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Is it time to reach out?



A study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP found that more than half of those who provide primary care for parents (and one in four who provide any care) experience stress and strain. Prolonged stress can have severe physical and emotional consequences. Caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience. However, it can often come with emotional challenges. It may be time to reach out for help. Have you considered joining a caregiver's support group or seeking counseling? You are not alone.

 

Take care of your health- Eat nutritious meals. Don't give in to stress-driven urges for sweets or overindulgence in alcohol. Get enough sleep; if you are awakened at night, try napping during the day to make up your sleep. If you have any symptoms of depression (extreme sadness, trouble concentrating, apathy, hopelessness, thoughts about death), see a doctor immediately. Depression is an illness that must be treated. Maintain social contacts- This may take planning, but it's worth it. Isolation increases stress. Having fun, laughing, and focusing on something besides your problems can help you keep your emotional balance. Don't feel guilty about needing time off -Remember that your loved one may benefit from having someone else around. Respite care (for some time off) by friends, relatives, or volunteers at home or an adult day center. Respite care can be paid for with Medicaid or private pay. Seek support- Some research suggests that bottling your feelings can harm your immune system and lead to physical illness. Try to find time for yourself to unwind when stresses pile up. Do something you enjoy, like reading, walking, or listening to music. Organize- Having a plan will give you more time for yourself. Steps to take: Set priorities and realistic goals. Make a list of what needs to be done (caregiving and other responsibilities) and get the most important things done first. Deal constructively with negative feelings- When resentful, think about how to change things. Recognize the anger-guilt-anger cycle and stop it immediately by forgiving yourself for being angry.

 

Join us on June 20, 2024, at 7 pm for our monthly 45-minute information and support Zoom. "Let's Talk" about when nursing home is not an option. Presenter: Cheryl Sanchez, Director of Growth Partnership, Archcare. Invite a caregiver. Go to www.comeoutreach.org. Click on the "Let's Talk" postcard for the Zoom link.

 

AARP Peachtree Chapter 4997 and Caregivers Outreach Mentorship Empowerment will host the Summer Youth Intergenerational Tech Program for the eighth year. The free one-on-one hour sessions are a valuable learning opportunity for our youth and a platform for fostering intergenerational connections. The program will begin on Monday, July 8, 2024, and runs until Thursday, August 15, 2024. The program is held from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at 177 Dreiser Loop, 2nd Fl, Rm Zero. To secure your spot, call to set up an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcomed. Tel: 718-320-1946

 

Mark your calendars for COME's 18th Annual Family Caregiver Gala on November 16, 2024, from 11 am to 4 pm at Maestro's Catering. This is a wonderful opportunity to honor family caregivers in recognition of National Family Caregivers Month. It's never too early to nominate a friend, neighbor, peer, young person, or family member for The Leon David Simmons Caregiver Award. For more information, contact us at 718-379-3159.

 

Diane Cooper

 

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