Making Connections

During the course you’ve learned new things from the course materials, the resources and videos, and your fellow learners. You now know where to locate information on important topics of concern to you. Perhaps you’ve got some new ideas on a variety of topics, or perhaps you’ve been primarily focused on one aspect of your caregiving that really needs to change or you really want to consider what the future might hold.  You’ve also met other caregivers who may be in your local area, or who share common concerns and situations with you.  As you know, all of these aspects are part of an important support system for you – one that will be helpful for you now and in the future.

Activity 8.1

Take Some Time

You don’t want the demands of everyday life to cause you not to follow up on important strategies that you’ve identified in the course.

Take a few minutes and go briefly through each module again.
As you review a module, complete these sentences:
When I first started this module, I wondered…
Then I learned, or realized…..
And now I’m going to…..

Recognizing Connections

You probably also realized as you progressed through the course, that a given topic related to more than one module. Here’s an example:

Problem:  the person in your care experiences chronic back pain

From module 2you recognized an approach to determining the extent to which the person in your care is in pain
From module 3you realized that there is a way to build just a bit more activity into the daily routine of the person in your care, and this might help lessen this pain
From module 4you wondered (after talking with your doctor) whether making a few small nutrition changes might help the pain
From module 7you noticed that when the person in your care is enjoying conversation with other people, the pain doesn’t seem so bad
Adapted from the Simplified Mobility Assessment Algorithm

 Activity 8.2

Do a Few Good Ideas Make a Strategy?

Using the example above as a guide, think about a problem you’ve been trying to solve with/for the person in your care; or perhaps just an approach you want to embrace in the future. Looking back through your reflection journal/modules, can you find a strategy from each of the modules that all tie together to solve or ease a problem that you or the person you care for face? Note these in your Reflection Journal.

Using Your Journal

For each module of the course, you’ve been keeping notes in your reflection journal. Your journal is an important document for you.It contains your ideas and thoughts and is a great place to track progress related to you as a caregiver, and the person in your care. Thoughtful reflection about how things are going – and some notes that give evidence of changes – are really useful when speaking with a health care professional, or recognizing when situations are improving (or perhaps moving in the wrong direction and requiring a new tactic).

Here is how you can keep using your reflection journal:

  • Collect all your reflection journal entries and place them in a binder so that you can refer back to them quickly and easily.
  • Add sections to your binder if there are other topics that you need to track.
  • For easy access, print the tools provided in each module that you have completed, or that are relevant for you to track.

Activity 8.3

Talk with others

Discuss with the group: Now that you’ve taken some time to reflect on everything that you’ve learned and considered as you’ve progressed through the course, share your final piece of advice, or your strategy, or your concluding thoughts, with your classmates.