WHY I CO-FOUNDED THE CAREGIVER CLUB.
Hello friends, it has been too long since I last wrote and I have an exciting reason why. I have co-founded a non--profit with my cousin, Alicia. I am still writing and will continue to write, but this new adventure is exhilarating, and I can't wait to tell you more.
Our company is called The Caregiver Club. Our mission is to support caregivers of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia by the products we sell and the donations we raise. We will then donate 100% of our profits to organizations fighting Alzheimer's & dementia and those organizations that support caregivers.
You know how perfectly this new adventure fits if you follow my blog. Helping care for my mom is an honor and a privilege. But my family and I have had help - lots of help. It has been the caregivers, both the in-home caregivers and facility caregivers, that have made my mom's final stage of life so remarkably wonderful. Without these women, we would be a ship lost at sea as a family\. They indeed are our heroes. However, so many out there are caring alone. They don't have as much support as we do, and they need it. So, we are here for all of you. However big or small your burden, we are here to help support and decrease that stress. We aim to simplify your life.
When and how did the company begin? It began on Halloween 2021 while carving pumpkins. My girls and I were at Alicia's house for our annual carving gathering, and Alicia said, "Jodie, I have an idea for a business you would love." She showed me a handwritten card that she had created when she was out in public with her dad, Poppy. Alicia's dad, who his grandkids call Poppy, has frontal lobe dementia and currently has several caregivers, including his wife and family. They take him out and about most days, and he loves going out to lunch and dinner. But having dementia, he can say some crazy things. So, to combat that, Alicia would hand these business cards to her servers, saying, "My dad has dementia. Please have understanding and patience with us."
Alicia showed me the card she had made and said she wanted to mass-produce these. My heart skipped a beat because I remember dad using something similar with mom many years earlier. I jumped at the idea. We started talking and decided to go for it. Four months later, we launched.
With the caregiver cards being central to our vision, we also wanted to have an identifier that the caregiver could wear. But before anything, we needed a name and The Caregiver Club fit perfectly. We started working with a dear friend to design a logo and website. We worked with our lawyers to form the company, file for a trademark, and register as a 501(c)3. While our creative juices were flowing and a lot of internet searches and email exchanges, we landed on our Caregiver cards, Caregiver buttons, and bracelets. Voila, The Caregiver Club was born.
We sell business-size cards that caregivers carry with them when they are out in public with an Alzheimer/dementia patient or loved one. You can see them in the pictures posted. Our goal is for caregivers to hand these out to any person they encounter on their outing. To the server at lunch, grocery store clerk, airline attendant, boutique owner, you name it. You have granddad for the afternoon at the basketball game; hand them to the fans. Make it rain caregiver cards peeps!
The cards are meant to convey that you are caring for an Alzheimer's or dementia patient while maintaining the patient's dignity. We, as caregivers, understand the struggles you face while out in public with your loved one. It can be embarrassing when they say or do the wrong thing, act out of the norm, or treat people rudely. But once someone knows your loved one has dementia, their whole demeanor changes, and your interaction changes. They instantly have more patience and understanding for you and your loved one. Once this other person knows, they can help you better, serve you better, and treat you and your loved one better. Alicia and I believe that with knowledge comes understanding, and with understanding comes compassion.
We also sell our caregiver buttons with a magnetic back - don't want to mess up your nice blouse.
The button is meant to be worn by the caregiver while out in public. Aiming to signify you are caring for a person with Alzheimer's or dementia. We envision our buttons to be an instant reminder to those around us that we are caring for someone extraordinary. Our goal with the button is big, and big goals equal big movements. We want to break down the stigma and barriers that dementia brings. We want to spread the word and open the door for so many caregivers struggling out there. By wearing your button, you are not only showing support, but you are spreading the love and support we all need.
Finally, we have our bracelet. They can be worn by the caregiver, patient, family, or friend. It is meant to remind you that you are part of a great and supportive club. You, as the caregiver, are loved, understood, and valued. I currently give mine to mom to fiddle with as we visit. She loves running the bead through her hands.
As caregivers ourselves, we understand the struggles you face. We understand no day is the same, no interaction will go as planned, and each patient with dementia is different. We want to alleviate the stress and embarrassment of taking a loved one out in public. We want our vision to become a movement.
I know everyone reading this is like, how can we help, what can we do, where can I buy one? I want to give one to my neighbor, mom, or friend—I got your back. Head to our website www.thecaregiverclub.org and you can buy or donate to our mission there. Also, follow us on social media and share our post and website with your friends and family. The more you share, the more our good news and support spread.
I want you all a part of this journey, this adventure. So come with me, come help me change lives for the better.
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