Caring for Caregivers
More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and more than 11 million more are serving as unpaid caregivers. This disease impacts numerous families right here in our community, but they don’t have to go it alone, thanks to Ebenezer’s Caregiver Support Group.
Led by Lori Myers, a member of Ebenezer’s congregation and retired social worker, the group is open to anyone who cares for or supports an older person with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or any other chronic health issue. Meetings are held on the third Monday of each month at 1:00 PM in Room B10 and are designed to support those who are navigating the many challenges of caregiving.
“Caregiving can be lonely,” Lori explained. “People may not see themselves as caregivers or identify as caregivers, but the role requires so many things of them. It involves learning about the illness, advocating for their loved ones, and life change.”
Each meeting lasts 90 minutes. Lori begins with introductions and then opens the floor for conversation.
“This is a safe, confidential place to talk,” she said. “It’s a chance for people to realize, ‘I’m not the only one going through this. I can learn from someone else.’”
After a decade working with the Alzheimer’s Association, Lori is uniquely qualified to connect caregivers with resources for their loved ones, but she is equally concerned with caregivers’ wellbeing.
“The caregiver’s health can really be affected by caregiving, especially if they themselves are older,” she said. “It’s a very brave step to come in. They have to keep reminding themselves, ‘I’m doing this for me.’”
The Caregiver Support Group is part of Ebenezer’s Stafford Hope initiative, which provides hope and healing for the community. It’s a very welcoming group and has room to grow. For more information, visit Lori in the Lobby between services this Sunday, March 19 or go to staffordhope.org/caregiver-support-group
Resources are available from the Alzheimer’s Association and Healthy Generations.
Ebenezer will host Lunch and Learn: Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia on Tuesday, March 21 at 12:00 PM. The event will include lunch and a presentation by Daniel Cronin, Program Manager, Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter. Cost: $10. Register and find more information here.