On April 13 at 7 p.m., Carol Anne Lawler, the faith community educator for Hospice and Palliative Care-Charlotte Region, will present “Caregivers and Compassion Fatigue” at Light of Christ United Methodist Church.
The church is at 9212 Bryant Farms Road in Charlotte.
The event is sponsored by the church’s Elder Care Support Group, a group of caregivers who meet regularly to offer support, encouragement and information as they learn the ropes of caring for an ailing spouse, parent or other loved one.
Jill Rajala founded the group last fall to help caregivers.
“When I joined the church, I had a mother-in-law who needed quite a bit of care. She was a wonderful person, but when she developed dementia, she became someone I didn’t even know. It was very hard,” Rajala said.
Her mother-in-law succumbed to the disease, but Rajala didn’t forget the struggles and trials she experienced during that final journey. And she found out that other caregivers were feeling the same way.
“We started a support group to talk about our different problems but quickly found out that we all had the same problems,” Rajala said.
They decided to bring in experts who could help them navigate the caregiving process and educate them about the resources available. The meetings are free and open to the public.
“When you are in that situation, it’s an overwhelming amount of work. Many times you don’t have time or energy to do research to find out what’s out there or who can help,” Rajala said.
Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Melinda? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to go?
The group meets at 7 p.m the second Monday of each month either at someone’s home or at the church, depending on the number of responses. This month they will meet in the church since a larger audience is expected – no registration necessary. For more information, visit www.locumc.org or call the church office at 980-355-0637.