TAMPA – Being a caregiver for the elderly is a full-time job. They spend hour after hour being a friend, counselor and helper, taking care of every need.
But who takes care of the caretaker?
That’s where Kim Linder comes in. She’s the caretaker to the caretakers. A former newspaper and magazine writer, she started a senior holistic living program for caretakers, introducing a new age of care giving.
Her radio show, which is featured on WHNZ, 1250 AM, on Mondays at 11 a.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m., is a way to share on philosophies on care giving for the elderly.
She never thought she would end up in the caregiving field and now is wondering why she didn’t get into it in the first place.
It can be tough to be a caregiver, so Linder counsels them, knowing that some struggle with depression themselves.
“The purpose of what I am trying to do is to try to empower the caregivers,” Linder said. “The caregivers need to take care of themselves. We use meditation, eating well, and doing other things to keep things in perspective. It is not an easy job.”
Linder used to live in Boca Raton, where she owned a newspaper. She sold it and moved to the Tampa Bay area on a whim.
“I had to reinvent myself,” Linder said. “I went to a seminar and learned about assisted living. I started in marketing and fell in love with it. I loved what I was learning and decided to start my own business.”
She’s been at it for 10 years now and says she is unique in being a counselor to the counselors.
“Professional caregivers have to know how to take care of themselves,” Linder said. “Can it be depressing to deal with that line of work? I never found it depressing. I found that I could do things that I could never do in any other line of business.
“It’s not easy being a counselor to the elderly but it’s important to seek balance in their life,” she said. “We give caregivers a chance to listen to their inner voice, be authentic, and trust themselves to make the best decisions.”
Caregivers go through many emotions since they are dealing with unique cases every day. Linder says that they can feel overwhelmed, emotionally exhausted, have frequent headaches, and sometimes turn to alcohol.
It isn’t an easy job, but Linder loves what she does.
“Everyone who works as a caregiver has the right intentions of doing a good job,” Linder said. “What they need to know is that it is important to take care of themselves. We go deep and do what we can to make them resolve their problems.”
Kim Linder can be reached at (727) 798-2663. Her office is at 13851 W. Hillsborough Ave., Suite 113.