Letter: Calling all caregivers

Scattered throughout our county, sometimes lonely and isolated and sometimes with the support of family and friends, are dozens of family caregivers, those unpaid and usually unsung heroes getting up every day and devoting themselves to the care and well-being of a family member or friend. Though it can be deeply rewarding, this is a tough job, as anyone knows who has tried it. The social isolation that usually accompanies this mostly home-bound work makes it all the tougher.

That’s why the Rappahannock family caregiver support group that meets at the Link two Thursday mornings a month has asked me to again remind readers of the Rappahannock News that we are eagerly seeking new members to meet with us and share their stories and advice. We have found our times together very rewarding, very educational, and very helpful. Our wonderful team of respite care volunteers, including social worker Sharon Pyne, experienced nurse Mary Beth Shankle and musician Cynthia Stamps, makes it possible for our loved ones to spend the time engaged and entertained while we sit and talk. And our experienced family caregivers — some with loved ones in nursing homes, some with years of caregiving behind them, some just starting out — have a lot of warmth and wisdom to share.

Please take a moment to think about the families you know. Is there someone who could benefit from our group and our respite care? Someone who rarely gets a break, someone facing the nursing home decision, or someone worried that their spouse might be developing dementia? Our group would like to welcome that person in to our circle and offer them the support and communion we’ve been able to offer each other. We meet the first and third Thursday of every month, from 10 to noon at the Link. Just show up, if you like, or contact me first at 540-675-2531 or at lstillwell@agingtogether.org.

Larry Stillwell
Rappahannock County Resource Specialist
Aging Together

Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 539 Articles

Former Rappahannock News editor Roger Piantadosi is a writer and works on web and video projects for Rappahannock Media and his own Synergist Media company. Before joining the News in 2009, he was a staff writer, editor and web developer at The Washington Post for almost 30 years.