Oxford Seniors offers caregivers community support, individual counseling

Thursday, November 20, 2014

by Sabrina Jewell, Outreach Coordinator, Oxford Seniors

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Typically, one thinks of a caregiver as a person taking care of their ailing spouse or parent. But, a caregiver can also be a neighbor, a friend, or a distant relative. The care can be provided in home, across long-distances, or in a long-term care facility.

Being in a small city with a university, Oxford Seniors has the opportunity to work with many types of caregivers. We often here from professors at Miami whose elderly parents have relocated to Oxford to be near family. Many times we see retired farmers and their wives who are struggling to care for parents as well as grandchildren. These diverse caregivers can be surprisingly encouraging of one another, thereby creating new supportive relationships.

Oxford Seniors provides several types of caregiver services including a caregiver support group, one-on-one counseling and adult day care.

The support group meets on the second and last Thursday of the month at the Oxford Senior Center. Our facilitator is a retired social worker who is dedicated to helping others as they journey through life. The group varies in size depending on the week and the season, but often there are spouses, a daughter or two, and possibly a sibling.

At a typical meeting, the group begins with introductions and updates from everyone in attendance and then a specific topic is discussed. Topics range from how to bring your loved one home for the holidays to preparing for vacation away from your loved one.

Oftentimes the participants will have an issue they find challenging and this will lead to a lively dialogue. There are many benefits to attending a support group: knowing that your story will be honored and kept confidential, learning about resources available to you, as well as help to improve your coping skills and stress level.

Caregivers can also meet individually with our outreach coordinator to discuss issues of concern, be it insurance coverage, eligibility for benefits (food stamps, transportation, etc.), or options for respite. Caregivers who use this free service appreciate having someone take the time to meet with them and listen to their story.

One factor many caregivers forget about is the need for respite. Respite allows the caregiver time to take care of his/her own needs – meet a friend for lunch or possibly just take a nap! Adult day programs are specifically designed to provide a safe place for the care recipient to go for several hours a day – or a full day. There are several programs available to assist with the cost of these adult day programs. Council on Aging can help caregivers find an adult day center and/or determine if individuals might qualify for programs that would help pay for the cost of this care.

Oxford Seniors Caregiver Support Group Meeting Times
2nd Thursday and last Thursday of each month 1:15 pm at Oxford Seniors

For more information, please contact Sabrina Jewell at 513-523-8100, sjewell@oxfordsenior.org