Welcome to the world of Caregiving and Caregivers where over 66 million of the U.S. population provides some type of Caregiving to family members! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
It’s important that Caregivers recognize themselves. In my experiences, I have seen too many refuse to identify with the role of Caregiver! If you are responsible for someone in your family that is unable to perform the routine daily living functions without help and you are local or long distance, YOU ARE A CAREGIVER.
Now that we’ve established your title, let me express the importance of support for Caregivers, both emotional and physical because caregiving is quite possibly the hardest job in the world™.
I know that those of you reading this article will find it hard to disagree with the statement above. I want you to have what I want for myself as a Caregiver: SUPPORT! And support is not the easiest thing to find because those who have not been Caregivers just can’t understand and grasp the true meaning of the word and all it encompasses in terms of deeds and responsibilities.
That’s why I want the readers to seek out Support Groups in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties. You will learn that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Since the 90’s, I have attended Support Groups as a Caregiver in Chicago and facilitated groups. Since moving to Sarasota in 2001, I have facilitated Support Groups. I personally believe that attending the right Support Group should be at the top of every Caregiver’s list of “to dos”. The focus needs to be on YOU, the Caregiver.
There are many Support Groups available and listed in the Seniors Blue Book. Many groups are for specific diseases. A few groups welcome ALL Caregivers regardless of the patient’s diagnosis. A great Support Group provides comfort, camaraderie, instills confidence and inspires Caregivers. And it is highly interactive, eases Caregiver challenges and sadness and provides problem-solving resources.
If you are a Caregiver, take time out for yourself and attend Support Groups. You owe it to yourself and your survival!
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Julie Cook Downing, President of Caregivers’ Comfort Creations®, LLC. Visit us online at
www.caregiverscomfort.com for Julie’s support group locations and times.