The Kathi Koll Foundation

Serving our community.

Millennials & Caregiving?

by: Kathi Koll on

I became a caregiver to my mother who was diagnosed with colon cancer the summer after I graduated from high school. It was devastating, isolating, overwhelming and even embarrassing at times to have a sick parent when all of my peer’s parents were healthy and thriving. But my experience was unusual for my generation. Now, statistics show that millennials make up close to 10 million of the 40 million caregivers in the U.S.. That’s 1 in 4 family caregivers! This is a vital, influential, and growing group of family caregivers that should not be overlooked. I am pleased to sha  ...read more

Make Your 2020 Caregiving Year a Happy One!

by: Kathi Koll on

A new year can be a time to reflect. How did the previous year work for me, my family, my community, the world? What could I change to bring more light into the coming year? Sometimes potential changes can be personal, such as improving health or tackling a desired project. However, as a caregiver, the caregiving part of the equation may need extra attention. Caregiving can provide joy, but it can also create pain—both mental and physical. Up to 70 percent of caregivers have clinically significant levels of depression, while 63 percent of caregivers   ...read more

How to Bring Joy into Your Caregiving This Holiday Season

by: Kathi Koll on

I was asked by Brenda Avadian of The Caregiver's Voice (https://thecaregiversvoice.com/tcv-humor/bring-joy-into-your-caregiving-this-holiday-season/#) to write an article that would put a smile on caregivers' faces because she knows how important it is to find humor and joy in life when one is juggling so much caring for a loved one, especially around the holidays. The following is the piece I wrote for The Caregiver's Voice (https://thecaregiversvoice.com/tcv-humor/bring-joy-into-your-caregiving-this-holiday-season/#) community that I would like to share with you too.   ...read more

Family & Caregiving: A Thankful Combination

by: Kathi Koll on

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate family connections. However, for caregivers, family relationships can be complicated. Sometimes, resentment may arise when one or two family members take on most of the caregiving duties. The reasons for such inequality may be understandable. Perhaps parents and one sibling live in the same town while other siblings live far away, so they can’t provide as much in-person assistance. Or maybe one sibling is single while the others have multiple children and competing demands on their time. Or perhaps, a spouse is reluctant to as  ...read more

Tackling Fear in Caregiving

by: Kathi Koll on

Caregiving can be scary—not in the way a Halloween horror flick provokes fear—but instead the way real life does. Caregiving often involves loss and perhaps some unexpected changes. For me, it was my husband’s stroke that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Starting with that moment, fear became something that we both had to address. Other emotions were also woven into the situation, such as hope, love, and anger, but fear was there too and could be one of the most challenging feelings to address. Fear can paralyze you. When my husband first became ill,  ...read more

The Power of Caregiving Friends

by: Kathi Koll on

Before reading my blog I need your help! The 2019 Kathi Koll Foundation Capital Campaign is winding down. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today and helping a caregiver in need. Please go to http://www.kathikollfoundation.org/donate to make a contribution and help a caregiver in need. Thank You! —Kathi Koll The Power of Caregiving Friends: Kinship and Connection Through Support Groups When I was my husband’s caregiver, I wish I could have more easily connected with others experiencing similar issues. Now, many res  ...read more

Are you a caregiver sandwich?

by: Kathi Koll on

As the summer comes to a close and the school year revs up, one category of caregivers faces unique challenges: Caregivers with Children. Are you a caregiver sandwich? Caring for both an ailing parent and your children puts you smack in the middle! While the school year may provide parents a break during school hours, the after-school demands of homework and activities can add to their burdens. Providing care to both growing children and ailing parents can become a non-stop task that fills every moment of one’s day. On the other hand, there can be benef  ...read more

Vacationing for Caregivers

by: Kathi Koll on

Vacations and caregiving may not seem like natural partners, but they can be. Almost everyone needs an occasional break from their every day lives, and for caregivers and their loved ones, these breaks can be of vital importance to both mental and emotional health. Caregiving often drains the wells of resiliency causing both physical and mental ailments, so taking a few days away may be one needed step toward healing. In addition, many loved ones who suffer from a health issue may also have a corollary depression, and a change of scene might be the perfect antidote.   ...read more

The Gift of Reading

by: Kathi Koll on

One of the quickest and easiest ways to get respite as a caregiver is to pick up a book! Even while stuck waiting in the hospital or sitting isolated at home, a book provides a simple way to transport you to another place and provide nurturance for your soul. Reading to your loved ones also may be just the salve they need. In the busy world of cell phone apps and ever-present electronic media, sometimes books can be forgotten, but they can be sustaining in so many ways. They can nurture your health, help alleviate depression, reduce stress, improve memory, and enhance empa  ...read more

It's a vacation...until it isn't!

by: Kathi Koll on

The last thing anyone wants to do when planning a vacation is anticipate a medical emergency. Whether you’re in a faraway land or in your very own back yard, some planning can save your life and help those caring for you. Most of us realize that being a patient can happen when we least expect it. Hardly anyone focuses on the “other side of the coin.” One can become a caregiver overnight too! Most recently, a surprise emergency happened to a friend of mine while she and her husband were vacationing in Mexico. They weren’t prepared for what became a very serious medical s  ...read more