Episode 003: 9 Beginner Steps to Raising Parents (part 3)

Show Notes:

  • Step 5 “Be Compassionate.” Zack opens up asking “what are the top three things you want in an exceptional caregiver?” Compassion is the top choice after hiring over 300 professional caregivers.
  • A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (see full study here) showed that 40 seconds of compassionate communication from a physician reduced anxiety and increased confidence among breast cancer patients.  Compassion also benefits someone receiving hospice care and the caregiver giving that care.
  • References the Tin Man (Wizard of Oz) and Ebenezer Scrooge (Christmas Carol) about having a heart and transforming into a compassionate person.
  • Patience Botchwey, professional caregiver, shares how she meets a client for the first time by asking her to open her heart.
  • Refer to Episode 1 (click here) for Steps 1 & 2 of the 9 Beginner Steps to Raising Your Parents and Episode 2 (click here) for Steps 3 & 4
  • Stanford School of Medicine’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education defines compassion as follows: Compassion is an emotion that provides a sense of shared suffering, combined with a desire to alleviate the suffering of others and to show loving-kindness to those who suffer. (visit site here)
  • Charter for Compassion, whose vision is to create a more compassionate world, summarized compassion as follows: (1) noticing suffering, (2) feeling empathy, and (3) taking action to get rid of the suffering (click here)
  • Patience shares more from her background. She is a live-in aide, someone who lives with her client under the same roof caring for her all the time seven days a week. She was going home to take a break, something very important for any caregiver to do so they can re-energize and give the same amount of compassion she was giving the first day she met her client.
  • Ageucate (visit site here) is an organization that teaches and trains caregivers. Ann Catlin from Ageucate is an Occupational Therapist and Licensed Massage Therapist and she shares an exercise.  Why is this important? Be conscious of and try to avoid an unwanted outcome of providing compassion around the clock … compassion fatigue. (view article here)
  • Harriet Hodgson wrote the article “What is compassion fatigue?” about an unfortunate circumstance of providing compassion as a professional caregiver that could apply to anyone care-giving – compassion fatigue. Symptoms may look like withdrawing from others, difficulty connecting with the person you are caring for, feeling angry that you are not appreciated, turn to compulsive behaviors like overeating, drinking alcohol, and physical symptoms like headaches and gastrointestinal issues. She also shares some things to do to avoid or minimize compassion fatigue: Assess your self-care. Stay physically active. Try deep breathing. Check your support system. Join a caregiving support group. Include some fun in each day. Care for your spiritual self. Follow these steps and you can get rid of compassion fatigue before it starts. (see full article here) What is compassion fatigue?
  • Wife Phyllis shares real-life examples of someone who showed tremendous compassion.
  • Step 6 “Be Respectful”
  • Zack talks about the golden rule or versions of it.
  • Client, Helen Mintz, shares insights about respect and how that helped when her daughter wanted to go with her to the doctor.
  • Patience adds more from her experience with her grandmother.
  • Phyllis adds more on being respectful, especially when you are dealing with someone who has dementia.
  • Next week we are going to talk about Step 7 “Be Fun” and Step 8 “Be Loving.”

Resources Referenced:


This show is dedicated to one of my clients, James F Ward.  He passed away February 17th, 2017 at the age of 87. I was honored to have met him and I do miss him. He was the epitome of respect and compassion. As a very sick man for the last few years, his only priority was to take care of his wife Shirley. He respected and appreciated the caregivers who cared for him. We always had long conversations about life, late in the day when I should have been in the office doing paperwork. I’ll never forget when I called him Mr. Ward upon meeting him for the first time the first time and he smiled at me like a proud father, to which he answered “Please, call me Jim.” He was known as always being “True and Dear.”  You can see that he very well earned it by always giving back. He recruited for his alma mater, Yale, he was a mentor to many youth, served in Korea as an officer in the Marines, served as a fundraiser for many organizations, and was an incredible family man and husband to Shirley. Jim, I miss your humor, sarcasm and words of wisdom. I will hold to my promise and keep taking care of Shirley just like you asked me to.


  • Raising ‘Rents intro and ending music by Arthaiz
  • Opening music: “Pianomoment” Bensound.com
  • Other music: “Ofelia’s Dream” Bensound.com.
  • Doorbell by www.soundjay.com
  • Daughter Anastasia Demopoulos does the opening voice over
  • Thank you to guests Helen Mintz and Patience Botchwey
  • Website developed and managed by Philip Golden
  • Last but not least, thank you to Zack’s wife Phyllis for her insights and stories.

Raising ‘Rents is made possible by the support of ComForCare, a national home care provider who truly helps you live your best life possible. Visit webpage here