I want to thank all of you who were able to attend our "Family Resource Day" on last Saturday. We had a marvelous time exchanging resources and stories. While in conversation sharing these stories we realized the need and the importance of the support you can give to each other.
And, for those of you who were unable to attend, I want say we missed you, but want you to continue to remember, we are here to support you. And, when you cannot attend the events. Use our website, ikinship.org to keep in touch with what is going on, to seek assistance and to give feedback to us as a way to help us improve.
I particularly would like us to begin building a conversation via “Caregiver Speaks” the caregiver’s part of the ikinship.org website. It is there as an additional way of support for you. Where we can share ideas, ask for support in areas we are not sure about, and bring up topics you need to know more about…for example parenting skills. I know it’s been slow in its development, but it is well on its way now. I will be looking forward to our chats.
I, do wish to encourage you to attend our events. As a caregiver I can remember the feeling of "it’s one more thing to do and I just don't have it in me to get myself there." Sometimes it seems easier to sit home and feeling to just deal with it alone. Letting opportunities to support ourselves pass by. But, doing this does nothing but cause us to become more and more isolated, having little or no adult conversation or acknowledgement. Can leave you feeling all alone and unsupported.
I want to share with you, this feeling did not leave me until I started attending the support group, where I was able to share my "everyday" with others who were going through the same "everyday". The burden seemed to lighten once I walked out of my first "Grandparents Who Care," support group. When I left I knew I was not alone. Someone had understood my pain and encouraged me to “keep keeping on”. That was in 1989 and maybe the kind of support group needed for Kinship Caregivers as we are called today, has changed, but the need for it hasn't.
Again, I encourage you to come out and meet your fellow Kinship Caregivers, living in your community build a support system for yourselves. Above all keep in mind these events are for you. They are reminders of how important it is to take care of yourself and they are, also there to help you strengthen your ability to be the best parent you can be as you manage your family through these difficult times.
The one question we did discuss and where would like to include your input...
What services would be most beneficial to you and your children? Please let us know so we can be even more supportive of you in the way you need.
Till next time.
My name is Lois Kincy and as an experienced relative caregiver I facilitate groups, circles and trainings for other relative caregivers. I've been down that road already, and though it is a joyous road, sometimes us travelers need support from each other.