The Kathi Koll Foundation

Serving our community.

The Unpredictability of Caregiving

by: Kathi Koll on

This has been a year of unpredictability for everyone, but even in normal times, unpredictability is often the constant companion of caregivers. Health emergencies may strike in the middle of the night, or the evolution of a loved one’s disease might cause new concerns or sudden schedule changes. Worry about what might happen can mean that even when things seem to be going well, it can feel as if they aren’t. Unpredictability can mean that one never feels safe or settled. In unpredictable environments, both anxiety and stress tend to rise, which may lead to increased d  ...read more

Navigating the Waters of Social Isolation

by: Kathi Koll on

Social isolation is often a danger to caregivers’ health. Now it’s a problem for the whole world. Yet for caregivers, the issues can be particularly rough due to the added stress of caring for an ailing loved one. Across much of the world, social distancing has meant that caregivers can no longer visit relatives in nursing homes. Caregiver support groups have been canceled or moved online. Friends and family are prohibited from stopping by for uplifting visits. And worry may be much more intense because of how problematic the coronavirus can be for the elderly or people with underl  ...read more

Coronavirus and Caregiving: Health, Home & Heart—A Team Effort

by: Kathi Koll on

The worldwide spread of the coronavirus (or COVID-19) can seem scary, particularly to the elderly and infirm. You may wonder what you can do as a caregiver to protect your ailing loved one. First, don’t panic. A tiny proportion of the public currently has the disease, and recovery rates are high. Still, no one wants to catch the infection, particularly the elderly or those with underlying health conditions, for whom it is much more dangerous. So what can you do? Here is a summary specifically for caregivers based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s  ...read more

Love and Caregiving: A Magic Combination

by: Kathi Koll on

For many family caregivers, love may be the solid underpinning that sustains them. This love may flow back and forth between the one receiving care and the caregiver in a way that deepens their bond. Years of caregiving may be a time for appreciation and connection as life slows from the fast pace of the outside world to the slow time of home and nurturance. The simple activities of eating, bathing, and toileting may become long processes while conversation may also happen only in small increments when the patient can manage it. This unhurried pace can provide a space for lov  ...read more

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