Building bridges for caregivers of ill adults |

Building bridges for caregivers of ill adults

Deb Cash
For the Nevada Appeal

Imagine that you are solely responsible for the physical, medical and emotional well-being of another seriously ill adult.

Often times, after a long exhausting day, you hear a loud bump and then a thud in the middle of the night so you jump out of bed. You rush to the next room where your elderly mother who has just been released from the hospital after hip replacement surgery is sprawled out on the floor. She is sad and confused and doesn’t want to “burden” you. You think to yourself, how could this situation be so difficult? You thought you had everything all planned out, a full refrigerator, some follow-up doctor visits and everyone goes back to their lives.

Now, you realize that the week you took off from work is just not going to be enough and this is the busiest season for you at work.

This is just one of the millions of personal care giving scenarios for the 65 million Americans trying to fit care giving for a relative or friend into their lives. The dilemma’s are daunting and most of us independent Americans try to take on this huge responsibility on our own. Many caregivers have siblings who for some reason are just absent when it comes to taking Mom or Dad to the many doctor or physical therapy appointments. And, forget trying to get a brother or sister to help with the bathing and changing of the incontinence wear.

The caregivers group at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church has formed a bridge of caring and knowing people who can assist other caregivers with difficult questions centering around providing the most helpful and compassionate care to a seriously ill relative or friend, without losing your sanity and life in the process. The medical, emotional and legal questions of care giving can be both profound and complex.

One of the most positive steps a caregiver can make is to seek out others who are experiencing the art and care of another ill or disabled human being.

A caregiver support group will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Rectory.

Paula Schneider, RN, MPH, will speak at on “Effectively Managing Caregiver Anxiety and Stress.”

Schneider has been a hospice nurse and support to families with seriously ill members for over eight years and has written specific and down-to-earth tips to reduce the emotional paid and fear of care giving.

All are welcome to attend this free and supportive meeting. Call Deb Cash at 887-8846 or St. Peter’s Episcopal Church line at 882-1534 for details. Your story is important and sharing can help you and others.