FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN /Finding
I want to share some emails between myself and a true
fearless caregiver, solving problems and reaching out for
Just want to share some sad feelings about a support
group I was in, started in my local church. Originally, it
was a general support group. As time went on, however,
most of the people had family members with Alzheimer's.
Even though most of the issues of caregiving are the
same--how to handle the stresses, etc. the coordinator told
me that the group was now an Alzheimer's group, and I could
no longer participate, as my family member did not have
Alzheimer's, but another chronic health issue.
How hurt and devastated I was. It especially bothered
me to be excluded, as this was a church sponsored
outreach. I couldn't seem to make the coordinator
understand that no matter what the health problem was, that
as a caregiver, we share many of the same concerns. To no
Thanks for letting me vent.
I don't know how comfortable you are in taking this to the
ministers or lay leaders of the church, but it does seem like
this could have been handled better. I do think it is vital
that you are able to find a support group to join as soon as
possible because of how valuable membership is to caregivers.
Can you call the local hospital and see if there are other
Go online to caregiver.com and see if we have support groups
listed in your community.
Contact the organization that deals with the health issue your
loved one is facing and see if they can help.
Google your community and the words "support group" and see what
Let me know what happens.
I did find another group which is terrific. It is
also mostly Alzheimer's caregivers, but they have helped me
understand that my loved one is not the same person he used
to be, and that things will never be like they were. Also,
it's ok to do things for yourself, to take care of
yourself. They have been SUPPORTIVE in every sense of the
Especially, the coordinator has been welcoming. All
in all, a much better place for me. Maybe it's for the
best that I found this group. I did print out the recent
info on support groups from your newsletter, and passed it
on to the original group leader. Maybe she will learn
something after reading it. I hope so.
I hope so too.