By Gia Martucci
YoloCares Marketing and Communications Specialist
For caregivers of people with a life-limiting condition, tending to one’s own needs often becomes the least of their concerns. As they become experts in their loved one’s disease, hyper-focused on any changes in condition or their loved one’s physical needs, they may lose sight of their own well-being which takes a toll on their mental and physical health.
Oftentimes, this vigilance leads to caregiver burnout. “When caregivers don’t have the space to process their feelings of grief or anxiety, the burden can become too heavy,” says Chris Erdman, Center for Loss & Hope manager. Being a caregiver can feel isolating; as their loved one’s mobility decreases, they become increasingly tethered to their home, unable to get time for themselves without worrying about the safety of their loved one.
To combat these issues, The Center for Caregiver Support began offering one-day retreats in the Spring of 2022. Retreats included creative and reflective activities, a chance to be in the community with other caregivers, as well as on-site care at Galileo Place for the attendee’s loved ones. These events were an instant hit with attendees and it was immediately clear that what caregivers most appreciated was the chance to share their feelings with others who were traveling on their journey.
“Simply witnessing the reciprocal empathy between caregivers, is in itself a balm for them to receive. Our retreats are a place to be held and witnessed in the tremendous amount of love and dedication it takes to be a caregiver,” says Debra Chapman, grief group coordinator.
In 2023, YoloCares will be offering bi-monthly retreats. Each event features a different theme and will offer different activities. These retreats are free to anyone living in YoloCares’ service area.
- Saturday, March 18, 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m, Tools for riding the emotional roller coaster
- Saturday, May 6, 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Mapping the grief journey
- Saturday, July 15, 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Topic TBD
- Saturday, September 16, 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., What letting go can teach us about living well
- Saturday, November 4, 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Helping a loved one with brain change
If you know of a caregiver who would benefit from attending a retreat, encourage them to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register for future events.