Sheila Welch leads the caregiving ministry for Due West Methodist Church and knows first hand the need for community when it comes to taking care of someone you love who is aging with a health condition like dementia. Her personal experience was the inspiration to begin providing support groups for spouses and adult children. She will be hosting the 7th annual Caregiver conference September 22nd, 2018 in Marietta, Georgia. Atlanta families are invited to an all day restorative offering of love, education, insight, and community support.
Counter Intuitive Method For New Caregivers
Sheila believes in the value of shared experiences and seeks to teach the counter intuitive feeling that “protecting” oneself in the midst of caregiving is not only important but necessary to do the job well. Sheila defines protection as “whatever is necessary to keep a person from becoming consumed in the caregiving.” Feelings of guilt and overwhelm are sure to follow when caregivers abandon the important self care practices needed to sustain their own resources. Community support be it from family, friends, or professionals is an absolute must in order to maintain healthy relationship when health conditions demand change.
Like many family members who suddenly find themselves unexpectedly caring for someone they love, it is extremely important for the well being of everyone involved to take action, learn more, and seek community resources.
Community Support For Caregivers
Orchard at Brookhaven is dedicated to being a community resource and can provide helpful transitional next steps for anyone willing to reach out for support for themselves. Websites such as Georgia’s EMPOWERLINE offers 24/7 live chat and counselors to help guide you find available senior or disability services and programs in your area.
And there are many non profits and agency services like the Family Caregiver Alliance or the National Institute on Aging. Did you know even our local colleges have support for families like Georgia Tech’s Tools For Life, an Assistive Technology program encouraging families to improve their functional capabilities when living with disabilities due to aging or health conditions.
If you are a caregiver who has been going it alone; maybe it’s time to try a different approach!