Episode 019 — Meet Dr. Kate Lorig


(Machine generated transcript available here.)

This week, I talk with Dr. Kate Lorig, about her new book, Building Better Caregivers.

Image of the book cover for Building Better Caregivers

The fact that they are caregivers means that this is something they have volunteered to do. -- Dr. Kate Lorig Click To Tweet

I learned about the book from Dr. Danbi Lee, an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at the University of Washington, and a contributing author, through our work with the Seattle Young Adult Stroke Survivors group.

The book is a collection of tools to help caregivers more effectively care for both survivors and themselves. The resources and advice are accessible and practical.

The biggest problems for caregivers are stress and depression. -- Dr. Kate Lorig Click To Tweet

It covers a wide variety of topics including:

  • How to run a family meeting
  • How to ask for help
  • Different types of mobility aids and adaptive gear
  • Understanding behavioral issues
  • Exercise
  • … and much more.

Some of the advice that sticks out most for me is that to support a caregiver, don’t just ask what you can do to help. Instead offer a specific form of assistance.

Kate has been working in this space for years and through the Self Management Resource Center has put together a number of programs around Building Better Caregivers. She even work with the Veterans Administration on an interactive, online program that Veterans or their caregivers should check out.

If you are a caregiver, my advice is know that there is help. Even if you think there is no help, there probably is. -- Dr. Kate Lorig Click To Tweet

Here are the assorted links and resources we talked about this week.

Buy the book
Dr. Kate Lorig on Wikipedia
Dr. Kate Lorig at Stanford
Building Better Caregivers Program
VA Building Better Caregivers Program
Self-Management Resource Center
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Hack of the Week

Some of the best tips are also the simplest. Kate reminds us to simple breathe. When the stress starts to build and situations start to become overwhelming, it can be surprising helpful to just take a moment, take a few deep breaths, and recenter yourself. It won’t solve the problem, but it will help put you in the right mindset to solve the problem.

Where do we go from here?

  • Check out the book for yourself or pick one up as a gift for a caregiver you know.
  • If you are a caregiver, prepare a list of tasks ahead of time that you would like help with so you’re ready when someone offers assistance.
  • If you want to help a caregiver, offer specific assistance.
  • When things get stressful, breathe.
  • Subscribe to Strokecast in Apple Podcasts, the new Google Podcast App, or wherever you get your podcasts.
  • Don’t get best…get better.


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