Giving the Gift of Time
What would you do if you woke up one day and your time for yourself (hobbies, social time with friends, sleep, etc.) was gone? You no longer had time or the energy for everything you enjoyed in life. Every waking moment was spent taking care of a loved one who could no longer take care of his or herself.
Unfortunately, for many people in our community this is becoming a sad reality. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance website (https://www.caregiver.org), an estimated 39.8 million people in the U.S. are providing care to loved ones each year.
Former first lady Rosalynn Carter understood and brought awareness to the importance of caregiving years ago. She stated, “There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”
Caregivers are finding out that their time spent caring for loved ones is impacting them in many different ways from losing economic resources to loss of health. With this in mind, it is important that we come together as a community to help our fellow loved ones, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. to overcome this physical and emotional job of being a caregiver. Giving a gift of time to caregivers experiencing exhaustion and stress could be the difference in them making it through another day. The Caregiver Action Network reported caregivers who experience extreme stress can reduce their lifespan by as much as 10 years (http://caregiveraction.org/resources/caregiver-statistics).
The Upper Cumberland Area Agency on Aging and Disability’s (UCAAAD) Family Caregiver program is seeking volunteers in the 14-county Upper Cumberland region to help make a difference in the lives of Caregivers and their loved ones by giving a gift of time. The Family Caregiver program is expanding its respite program to help aid caregivers who need a short break and is looking for individuals who can spare 4 to 8 hours a month to stay with caregiver’s loved one.
The UCAAAD will be holding a two-day training July 27 – 28th, 2017, at the Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD, 1225 S. Willow Ave, Cookeville, TN 38506) from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm each day (lunch will be included). This training is a unique, interactive training program, where participants will receive the education and tools needed to be confident and successful in providing respite care to adults and children.
For more information or to sign up for this training event, please contact Clare Farless at 931-476-4143 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Area Agency on Aging and Disability(AAAD), a division of the Upper Cumberland Development District, connects older adults and adults with disabilities in the 14-county Upper Cumberland region with services and resources to improve their quality of life. Find AAAD on the web at www.ucdd.org and at facebook.com/UCDDconnect.