|'Caring for the Caregiver' series begins Nov. 11 in BG|
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff|
|Friday, 18 October 2013 08:11|
If you were a car, what would your gas gauge read? For those who are running on empty while providing day-to-day care for a friend or loved one, a "fill up" is available through a series of classes offered by Hospice of Northwest Ohio.
"Caring for the Caregiver," a three-session workshop, helps participants make life more comfortable for a friend or family member, while helping them find more personal meaning from the caregiving experience.
The workshops will be held Nov. 11, 18 and 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 150 S. Enterprise St. Bowling Green.
Co-sponsored by Area Office on Aging, the series is being offered for three consecutive Monday evenings to assist people who are caring for those suffering from a long-term, chronic illness or those who are frail or debilitated due to old age.
"Caregiving can be exhausting, complex work. Without the proper balance and perspective, it can drain our strength and emotional energy, resulting in burnout and resentment," points out Carol Durnwald, a caregiver educator for Hospice of Northwest Ohio. "The analogy of a car running on empty is appropriate for caregivers because they must take time to refuel their energy and seek an occasional tune-up."
Here are surprising facts about caregivers:
• 50 percent of family caregivers are on average 49 year old females - while caring for aging parents or other loved ones, while balancing life at home.
• Stress of family caregiving can have a negative effect on the caregiver's immune system and cause premature aging.
• A caregiver's sense of responsibility in caring for a loved one depends on them remaining healthy. Caregivers should ask themselves, "If I get sick, then what?"
Participants in the workshop will learn how to:
• Cope with changes, losses and life transitions;
• Say what is important to friends and family;
• Create positive caregiving experiences;
• Talk about end-of-life care and make important decisions;
• Plan for their future.
"While the classes provide practical information about the physical needs of care-receivers, their primary focus is on the emotional needs of the caregivers," noted Hospice employee Barb Sharek. "We help them find ways to take better care of themselves so they, in turn, can take better care of their friend or relative. Throughout the course, they learn ways to turn day-to-day chores into meaningful, memorable experiences."
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