[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Faith Talk Live (Atlanta 970 AM) Dan Ratcliffe interviews Peter Rosenberger 02/09/2016
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[Announcer} From our 7th floor studio in Buckhead (GA), this is Faith Talk Live with Rick and Dan:
Alright, you are listening to Faith Talk Live I’m Dan Radcliffe; Rick Probst is out today. His son, Jake, poor guy’s not feeling well …he’s sick at home and so Rick has stayed home with him …and interestingly enough you know Rick’s being a caregiver today—we’re talking now with Peter Rosenberger the founder of Caregivers With Hope. And this is perfect because Rick is being a caregiver today so we can talk about Rick while he’s not here, how’s that sound?
[Peter] (laughing)Fabulous! I love the intro with Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough … that’s pretty much our journey as caregivers; “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”
[Dan] Can you ever get enough? That’s the question.
[Peter]Well this weekend I had a new experience as caregiver—I had a very sick dog …oh man! It was like a horror movie here at the house, but he’s okay.
That’s good that’s good. What was wrong with him?
Well he just got some kind of intestinal bug. It was just …ugh! I’ve mopped more in the last three days than I have in the last 3 years.
(Laughing) Yikes. Yikes. Alright, well again we’re talking with Peter Rosenberger he’s the founder of Caregivers With Hope which offers clear proven strategies to guide caregivers toward a healthier lifestyle in every facet of their life and you can now follow him on Twitter at hope the @hope4caregiver or online www.hopeforthecaregiver.com
Peter, we’re gonna get right into, because I’ve got about a bajillion questions in a short time with you here. Not only are you a caregiver, you’re a radio host, you’re an author, you’re a speaker an accomplished pianist, and a black belt in HapKido. So, how do you do it all?
[Peter] Well, somebody asked me that. I was talking with some caregivers of wounded warriors up at Fort Campbell not too long to ago, and one of them said, “You know, how do you find time for this?”
I don’t find time for this, I make time for this! Because if I am not a healthy person on every level as an individual—emotionally, professionally, physically, fiscally—I’m not much good to my wife. She needs me to be healthy, and that means I have to sometimes say “no” to the short term …in order to think about the long term, and this is the issue caregivers struggle with.
I mean, 72% of caregivers, now there are over sixty-five million of us now, 72% percent don’t even see their own doctor regularly. Well now, that’s a time bomb waiting to happen. I’ve been a caregiver now for thirty years, so I have a little understanding in this area, and I am on a mission to help strengthen my fellow caregivers on what is that look like to kind of think long-term here. You can’t just kind of hold your breath and get through this … like when the oxygen masks fall down on the plane and they said, “Put yours on first before helping someone else” I call that the Delta Doctrine because I was flying out on Delta one day and I heard that.
[Peter] But you know. we hold our breath thinking somehow we’re going to just we’re going to get through this until they either get better or the Lord takes them home. Well, sometimes The Valley of the Shadow of Death is a long valley. And you can’t hold your breath that long … so you’ve got to do strategies to help stay healthy along the way.
[Dan] Wow. We’re talking with Peter Rosenberger the founder of Caregivers With Hope and you mentioned your wife Gracie. She’s kind of a catalyst for this whole Caregivers With Hope. Would that be a correct of representation? She’s kind of a catalyst of it?
[Peter] She is indeed. She had a terrible car wreck two years before I met her …a couple of years before I met her, when she was seventeen-years-old. This was a while back, back in 1983. And, she’d already had about twenty surgeries by the time I met her, but she’d bounced back and come back to college, and we had a whirlwind courtship …and I took on this …the helm of a medical nightmare. And, I really didn’t have any frame of reference of what it was like to be a relationship with someone who was hurt. And we really didn’t know how badly the long term would be for her …you know, how this thing would go. And to give you a quick synopsis she’s up to, what I can count, seventy-eight surgeries now, she gave up both of her legs in the 1990’s, twelve different hospitals, sixty-plus doctors, seven different insurance companies, and nine million dollars plus …it’s really probably closer to ten now …and counting. So this is ongoing, and we just had something just last couple weeks we’re just dealing with realities here I mean it never stops it’s chronic and it’s relentless …and that’s what brings me to the understanding that I have for caregivers.
[Dan] You call yourself a family caregiver not a professional caregiver, what’s the difference and why is it important understand the difference between those workers”
[Peter] Laughing. Well, Gracie doesn’t write me a check!
[Peter] She doesn’t pay me! You know I mean that’s the big difference right there! Listen, family caregivers are doing this as volunteers. This is not our job. This is our life! And there is 350 Billion (with a B) dollars-worth of unpaid work being done on behalf of chronically ill or disabled or elderly loved ones …by a family caregiver. Think about that, if all of us went on strike for one year look what it’d do to our economy. I’m in Nashville, and there’s over $11 billion worth of that going on in just Tennessee. Also, then the numbers are going to only increase as these baby boomers going into retirement or senior status and so forth.
And people are going to work—47% of caregivers are in the workforce. And it’s affecting your job, it’s affecting your faith, you can’t get to church; I mean it’s every part of your life is hit by this thing. And in to this, I want to reach out and grab as many like him by the lapels and say, “Look, this sucks, this really sucks! But here’s how we’re going to navigate through this thing, so that you don’t get blown up in the process.
[Dan] Right, and that brings me to my next question. We’re talking with Peter Rosenberger, the author of Caregivers With Hope, and on your website there’s a video titled “The Coming Caregiver Crisis,” which immediately made me go, “Hey, I gotta watch this.” What is this crisis? What is that crisis?
[Peter] Well, these baby boomers. I mean this is an unprecedented population group that is stepping into senior status, and they’re gonna need care … and they’re not really prepared for it. I don’t know if you know this or not but this baby boomer generation …they’re not the most selfless group of people. I don’t know if everybody’s kind of figured that out, but we got a pretty demanding group of people that are going into a very demanding life circumstance …and people aren’t prepared for this. Families are coming to blows over this.
If you have a disability in the family, not just a spouse just a disability I mean just anybody within the family has a disability …the divorce rate is almost ninety percent. So marriages are coming apart. Then you have situations where all the average caregiver is a 49 year-old woman taking care for 69-year old widowed mother. Well, she’s consumed with taking care of her mom … what’s her husband doing? How’s that marriage going? What’s happening with the kids?
You know it’s it has a ripple affect into every part of our fabric. And I know that everybody right now is consumed with the world blowing up and Donald Trump’s hair.
[Peter imitating Donald Trump] “It’s a fabulous head of hair!” I’ve seen hair, I’ve seen thousands of heads of hair, and that is a beautiful head of hair.”
[Peter] Well you know, this is a slow-burn issue that is affecting so many. And I’m not an expert on taking care of your loved one. What I bring is an unprecedented awareness and experience of what the challenges are for caregiver’s heart. You know those late night conversations with the ceiling fan
[Peter[ It’s just you and God and you’re wondering if God’s going to show up. That kind of stuff is what I speak to help caregivers start to step back away from that cliff, and start slow walking into some healthy lifestyles.
[Dan] Peter Rosenberger, author of Caregivers With Hope. You mentioned that 90% divorce statistic. How did how did it get there and how can we turn that around?
[Peter] Well, that’s a complicated procedure of turning it around. How it got there is just …what happens is, when you have a relentless bombardment of stress and all that the chaos that’s involved in something like this….marriage is hard enough. When you throw in something like this, it;s just gonna force to the surface, very quickly, a lot of issues. It doesn’t cause character defects. Okay, let me make that very clear. Disabilities and stress and all that doesn’t cause it. It’s simply miracle-gro for character deflects. It just amplifies it.
And so things come to the surface very quickly that would not normally do so. How do we get there [addressing divorce rate]? You start taking very small steps toward healthy lifestyles as an individual. Healthy individuals make healthy relationships. Healthy relationships make healthy families. Healthy families make healthy churches. Healthy churches make healthy communities. Healthy communities make a healthy nation.
It’s a very small incremental step, but it’s easy to do. And that’s what I’ve laid out in my book HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER, which is not hearts and rainbows and unicorns. It’s the conviction …that we as caregivers can live a calmer, healthier, and (dare I say it) and even more joyful life—even while looking at grim realities. Everything in scripture tells me that is the case …and I’m gonna go with scripture on that one.
[Dan] Amen! Peter Rosenberger. So, where can folks get the book? We get less than a minute here
[Peter] Wherever books are sold: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian bookstores …whatever …go to www.hopeforthecaregiver.com Don’t stammer or stutter if you’re trying to help a caregiver. Don’t try to figure out what to say to them. I already did that. Just put thirty years of experience in their hands and you get this book. And give it to your pastor. Give it to your senior’s minister at your church, and so forth. Give it to your doctor.
[Dan] Yeah. Alright. Peter Rosenberger, thanks for doing all the work for the caregivers, so they can just read your book and be that much further along. Peter Rosenberger. www.hopeforthecaregiver.com