Shifting focus of caregiving on the caregiver | Pierce County News
September 15, 2012 · Updated 11:06 AM
Caregivers are great at taking care of their loved ones – spouse, parents, children, neighbors. But some caregivers rarely get a break from their daily routines of meal preparation, personal care, medication management, doctor visits, housework, and financial accounting.
In fact, it's common for caregivers to not even think of themselves as "caregivers." They don't think they deserve a break – or need a break. But they do. After all, they do care about their loved ones, and they provide care in many different forms.
Getting a break for themselves – even for a few hours – is one of the most important things caregivers can do for themselves. Without a break, caregivers can burn out. This results in less quality of care and possible placement of their loved ones into more formal community settings such as nursing homes, foster care, or hospitals.
"Getting and Using Respite" will offer caregivers hints and helps about access to respite and how to make the most of their time. They will learn about a variety of support systems available that make respite possible and why taking advantage of those systems is important.
"Caregivers are generous people," said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Aging and Disability Resources. "Often times there is nothing they won't do for their loved one. However, far too often we see caregivers who simply have not taken care of themselves and are falling apart. Taking care of themselves just falls off their agenda and then, sadly, problems arise."
The workshop will be held Saturday, September 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Soundview Building, 3611 S. D Street in Tacoma. The presentation is free and no RSVP is required. It is intended for anyone who is caring for a family member who is over the age of 60, an adult over 18 who has a disability, or a vulnerable child under 18 who has a disability or special need.
"Getting and Using Respite" is jointly sponsored by the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC), the Pierce County Coalition for Developmental Disabilities, The Arc of King County and the Washington State Lifespan Respite Coalition. For additional details call the ADRC at (253) 798-4600.