November is National Family Caregivers Month. But for those of you who are caregivers, you know that EVERY DAY is a family caregiver day. Whether or not you live with your loved one, your responsibility for their care is 24/7, filling your heart, mind and time.
Caregiving can be a very isolating existence. You are so busy taking care of your loved one that you may not have time for yourself—to address your own health needs; to have some “down” time for relaxation, hobbies (hobby—what’s a hobby?) or visits with other family and friends; to talk about the difficulties that you encounter and the normal frustrations that you feel. But the stark reality is that, if you do not take care of yourself, you may not be around to care for your loved one!
Support groups can provide a critical shoulder to caregivers, diminishing the isolation and allowing the caregiver to know that he/she is not alone. At JFCS, we have extensive experience with caregiver support and facilitate a wide number of support groups throughout the year.
Many of our participants attest to the value they experience in being together as a group member:
“I am not alone, other people feel the same things I do. I actually have a lot to contribute.”
“Most helpful has been simply sharing stories, worries, concerns, laughter with each other. The caring community itself is a stress reducer.”
“One doesn’t have to go through ‘trauma’ alone.”
“We identified with each other and really came to care for each other.”
I learned to “honor my feelings.”
“Honesty, directions, aid in resources…people, caring, support.”
We also understand how difficult it can be for caregivers to leave their homes and loved ones to attend a group. JFCS is excited to announce the launching of a new program to create an online video support group, employing 21st century technology to address the time-old need for connection, support and validation. All you need is a laptop with video capability and you can interact with a group on your screen in your own home with complete confidentiality and privacy.
If you are interested in the online video group or any of our other support group programs, please contact Beverly Rubman at email@example.com or call 609-987-8100.