We offer a caregivers workshop that focuses on helping caregivers recognize the scope of their task as well as reminding them of why they do it. It gives them a chance to take a breath, take a step back, and appreciate the big picture of the caregiving relationship. It's not therapy, it's not counseling, it's just for the caregivers.
Here's some highlights from one of our workshops. In this workshop, we had a group of caregivers who share the caregiving for one relative, Mother/Grandmother, who has been diagnosed with dementia.
BELOW RIGHT: "A happy memory" of Grandma: she liked "corny" jokes (the yellow and green bricks represent corn). Laughing affectionately, the other participants agreed with the accuracy of the model.
ABOVE RIGHT: "Your guilty pleasure?" A caregiver build several figures in a spa. As she explained it, it struck her that what the group was doing right that minute--getting together, laughing, talking about Mom/Grandma as well as their own lives, was something they all needed to do regularly. This started a discussion of how to make that happen on a monthly basis, and as the workshop ended, they made commitments about how they planned to care for themselves and each other as well as Grandma, going forward. .
TOP: "My support": One caregiver build a model of all the caregivers together, connected by constant texting and phone calls (the cords), while Grandma suspiciously looked in. We print pictures of people's models and this was the model that nearly everyone wanted, with one caregiver exclaiming that it was going to go on her fridge.
Afterwards, the caregivers said:
- "It was nice to sit down together and discuss grandma and discuss what is going on with everyone. I liked using the Legos to represent what is going on in our lives."
- "It was very interesting to find out more about each other and myself and I already see how this will help my grandma."
- "Great family activity to reflect on the experiences of dealing with a loved one with dementia. It lets you understand that you can’t change your loved ones but you can change how you deal with them. Good to have a variety of family members."
If you know caregivers who might benefit from taking a breath and a step back, please contact us to set up a workshop.