Speaking to the World
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Radio Show Host & Caregiver Advocate
Toula Wootan is a dynamic pioneer, dedicated to the mission of “caring for the caregiver.” She is in the forefront of caregiver issues. Toula is recognized by community leaders as a trusted spokesperson for those seeking direction and support. Elected, appointed and business leaders seek Toula’s advice and support on issues relating to caregivers. She holds herself accountable to the caregivers she represents, and constantly re-dedicates herself to exceeding their expectations. Read More >
In 2008 Toula founded the Caregiver Coalition of Northeast Florida, an influential partnership of private, public and non-profit organizations and individuals working together to positively impact the quality of life for caregivers. In 2014, Toula was recognized by The Florida Association of Aging Services Providers with the Minotty Eye Foundation Best Direct Service Provider Award. The annual award recognizes people who positively impact the lives of Florida seniors. The award acknowledges Toula for her guidance of the Caregiver Coalition for its support of excellence in family caregiving.
In May 2013, Toula and her radio show, “Toula’s Tips for Caregivers,” won the “Caregiver Friendly Award” in the Media category from Caregiver.com, publisher of Today’s Caregiver Magazine. She also received the Delores Barr Weaver Elder Advocate Award in 2016 for her extensive reach inspiring caregivers, and her radio show.
Wootan’s book, Love Stories and Timeless Tips, is the first of a new series, Conversations on Caregiving. Toula selected the best of her radio shows and in each, her guests tell their touching stories about caring for their loved ones, as well as the the lessons they learned. Every story gives wonderful advice, support and inspiration to help you in your role as a caregiver.
Toula is an outstanding role model for caregivers through her tireless advocacy on their behalf, and by example through her own personal caregiving role. In doing so, she helps caregivers to realize that they are not alone and that there are others ready and willing to help.
With the goal of assisting and encouraging caregivers in this rewarding role, Toula began hosting a live weekly radio show, “Toula’s Tips for Caregivers: HELP IS ON THE AIR” in 2010.
Toula has exceptional guests in her show, including national, regional and local experts in various topics impacting caregivers, as well as caregivers who share their stories and advice. She inspires, encourages, educates and entertains her listening audience.
Toula brings a unique, personal brand of energy, clarity of purpose and tireless devotion to the issue of caregiving for caregivers. She has the ability to connect with caregivers, as she has been caring for her parents since 2010. She understands the unique emotional, physical and spiritual challenges it can bring. Toula is one of the millions of caregivers in the U.S. who work full time and care for aging parents. She shares her experiences of juggling work, caring for a mother with dementia, and a very intelligent but physically frail father with compassion, frankness, and laughter. She has had to work at avoiding caregiver burnout herself, so she’s happy to share her ideas on that. She is known to say that you can find laughter in any situation, and caring for her parents has provided lots of material for that! There are also joys in caring for a loved one, and she likes to bring those out. She ensures that every caregiver leaves her events with their questions answered. Read Less ^
Caring for a loved one can be very demanding physically, emotionally and spiritually. All caregivers reach a time when they feel overwhelmed. Comfort, encouragement and inspiration are needed to keep serving and to avoid caregiver burnout. With love as the foundation, Toula offers practical and inspirational ways to “keep on keeping on,” that which we call “perseverance”. Toula draws from her own personal caregiving story caring for both parents, and shares the Bible verses and words of comfort that keep her going! She also offers other ways to receive needed encouragement.
Caring for a loved one with any form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, presents a unique set of challenging and ongoing stresses. As the loved one loses the ability to think, remember, and even bathe and dress, the caregiver finds it difficult to accept; after all, their loved one looks the same. Caregivers often feel isolated and alone. They can develop feelings of anger, resentment, guilt, and hopelessness. Toula offers practical and proven methods for caregivers to get through their day without losing their sanity. She presents proven coping mechanisms, such as “therapeutic lying”, and tips for self-care, in a caring, understanding way so that caregivers can stay healthy and strong.
Over seventy percent of caregivers in the United States work full time, then go home to spend another 20-24 hours a week caregiving for a loved one, typically an aging parent. This juggling act affects the caregiver’s physical health, emotional health, family plans, finances, social life and more. They remain concerned about job security, fear identifying themselves as caregivers. In this presentation, Toula offers advice, practical tips, and resources for the working caregiver. She provides practical tips for talking to employers. She shares new trends on how and WHY many employers are now open to supporting these employees. Toula guides the working caregiver through this journey so they can truly balance both roles.
There are over 44 million caregivers in the United States. Seventy percent of them work full time, then go home to care for an aging relative for an average of 24/hours per week. Research shows that over fifty percent of them choose not to tell their employer about their caregiving role. Toula speaks to the reasons behind this, offers pointers to help the employee stay engaged at work and get assistance. She offers practical advice to help employees talk to their employer about workplace benefits. She also discusses the cost to employers each year and describes initiatives many businesses have put in place to support these valuable employees.
"I have been impressed by Toula’s innovation and problem-solving skills, her vision for change and her follow-through and mostly by her impact on those around her."
"… I know the work Toula does matters a great deal. I often find myself quoting her or referring someone to the resources she supplies. She was an innovator in this space and continues to lead the way…"
"Her personality and character project the insight and wisdom that energize and galvanize her professional peers and those they serve to assist and support the elderly, caregivers of chronically or terminally ill individuals of all ages…"
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