Caring for the Caregivers

Apr 5, 2016

Anyone who has provided long-term care for a sick child or parent knows how stressful that can be. A community seminar this Saturday (4/9/16) might help reduce that stress level for area caregivers.

Credit aarp.org

It will take place at Tallahassee’s Thomasville Road Baptist Church where Curtis Clark is the senior pastor. He said this is the second year his church has hosted the event.

“We felt like there was such a need, not only within our church but also in the community, that we put together this caregivers’ conference to be able to help and it was so well received that we felt we needed to do it again,” he explained.

James Barclay is the coordinator for the conference. “We believe that caregiver burnout is probably the most prevalent malady for a caregiver. It’s lurking behind every corner and it’s stalking every caregiver.”

By their very nature, many if not most caregivers are compassionate, self-sacrificing people, Barclay said. Those very personality traits can drive caregivers beyond their physical, psychological and emotional capacities. And he says it can happen to anyone, even the family of a senior pastor like Curtis Clark.

“My wife’s father and mother, they need a lot of care,” Clark shared. “They live in Dallas and my wife lives here and her sister is the primary caregiver. And so she has been going about once every six weeks and taking a week or 10 days and relieving her sister and helping there with some of that. Then when she’s here, she feels like she’s not helping the way she ought to help and it’s a very complex kind of thing.”

Barclay said Saturday’s program will be full of helpful information and coping strategies for caregivers.

“The medical doctor is Alice Pomidor of the FSU College of Medicine, she’s going to talk about the clinical aspects of burnout. When she finishes, Kathy Mims, Dr. Mims out of Albany, Georgia will speak. She wrote the second edition of ‘Caring for You; Caring for Me’. Then I’m going to interview in a question-and-answer format, the author of a book called ‘Caregiving; Real Life Answers,” Barclay said, adding it all happens this weekend. “Saturday, April 9th at Thomasville Road Baptist Church. It’s going to start at 8:30 a.m. and run until 12:30 p.m.”

Both Barclay and Pastor Clark predicted the seminar could eventually become an even more regular part of the parish’s offerings to the community. For registration, please e-mail: Bit.ly/caregivers2016