The Shepherd’s Center offers support, recognition to caregivers

Carol Ann Harris

The Shepherd’s Center offers support, recognition to caregivers
November 24
13:00 2021

By Carol Ann Harris

Since 1997, November has been designated as National Family Caregiver Month. If you know a family caregiver, or have been a family caregiver, you know that all of the work of a caregiver cannot be captured in just one month of recognition. However, the month of November is set aside to recognize and honor family caregivers, to raise awareness of caregiving issues, to educate our communities, and to increase support for those in caregiving roles.

Who is a family caregiver? A family caregiver is anyone providing support for a family member or close friend, enabling that person to continue to live a life with dignity. Many family caregivers live in the home of the person for whom they are caring. Some are long distance caregivers, sharing duties with other family members or friends. Over half of family caregivers are women – caring for spouses, parents, siblings, or children with chronic conditions.  Over one million family caregivers are young children caring for a parent or grandparent. Family caregivers are unpaid relatives or close friends, offering acts of love, commitment, and compassion without expectation of compensation.

Caregiving can be a blessing, a source of connection. But caregiving may also involve sacrifice – having to choose between relationships, jobs, work, a career, and caring for a loved one.

The Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston Salem honors, supports, and cares for caregivers all year long! Check out these offerings for caregivers:

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a six-week course offered quarterly and designed to help caregivers recognize their own needs for self-care. The weekly sessions guide participants in reducing stress, improving self-confidence, managing time, setting goals, and problem solving. Local resources are shared in each session. The next session will be offered beginning in January 2022.

Family Caregiver Support is a grant-funded program allowing volunteers to provide brief respite for caregivers through social phone calls, companionship visits, and monthly caregiver activity packs. Volunteers providing these services are background checked, trained, and supported. Registration in the program is based on care recipient qualification and volunteer availability. Please note, long-term and personal care are not provided through this service.

It’s All About You is a collaborative effort among The Shepherd’s Center, ComForCare Home Care of Winston-Salem, and Trinity Presbyterian, providing occasional outings for caregivers as well as monthly “My Time” email newsletter for caregivers. Call The Shepherd’s Center to be sure you are on our list of active caregivers receiving these messages.

If you recognize yourself – or anyone you know – as a caregiver, then we honor and celebrate you as a humble hero during National Family Caregiver Month. The Caregiving Action Network has chosen #CaregivingAnd as this year’s theme. This theme is intended to encourage family caregivers to celebrate their passions and interests that enrich their own lives. In addition to caring for a loved one, caregivers are artists, readers, students, photographers, fitness enthusiasts, and more. We hope that caregivers take a few minutes each day to take care of themselves as well.

In addition to these resources, The Shepherd’s Center is well connected with all of our area agencies serving older adults in our community. Call us at 336-748-0217  for more information.

Carol Ann Harris is the Faith in Action program assistant for the Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem.

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