TAMPA – Kim Linder knows all about the difficulties anyone can have with caring for a loved one who can’t help themselves.
Caregivers are often called in, whether they are family members or friends, and sometimes professionals. Despite the image that caregivers deal only with the elderly, they deal with people of all ages who can no longer handle life’s matters on their own.
But how do the caregivers learn how to do something that is so vital? That’s where Linder, the caregiver of the caregivers, comes in. She is the founder of Senior Holistic Living and provides service to teach people how to work with their family members or friends who need their services. She’s been a caregiver for most of her adult life and loves working with other caregivers, teaching them how to do the best they can at a difficult, but necessary, task.
Linder is the host of “The Caregiver Hour,” which airs twice a week on 1250 AM radio. She said she doesn’t have all the answers but that mentoring others in her chosen field gives her a great deal of happiness.
“I guess you can call me the chief caregiver of Tampa Bay,” Linder said. “I support and guide them and work with the ones in need of care. It can be difficult and a lot of people ask me why I do it and all I can say is that it brings me so much satisfaction. I love working with them and doing what I can for them.”
Linder said that one of the most difficult parts of her job is learning how to deal with the guilt that some caregivers feel. Seeing a loved one in a poor situation can be tough, Linder said, so the first thing she advises is that the caregivers forgive themselves if they don’t feel they did quite enough.
“Some people think they should have been there all the time,” Linder said. “Thinking ‘I should have been there,’ is not healthy. I can’t tell anyone not to feel guilty. I tell them to just breathe in and out and tell themselves that they did the best they could.”
Linder is a full-service consultant. It can mean anything from meeting with the caregiver and their loved one to just making contacts – she has plenty of them – to assist in finding proper facilities, medications, or anything else that is needed. She can also set the caregiver up with a social worker if that is needed. She knows most of them.
“It isn’t easy for a person to tell their mother that they need to go to an assisted living facility, for instance,” Linder said. “Some people just don’t want to leave their home. I just try to listen to what they have to say. It might not happen right away, but I’m always there for them.”
Linder said one a key when working with seniors is to make sure they know they still have life left in them. There are senior centers that offer activities all the time. She encourages them to stay active, but she knows that others have other ideas.
“Everyone has their own path,” Linder said. “It is their journey and they have to make choices. All I can do is try to help and give advice. They will tell you how they feel; I don’t have to tell them. Life’s a journey and they know how they want to take it.”
Kim Linder’s “The Caregiver Hour” can be heard on 1250 A.M. on Mondays at 10 – 11 a.m., and Saturdays from 5 – 6 p.m. She can be contacted at this website.