Connections is a weekly publication for the people of Central United Methodist Church to inform them about programs, updates and pertinent events.
CAREGIVING AT CENTRAL
In preparing this article Alan Cook asked Parish Visitor Martha Tipton to share information about Central’s Caregivers Support Group. Here are her responses:
Q From your perspective what is one issue with which people need help?
Caregivers need to know that it’s all right to take care of themselves, too.
They don’t have to be a human sacrifice.
Q What are some issues that you have covered with the support group?
That’s it okay to have mixed feelings: love, compassion, anger, regret, resentment, guilt, and grief, about a caregiving situation, and to still laugh.
How to divert and distract the care receiver from repetitious or negative behavior instead of arguing or getting angry with them.
How to grow a backbone dealing with a difficult care receiver.
How to get your questions answered when dealing with medical personnel.
How to take care of oneself as a caregiver. The Bible says to “honor your father and mother”, not love them. Some people just have tough parents.
Q How many people have attended during the past eight years?
Range of attendees: 2-15 people/week with an average 6-8; both women and men attend.
That’s roughly 395 sessions and 2,380-3150 attendees.
Q Are the participants mainly church people?
It varies year to year: 20-60% are Centralites.
It is a great community outreach. There is no charge.
Q How do people hear about the group?
Through friends, neighbors, other caregivers, CUMC publications, St. Joseph’s Cancer Center, and hospices. Sometimes it takes a while to decide to come.
Q Can people just show up?
Yes, although I appreciate a call ahead of time to get acquainted with the situation.
People may leave early or come after 2pm (not “late”) due to caregiving needs which is fine.
Q Are there any confidentiality guidelines?
Yes, in order to be authentic and free to say what they truly feel, participants agree to “keep it in the room”. That’s about our only rule. We update each other when someone misses a session. Our group is for caregivers. We do not include the care receivers, so the former can speak freely.
Q What has been a highlight of this ministry for you?
The depth of caring and the length to which these caregivers go to keep their loved ones safe and secure, and the close friendships that build within the group, and the support they show one another. It is incredibly rewarding to me.
WORDS FROM OUR CAREGIVERS’ SUPPORT GROUP MEMBERS
The Caregivers’ Support Group is a gathering where attendees can share their personal experiences and ask questions with the assurance of strict confidentiality. The group meets Thursdays at 2.00pm in the Church Library to share our stories, challenges, and suggestions. Recently, we have met on Zoom to keep the group together, and sharing and learning new ways to cope during the pandemic. Each attendee has a unique situation: caring for an elderly parent, spouse, or other. One need not live with the care receiver nor be the sole caregiver to join our group. Members rotate out as their circumstances change; new caregivers are welcomed into the group.
A variety of topics is covered in the meetings: we share information about specific diseases, effective ways to communicate with the ones we care for, ideas about supplies and aides to assist with declining skills and mobility, ways to obtain appropriate quality medical care, and end-of life planning and processes. We have learned the importance of, and ways to take care of, ourselves so that we have the energy and good health to better care for our loved ones. Caregivers learn something new each week and feel rejuvenated and supported when we leave.
Begun almost eight years ago, this group is a gift to our community. We are so grateful for our caring leader Martha Tipton who has years of personal experience, valuable resources and practical tips. Thank you to Central United Methodist Church and Martha for providing this beneficial opportunity for the caregivers!
Because I have been in other support groups, I didn’t think I could learn much from the Caregiver’s Support Group offered at Central United Methodist Church. To my surprise, I found that I am able to take away little nuggets of valuable information from both the facilitator and the members. I believe the caregiving for my husband has become less stressful now that I have tools and support from others.
Our thanks to Bev, Sharon and Martha for sharing their perceptions of the CGSG.
If you have any questions or would like to attend a Thursday Zoom meeting contact Martha Tipton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The church staff will be celebrating the 4th of July holiday on Friday, July 3, and will be unavailable to answer questions, calls or emails.
JAN’S WEEKLY MESSAGE
To hear an update on our plans for in-person worship options, watch Jan’s weekly message to the congregation tomorrow and every Wednesday. You can access the weekly pastoral message via our website or Facebook page.
PRAYERS FOR THE PEOPLE
- Larry Schubert
- Mitchell Jackson
- Linda Wingett
- Anne Larrouy
- Don Biddle
- High Risk People
- Hospital Workers
TIME OF CELEBRATION
Sandy Jennings who has moved into a new home after being in care facilities for the past four months.