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

Keeping Your Spirits Up in a Trying Time

by: Kathi Koll on

In the midst of a pandemic, hope can seem hard to find. Anger, frustration, and dismay may seem like easy emotions to slide into, but hope is all around you if you look for it. Hope is in the sounds of birds outside your window. It’s in the flower popping up in a crack in the pavement. It’s also in the people who are fighting to save people’s lives whether by working at hospitals, making homemade masks, or staying inside to safeguard others. Hope also resides in the increased notice many people are now taking of the most vulnerable people in our population. Kendra Webster,   ...read more

Guest Blog: Employment Rights for Caregivers

by: Kathi Koll on

During these uncertain times it is important as a caregiver to know your employment rights. The following article written by Devin Golden for MesotheliomaGuide.com and edited here for www.KathiKollFoundation.org (http://www.kathikollfoundation.org), pertains to ALL unpaid caregivers — but if you are specifically caring for someone with Mesothelioma please see more information in brackets below. –Kathi Koll Choosing to be a caregiver is a selfless and giving act. The American Cancer Society defines a caregiver as anyone not paid to provide care to a loved on  ...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