parties should experience in these challenging times.

Since most caregivers either inherit the role or are thrown into it by a simple diagnosis, it is important to maintain your own self worth during the process. For most, learning to communicate with others will be an ongoing exercise in staying focused, learning to listen and to speak what is on your own mind. This requires you to look at all things realistically. Denial and fantasy have no place in the realm of these choices.

Caregiving is a partnership whether it is for a parent, child or spouse. There must be self-respect for all concerned. Boundaries must be set as to what you can do, what you are capable of and what the person you are caring for is capable of doing. As a caregiver, you must learn to say “no” at times, and take time to do the necessary things for yourself to remain mentally, physically and emotionally balanced so that you can care for your loved one. Remember, if you are not well, you will not be able to care for your loved one.

You have a right to be angry, confused, hurt, and depressed as do the loved one you are caring for. How you handle it and move through it is important. By sharing with others and speaking your truth, you slowly grow and heal.

Remember at all times that you have choices on how you want to feel inside. If you are feeling stuck or in a victim state of mind, your experiences will reflect this. Work through these feelings as soon as possible so that you can choose experiences, which are more joyful, pleasant and at times, even bittersweet.

Caregivers and carerecipient in general, need other avenues to keep them occupied. Friends, hobbies, interests which support you living a quality of life at all times.

Caregivers tend to feel guilty and diminish themselves. You need to cultivate ways of praising yourself and honoring all that you are doing in your role. There is no room for “shoulds, coulds, and have to’s” that you or others might put on yourself. The same goes for the carerecipient. Have compassion and empathy for the mixed feelings and emotions your loved one might be experiencing even if they are having difficulty in expressing them. Do not permit yourself to communicate when you are feeling sorry for yourself, stuck, or needy. If you need to share with someone about your current state of mind, do so. Read inspirational materials or talk with someone who can support you in lifting out of this space.

Remember, even if your loved one does not have all their faculties, there is still a soul, which resides inside their body. Their soul knows and understands all the things that are transpiring in the moment. Honor this soul and be present with them. If the individual you care for has had a brain injury or is suffering from Alzheimer’s, they may be in their own world. Do not try to bring them back into yours. It is their illness that is doing it, not their soul. If anything, permit yourself to drop your need to control things and have them be a certain way. Perhaps make a game of it and move into their world and play along with them.

The most important tool you have is your heart. When you come from your heart or a loving space, others will respond in kind. Your heart energy can be used as a barometer. It is a good indicator as to when you are feeling good and when you are not. Almost all issues you will face can be resolved if you are willing to come from your truth, look at them honestly and evaluate in partnership.

Richest blessings on your journey.



  • Ms. Mitchell began her full-time caregiving experience in the early eighties when her husband was diagnosed with cancer. Later on she became the primary caregiver for her father, along with her mother who had become critically ill from burnout prior to her dad’s passing. In recent years, she cared for several friends with AIDS while continuing to care for her mother and actively providing support, information, referrals and resources for caregivers.

    Gail's leadership on the Internet and her success with Empowering Caregivers led her to found National Organization For Empowering Caregivers (NOFEC) INC in 2001.

    Prior to founding NOFEC, she created the iVillageHealth Chat: Empowering Caregivers, which she hosted for over 5 years. Within a month of hosting she created Empowering Caregivers: in 1999 as a resource for caregivers around the globe. Over three million visitors have frequented the website.

    She has presented at national and international care-related conferences and programs and has been a keynote speaker for many programs as well.

    Ms Mitchell has assisted thousands of caregivers online and offline in ways to empower themselves in their roles in caring for loved ones.

    For a list of clients and/or her resume, please contact

    Gail's articles have been published in many venues nationally and in Canada. Presently, she is a member of American Society on Aging and National Quality Caregivers Coalition.

    Gail has discovered that there is life after caregiving: She has become a successful ceramic artist and installation artist. She created Crystal Illumination Art to bring the transformative quality of illumination, light and color to the human experience and celebrate its ability to inspire, heal and nourish our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being.