Managing Chronic Pain

This Week on Sage Aging

<img src="Nancycandea.jpg" alt="sageaging season 2 episode 4; managing chronic pain, nancy candea guest">This week we dive into a topic that touches more people than you might realize. Chronic pain affects one in five American adults. Think about that for a second, 20% of the American adult population feels pain Every. Single. Day. (CDC)

And by the way, advanced age is a key factor in experiencing chronic pain and 70% of the people affected by chronic pain syndrome are women. So chronic pain is a real issue for a lot of people and especially for caregivers. While chronic pain can be approached medically (and you should always consult with your physician!) in this conversation, we focus on the holistic approach; Things that you can do to take charge of your health and wellness. Listen to the conversation here or keep scrolling for the transcript.

My Guest

My guest today is Nancy Candea. Nancy is an educator, entrepreneur, yoga therapist, personal trainer, and podcast host. Her mission is to make wellness practices accessible so that people can feel more in control of their health and happiness. To learn more about Nancy, check out the links section below.

What We Covered

Disclaimer: Obviously I am not a doctor, and Nancy isn’t either. As with anything health-related, it is always important to consult with your physician about any pain you are experiencing.

  • Chronic pain defined
  • The effects of aging on the body
  • Sources of chronic pain
  • Strategies to prevent chronic pain
  • Healing from or alleviating chronic pain
  • The five points of wellness – taking control of your health

Links & Resources

Suggested Reading

<img src="bookfreedomfrompain.jpg" alt="suggested reading: Freedom from Pain by Dr. Peter Levine. Sage Aging season 2 episode 5"> Freedom from Pain by Drs. Maggie Phillips & Peter Levine: Discover Your Body’s Power to Overcome Physical Pain

In Freedom from Pain, two pioneers in the field of pain and trauma recovery address a crucial missing factor essential to long-term healing: addressing the unresolved emotional trauma held within the body.  Informed by their founding work in the Somatic Experiencing® process and unique insights gleaned from decades of clinical success, Drs. Levine and Phillips will show you how to:

Calm the body’s overreactive “fight” response to pain
• Release the fear, frustration, and depression intensified by prior traumas, and build inner resilience and self-regulation
• Relieve pain caused by the aftermath of injuries, surgical procedures, joint and muscle conditions, migraines, and other challenges
Whether you’re seeking to begin a self-care strategy or amplify your current treatment program, Freedom from Pain will provide you with proven tools to help you experience long-term relief.

 

Thanks for Listening!

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Transcript

Taking Control of Chronic Pain with Nancy Candea (June 2021)

Liz Craven: [00:00:00] The Sage aging podcast is brought to you by Polk ElderCare Guide. Your guide to all things, senior care, and resources. Find the 2021 guide in English and Spanish at polkeldercare.com.

 

Welcome to the Sage Aging podcast. I’m your host, Liz Craven. Sage Aging will connect you to information and resources. You need to navigate the aging and caregiving journey. I’ll bring you education, inspiration, amazing industry guests and caregivers spotlights to shed some light on the topics of aging information and resources can be so hard to find if you don’t know where to look, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relax as we chat. Are you ready? Hit subscribe now and let’s get started.

This is episode five of season two. Have you enjoyed season two so far? I really hope you have, and I’d love to hear your feedback, so reach out and let me know what we’re doing well, and let me know what you’d like to hear more. You know, I really love producing this podcast and it’s even more fun when I have a chance to interact with all of you who are listening, so I hope that you’ll find me on social media or reach out to me via email and let me know your thoughts. Today we’re going to dive into a topic that touches more people than you might realize. Chronic pain affects one in five American adults. Think about that for a second, 20% of the American adult population feels pain every single day.

And by the way, advanced age is a key factor in experiencing chronic pain. And 70% of the people affected by chronic pain syndrome are you guessed it, women? So chronic pain is a real issue for a lot of people and especially for caregivers. Chronic pain can be approached medically, of course, but today we’re going to focus our conversation on the holistic approach.

My guest today is Nancy Candea. Nancy is an educator, entrepreneur, yoga therapist, personal trainer, and podcast host her mission is to make wellness practices accessible so that people can feel more in control of their health and happiness. To learn more about Nancy. Check out the blog post for season two, episode 5 at sageaging.com. Or you can find a link in the show notes in your favorite podcast app. Welcome to the show, Nancy. Thanks so much for joining me today.

Nancy Candea: [00:02:47] Hey, Liz. Thanks for having me. Thank you for that introduction, it was lovely. And I I have been working, you know, for a lot of years with people in I was actually surprised that the numbers of people with chronic pain were so low to be truthful, but I know as people get older, those accumulate and I have had to deal with my own chronic pain and gotten worked through it. And so  it is a topic that’s really near and dear to my heart because I think it’s a place where people feel stuck and don’t feel an ability to kind of keep moving forward in their lives. I also wanted to say in the yoga therapy world, my niche is trauma and addiction, and chronic pain. And it’s pretty interesting how those three things sometimes also fit together, especially trauma, high stress, and the connection to chronic pain.

Liz Craven: [00:03:53] Well, to me, that makes so much sense. I’ll be honest, every time I find myself in a funk, which I did recently, and anybody who follows me on social media knows that season two was a month behind in getting off. And that’s because I was contemplating the conversations of mental health and of self-care. And these are things that I preach to everybody, every single episode. And I found myself falling into that burnout phase and said, Nope, it’s time to take a step back and practice what I preach. And I did that. Took a little bit of time to just regroup. Not that producing a podcast is something that causes me stress.

It’s actually one of the favorite things that I do, but I did need to take time and just sit down and just play a little bit and just get back to health and you know, that you let things go as you get busier and busier. And so making sure you’re eating right and making sure that you’re exercising consistently and all of those little things, when that brain fog creeps up and you’re feeling the aches and pains and the lower back is talking to you, that’s when you know, time to take a step back and regroup. And so I think that it’s very difficult for most people to do that. And furthermore, I wonder how many people are really aware that that’s creeping up on them.

Nancy Candea: [00:05:22] Absolutely. Just, what you said is just that perfect key story of how to take care of yourself. And I think that one of the things about getting older is often we do need to take more time. A body that has gone through a lot already and this body have a finite time to be alive.

Even we can think of as, you know, menopause, I mean, that was 10 years ago for me, the peri-menopause, as a call to taking deeper care of ourselves. Or when we have those pain responses or that brain fog, it’s the call to take more time for ourselves. And I think one of the dangers is when we go, oh, I’m having these things because I’m aging, we don’t heed the call of something is off. And yes, it could be true that we’re having more of our body telling us, pay attention, pay attention as we get older.

And just to accept that. That there is going to be our body calling us to pay attention more often, but studies have shown, role models of people who are older, have shown that this call to take better care of ourselves to pay more attention, it works when you do that pay attention part.

Liz Craven: [00:06:54] And that’s the hard part, isn’t it?

Nancy Candea: [00:06:56] It is because I think especially in a little more of our fast-paced society we don’t do that as much. You know, I am thinking back to days when there wasn’t the technology, we just would sit on the porch and do nothing. You know and then be a little more possibly aware. But, luckily, all our technology gives us a lot more help on how to take care. And I think that the self-care, the parts even like eating well,  think back into a day when the junk food wasn’t even an option.

Liz Craven: [00:07:35] Right.

Nancy Candea: [00:07:36] We do need to step back into some of that, the simpler eating, the simpler of taking time, the simplicity of spending a little more time in nature, a little more time, even walking all these things are the parts of modern society that we need to evaluate.

Have we got sucked into an unhealthy culture and do we need to, re-establish a personal culture of self-care so that it doesn’t feel odd. You know, taking time to eat vegetables was just something that happened when we were younger.  Junk food kind of came along beginning in the sixties and the seventies, and then just became a norm and we need to kind of go back when that wasn’t a norm and start our lives in that culture.

Liz Craven: [00:08:27] I could not agree more. It’s hard to do that, but it’s really important. And I think as you age, I know for me anyway, my husband and I were talking about this the other night, you do start to notice differences in your body. It’s easy to ignore them, but we’ve chosen not to. So when something creeps up, we’re thinking, okay, where is that coming from?

Is that something that I can do something about? And what does the rest of my health care right now look like? Am I taking care of myself? Have I let some bad habits creep in. Sugar? You know, am I eating too much sugar. That’s an easy one.  That’s my vice right there. Give me a piece of chocolate any day. But it’s been very interesting to see how that really affects your body. Doing a complete cleanse and just taking all of the inflammatory things out of my diet just for a few weeks, the brain fog completely disappears and all of a sudden you’re feeling good again, and you’ve got more energy and you’re ready to go. So I was listening to your podcast. What’s the name of that again?

Nancy Candea: [00:09:39] Wild kind health.

Liz Craven: [00:09:41] Yes. I was listening to that the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d encourage everybody to go check it out. I will leave a link in the show notes for this episode and in the blog post. It was great. But I love what you said about inquiring about your pain instead of just accepting it. So in other words, Don’t just acknowledge that it’s there and walk on and think that this is just what I live with now. Figure out where that’s coming from is what I took from it.  Figure out what’s causing that. Take a look at your life. What can you change? What can you do? What new practices can you introduce to alleviate that pain?

Nancy Candea: [00:10:24] Absolutely. And I think there’s a lot of wonderful things about our current medical system, but when it comes to aging bodies, I feel like they drop the ball. And just asked us to accept. I mean, I’m a retired dancer, so I’ve been really hard on my body. And then just told, you know, you have arthritis, and that’s just like, you’re gonna put up with it.

That was in my late thirties, I don’t have any chronic pain now. And that’s the way I take care of myself. And then that arthritis word is just a catch-all word when they don’t really know what’s going on, to be truthful. And the itis means there’s inflammation.

And inflammation, whether it’s congestion, inflammation, or pain inflammation is your body’s signal that it’s working too hard. The immune system is working too hard and we need to give it boosts just like what you’ve done. You know, I have chocolate, I eat cookies, but 80% of my diet is plant based and I’m not saying be a vegan or vegetarian, I am saying, get your plants in your body, you know, and then, and that’s half of your plate is vegetables.

Now, none of us do that, but we can step toward that and think about more plants because they contain the nutrients that we need. And like what you did by kind of cleaning up your diet for a couple of weeks, just super squeaky clean, helps our gut to get healed. So those digestive issues, those are one of the biggest clues that things are not going well because when we have digestive issues, we’re not able to let the nutrients from the food that we’re eating get in and help ourselves rejuvenate.

So that’s one of the things. Digestion. If you have digestion issues, don’t just cover it up with Tums and stuff. Do the hard work of the healing and find a medical professional who will help you do that. That’s one really big clue and exactly what you did. I did that in February and I was just amazed at how the digestive issues went away and I could eat little bits of the fun things, and that’s fine. You might have to go for a couple of weeks of cleaning it all up the sugar out, but then you can have a little, and then you got to notice when it becomes more than a little, and then for joint pain, it’s getting strong muscles. It’s strengthening around the muscles that support those joints. If you have knee pain like walking downstairs, your quads, your thighs are not strong enough. If you have lower back pain, it might be that your hips aren’t strong enough or they need to be stretched out.

Everybody should be using dumbbells to keep their upper body strong. And I’m just talking 10, 15 minutes, you know, first start out with once a week and then a few times a week. And really, I’m just talking those 10 minutes, try and build up to 20 minutes, of a variety of exercise and your internal organs will be so happy with you.

You know, I’m not talking about sculpting. You know, if you can take an hour class once in a while, that’s great, but seriously, that 10 20 minutes you put in daily will help relieve your pain. And you might have to hire somebody to teach you how to do these things, but they are lifelong skills. They’re not a band-aid.

Exercise and nutrition and then learning how to productively relax are very important parts. And again, just five to 10 minutes of relaxation with a guided meditation will help reset your brain. And so the stuff I’ve talked about maybe adds up to an hour, maybe an hour and a half at most a day of self-care, but think of that rest of the 22 and a half hours that are going to feel so much better.

Liz Craven: [00:14:33] Right. That really is a great segue into the conversation of sleep, because if you are doing these things your sleep will be better. You’ll sleep longer. You’ll have more quality sleep. I don’t necessarily do this, but I know people who measure their sleep and they say, oh my gosh, it took me an hour and a half to fall asleep last night.

And during the night I only got four hours of restful sleep and the rest was restless.

Nancy Candea: [00:15:02] Yeah.

Liz Craven: [00:15:03] and oh, how horrible. I need my eight hours of sleep a night. If I don’t get it, then I’m going to be a little grumpy the next day. And I know I’m spoiled and I know a lot of people don’t sleep that much, but for me, it’s necessary in order to be effective.

And I wonder how many people just kind of learn how to live with that lack of sleep. They learn how to be as effective as they can, but can you imagine what they would be able to do and to accomplish and how they would feel if they could figure out how to get this right so they’re getting good sleep at night.

Nancy Candea: [00:15:38] Absolutely. Sleep is one of the key factors to dealing with chronic pain, along with exercise. The endorphins take pain away and then food which helps with inflammation. And when I think to myself, cause I’ve always had sleep problems.

My sister remembers even when I was a kid. And now as an adult looking at it, one is I have to be incredibly impeccable about caffeine. Like chocolate, even if I have it in the morning, it could keep me up at night, but black tea goes in, goes out. Coffee. I can’t even do that.

But the other thing that will keep me awake is our digestive issues. And so the best thing for me is to have my heaviest meal at lunchtime and then a lighter meal at night. And then maybe like a cup of peppermint tea using some of these wonderful teas to help with digestion is needed. And digestion is a really important topic, but as far as it, having to do with chronic pain it, you know, again, that sleep just like you brought up so important for dealing with pain.

Liz Craven: [00:16:48] Absolutely. And I think it’s worth mentioning here. A lot of the audience that is listening to this podcast, they are people who have heavy responsibilities. Some are physically caring for a loved one, in a live-in capacity. So they’re waking up and they’re not just caring for their own selves. They are responsible for the care of another person.

And so these things seem unattainable sometimes when you’re in that situation. How do I really make that work? And I just want to encourage people that even if you can’t reach the benchmarks that we’ve been talking about, maybe it’s just once a week that you’re spending that time on your physical health to start with. Maybe it’s five minutes of stretching in the morning before you put your feet on the floor. What can you do in that capacity? And just making sure that you’re paying attention to what you’re feeding yourself and what you’re feeding your loved one. I know that it’s hard, but the payoff is big and I don’t come from a place where I don’t understand I’ve been live-in caregiver before.

I’ve been a long-distance caregiver before. There are so many challenges that come with being a caregiver, and I want to wholly acknowledge those and just encourage people that whatever works for you and whatever you find is a fit for you, that’s okay. Start there. And there are countless resources online.

There are free fitness classes from five-minute sessions to hour-long sessions all over the internet. If you have trouble finding any of those, you make sure you reach out to me and I will lead you to some resources that are free. Just wanted to put that out there and make that acknowledgment.

Nancy Candea: [00:18:42] I love that you said it’s just those short five minutes, 10 minutes. I think we get so caught up in that we have to do something for an hour, but I’ve had people tell me, and these are I train yoga teachers who have a hard time meditating. I say just try, you don’t even have to be successful,

just try for five minutes and then for a one week then they’ll go that’s changing my life. It’s changing my life just to try. Don’t underestimate those few minutes, and for really busy people It is a lifesaver. It will work really well for you. And just like that cup of digestive tea starting out in the morning, just little things.

And I do want to tell you, since you brought up the internet is I do have a platform, a wellness platform called Underhill life. Underhilllife.com, and it’s a subscription platform for $12 a month and you get a free class with me and I have a chair yoga class, which is an amazing class, one a month, which that covers the cost, but then it is filled with five to 10 minute videos on exercise stretching, balance, meditations, breathing practices, all in just these short bites. I put it up a year ago and people have been telling me, I just do your upper body, your 10 minutes upper body. And I can’t believe how my upper body strength has changed just doing little bits. And so just really want to encourage that. And I do have that support for you all in one place.

Liz Craven: [00:20:17] Well, thank you for that. And I’ll be sure to mention that in our blog post and show notes again, that you’ll find a section called links and resources and anything. We mentioned other websites the website Nancy just filled us in about, all of that will be linked for you. I’ll try to include some other resources that I know of to give you some options.

So that’s excellent. Now I want to talk about strategies to prevent chronic pain and maybe a little bit, I think we talked about that a little bit already, but take that discussion a little bit further to healing from or alleviating chronic pain. And before we do that, I want to make one, disclaimer, we are not sharing medical advice. If you have questions, you should always consult with your primary care physician first. But this is a point of conversation that I think is worth having that although there are definitely medical approaches to chronic pain and you should investigate those with your provider, there are some things that you can do at home to alleviate some of what you’re experiencing.

Nancy Candea: [00:21:28] Excellent. And I know that I have seen enough people who have come back with a sheet after they’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis, all these things, you know, you’re given a sheet and one of the things on the sheet says, Check, your lifestyle, make your lifestyle changes.

And there’s usually not a lot of information about that, but it is always on the list of things to do. And those are the things that, I do that you do, Liz, that everyone you know, it’s their power it’s like taking our power back from our body that just doesn’t seem to be, working in the way that we want it to work.

And so I think the first strategy is to stop and notice that chronic pain. And I know this feels kind of esoteric, but just to close your eyes and say, what do I need to do? And step into trusting your own intuition and see what bubbles up. And this is going to be my Sage advice later. So I’m going to repeat this, but, if it’s something like you got to deal with the way you eat, you need to listen to that.

Okay. So that’s like the first step in the strategy is to empower yourself to step into your own self-care on this issue. And if it says, get some extra help, find that help. Right? And so to really just listen to yourself, because this is your body talking to you. It could be that There’s some unresolved emotions.

And that’s where we link to. You talked earlier of linking this up with trauma and if something bubbles up like a car accident or something really hard that’s when seeking out a healthcare provider or a real trusted friend who will listen to you is going to come up and so, I just want to put that out there that sometimes chronic pain is linked to some incredible stressor that we’ve had in our past.

Liz Craven: [00:23:47] Thank you for bringing up that point because that’s so important. We’ve been talking a lot with mental health month, just in a rearview mirror. The awareness that that brings is fantastic. And I love being able to link it to other pieces of who we are because frankly it’s at the core of everything that we are and acknowledging that and feeling open enough to explore that and discover how that could be contributing to some of the things that we’re dealing with, I think that’s just a win all the way around. And frankly, chronic pain is something that the medical professionals will tell you they have no rubric for. It is so different for every single person.

And when you see a pain management physician, they’re going to do their very best to help discover what’s going on but, they don’t know what they don’t know. And so, because a lot of it has to do with mental health and physical health and your lifestyle. And all of these things rolled into one, it’s very difficult for them to discover, in a visit, what could be causing this pain. So thank you for bringing up the point and linking that together.

Nancy Candea: [00:25:11] And one of the things is that our brain processes emotional pain and physical pain in the same place. So an example of that, let’s say we’re in a really bad mood and we stub our toe. It hurts super bad.

Liz Craven: [00:25:26] Yes, it does.

Nancy Candea: [00:25:27] But if we have something fun we’re going to do, we’re just like, oh, we brush it off. And so when somebody says to you, it’s all in your head go, aha.

It is. And own that. That’s the truth. Your brain is processing it. And that doesn’t mean that there isn’t physical things going on in your body too, but don’t let anybody use that to make you feel bad. Like just because a medical professional could find anything wrong. That doesn’t mean anything. It’s like

zero. It’s in your head. Yup. It is in your head, whether you have a broken leg and it’s painful or there’s something they can’t find it is in your head. Okay. So just like, don’t let anybody feel bad about that. And so, the strategies, and I like to help people with what I call the five points of wellness.

So they’re like my therapeutic model as a yoga therapist. And we’ve talked about a few of them. The first is exercise. This body needs to be exercised. Your joints, including your whole spine, is going to feel much better if the muscles around it are strong. Okay. The second thing is eating well.

Dealing with our digestive issues and eating 80% of the day eating real foods, plants, real foods, not non-processed foods. Go ahead, have your processed foods, unless you have a problem. And you’re feeling like you need to kind of clear out for a little bit. The next one is active relaxation. And so that’s not sitting down and watching TV.

It’s doing things like breathing practices, mindfulness practices, Tai Chi, a slow yoga practice, guided meditation’s. These are all active ways to relax, relax the brain and set it up for new thinking processes. Other things are like taking little short naps, unless you’re depressed.

And then maybe that’s not the best strategy. Doing arts and crafts. Right. Or just observing nature, whether that’s the plant, your pet, the great outdoors, these are kinds of active relaxations that don’t involve technology. And they’re very important for the brain. Another is this what’s kind of, we’ve talked about a little bit, is the hardest one to talk about.

It’s super important. The productive, mental processing. So, a really quick thing, if you’re a worrier, your brain is really good at worrying and how you process the world will be that of a worrier. If your brain is to be in a state of gratitude and you’re grateful for the phone, you’re grateful for your plants.

You’re grateful for a roof over your head. That’s processing that doesn’t have to be necessarily positive, but it’s more, that’s how you’ll look at the world. And so I want my mental processing, if something sad comes up, I want to be able to cry about it. If something happy, I want to be able to be happy about it.

So it’s a fluid thing that happens and we’re not stuck in one thing or another. Okay. So that’s a huge topic, but just, that’s a little nugget of it. And then the fifth thing is do we feel like we are living a life of purpose? And I know that can get challenging and in our posts work years or even caregiver years, and, you know, and we’re as a caregiver giving that one person or more than one person, a lot of love that is a life of purpose.

And we might be doing too much of it. We might need to make sure that we have the breaks to take time, to go out dancing or you know, spend time doing something else that we love, but to live. And the people that we’re taking care of, do they still feel like a sense of purpose and sometimes people that are bedridden can even

create do prayers. You know, that sense of purpose is so, so key to our happiness. I like to think of like, somebody like George Burns, he lived to a hundred smoking cigars, drinking martinis. Right. But what he had, he had a lot of purpose. He made people laugh. And so all these other things we’ve talked about are really important, but hands down feeling a sense of purpose is the most important thing. And if we’re caregiver, helping those, we’re caring with that, sense of purpose. And even if they can just look us in the eyes with love how important that is for for helping people feel good about themselves. So those are my five points, a wellness, and the strategy I use when I help people.

Liz Craven: [00:30:40] I love that every single bit of it. And I agree with you that number five is the cornerstone. And I know that many caregivers really, really struggle with that piece. They get lost in the hard parts of what they’re doing. And in the beginning, it’s all good and they’re feeling the purpose, but when they get a little bit burnt out and they’re physically struggling themselves, it can really weigh hard.

So thank you for reminding of that. And I hope that if you’re listening and that you fall into that category, that you’ll take a few minutes and take a look in the mirror and recognize. What a treasure you are and what a phenomenal gift you are giving to the person that you’re caring for. There is no greater gift,

I’m convinced of that. And I look back on my own caregiving days, especially caring for my mother and how grateful I am to have had that time with her. And I know that in the middle of it, you just want it to be done. You just, not that you want your loved one to go away, but you want the hard parts to give you a break and I get it, but that’s a great message.

Thank you for sharing that. Well now, why don’t we talk about you obviously have some great resources that you offer online that we talked about before, and we’re going to link those up, but do you have any favorite resources to point listeners to things like books or websites or videos or anything that you think would be relevant?

Nancy Candea: [00:32:22] Yes. I think my favorite book on this subject is from Dr. Peter Levine, and it’s called freedom from pain. And I use that cause I, I actually go around the world teaching, helping yoga teachers adapt yoga for chronic pain and that’s our textbook, but it’s a book for anyone. And Dr. Peter Levine really talks about that link between trauma and chronic pain and he has a DVD in the book though, I don’t have a CD player anymore.

Liz Craven: [00:32:57] Not anymore.

Nancy Candea: [00:32:58] I know, right? But anyway, in the book, there is a CD and it’s filled with guided meditations.

Liz Craven: [00:33:06] Mm.

Nancy Candea: [00:33:06] So, but really making that link between, you know, the pain that is in your head is pain that is linked up most likely is what he says to hard things, things that have hurt our feelings, things that are chronic stress. And one of the things is, using guided meditations, I use guided meditations all the time. And like you said like I make guided meditations for people, but when I want one, I just go to YouTube and I look up like, you can say seven minutes.

Eight minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, and find so many people have generously put up guided meditations. You put your earphones in, when I’m going through a hard time, I’ll be listening to those while I’m doing the dishes. I’m listening to them as I’m gardening, I’m listening to them every moment.

I don’t have to be thinking about something else just to help reprogram my mind. So the technology is very generous.

Liz Craven: [00:34:13] Yes, it certainly is. And the resources are plentiful. Well, we have come to my very favorite question of every episode, and that is, do you have a piece of Sage advice that you’d like to leave our listeners with?

Nancy Candea: [00:34:31] Yes. I would just ask you, this is something I do for myself is wake up every morning. Say thank you to, you know, It’s either yourself, your higher power or whatever your sense of God or religion say, thank you. And then ask yourself, what do I need to do today to feel good or successful or confident.

And then listen. Listen to the answer. That’s my little piece of wisdom for day.

Liz Craven: [00:35:07] Thank you so much for that. That is an outstanding message. Listening is the hard part, but I think it’s also the most valuable part. Well, thank you so much for giving us your time today. I sure appreciate you. And I love the conversation.

Nancy Candea: [00:35:23] Well, thank you so much, Liz boy, this is. Awesome. You’re really good at this.

Liz Craven: [00:35:30] Oh, thank you.

Nancy Candea: [00:35:32] And I just you know, thinking about your listeners and I had my hand on my heart and just know that I’ve spent time caretaking too, and it is, you know, it is a time it was a time. Thank you so much.

Liz Craven: [00:35:48] You’re welcome. You know, I’m quite certain that a lot of you who are listening, heard something in this conversation that struck a chord. And whether it’s you or someone you love who is experiencing chronic pain, it’s really no joke. It can zap the quality of life for the entire family, not just the person who’s suffering with the chronic pain, but the good news is that there’s hope for a less painful existence.

I hope you’ll investigate the topic further. And if you’d like to weigh in on the conversation, meet me over on Facebook or Instagram, and let’s have a conversation. Let’s dig deeper. And last but not least, you can subscribe to the Sage Aging podcast and have it emailed to your inbox on a weekly basis. And if you haven’t subscribed to the newsletter yet, it’s very easy to do. Just head over to Sageaging.com and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and you’ll see a space where you can enter your email address and we’ll make sure you get that episode every week. Thanks again for listening friends. I really hope that you got something great out of today’s conversation. I know, I sure did. We’ll talk real soon.

Liz Craven

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As I’ve been preparing to launch this podcast I’ve enjoyed revisiting stages of my own life and reflecting on how this topic became such a passion for me. While I’ve built my career on helping older adults and their families connect to needed education and resources, my connection to the aging and care process goes much deeper.

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my own multi-generational family living together in one home. I was 4 or 5 when my grandmother moved into our home to help care for my sisters and I while our parents worked. Soon after, her father and grandfather moved in as well. We had 5 generations living under one roof! That was a beautifully chaotic adventure and knowing what I know now, I have so much respect for what my parents and grandmother did.

Fast forward to age 24. Newly married and pregnant with our first child, I spent several months with my in-laws to help care for my husband’s grandmother who had Alzheimer’s. Fast forward again to about 2009 – Wes and I have two teenagers about to head to college and his mother is diagnosed with cancer. Several years later, my mother is diagnosed with cancer. Several years after that Wes’ stepdad is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and his father is suffering from severe dementia. You can see where this is going right? For the better part of the last 10 years we have been the caregivers. We see it as an honor and privilege to have been able to do that for our parents.

The key to navigating our later years is being proactive about gathering information before we get there and staying engaged once we do. To be sage is to be wise. There is wisdom in taking the time to ask questions, seek solutions and know your options before the need arises.

Each week we will discuss relevant topics of aging with experts who can help us to understand and be better prepared for aging. We’ll also introduce you to some Sage Agers who are totally owning their journeys through life. No topic will be off limits and we will deliver open and honest conversation meant to educate and empower our listeners. Each episode will also be available in video and blog formats.

Whether you are proactively seeking to broaden your own knowledge, a caregiver for a loved one or a professional working in the aging care industry, this podcast is for you. We hope you will join us as we explore and celebrate Sage Aging.