Caregiver groups offer support and a break

By Roderick Benns

Taking care of each other: Collective wealth into well-being

The stress and anxiety many people experience when it comes to caring for a loved one living with a serious or life-threatening illness can be tremendous. And it applies to millions of individuals and their families.

Columnist Mike Puffer.

Estimates are that one out of every four households in Canada provides caregiving to a relative or a friend over the age of 50.

With our aging population, more and more people find themselves in situations they may never have imagined. Additionally, almost half of those identified as caregivers in our society are also raising their own family, and two-thirds work either full- or part-time. Added pressure and stress of caregiving responsibilities are not easy to handle.

Community Care knows the importance of caregivers looking after their own health. As everyone knows, if the caregiver breaks down and is unable to provide for a family member in need, further complications and problems result.

Caregivers need a respite from their caregiving challenges, and have earned the right to assume that taking a little time for themselves is perfectly acceptable.

Community Care holds three different monthly caregiver support groups. The free sessions are for people caring for someone with a life-limiting or serious chronic illness, and let caregivers connect with others who share similar experiences to explore challenges, practice self-care and share knowledge, skills and experience.

“Caregiver Connection” is held on the second Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at Community Care’s office at 70 Murray St. in Fenelon Falls. Community Care Hospice Services also hosts two sessions (second Wednesday at 10 a.m., fourth Wednesday at 2 p.m.), at 2 Kent St. W. in Lindsay.

The comfortable and supportive social setting of a group of people with the same background and interests often proves to be a positive outing that can do wonders for participants. Assistance in providing care at home while a person attends the group can also be arranged.

Caregiver Connection groups are planned, presented and facilitated by qualified staff leaders and volunteers. If the sessions can be of assistance to local caregivers, contact the organization to find out more.

For more information about Community Care programs and services: 705-324-7323 or our website.

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