Caregivers Find Comfort In Support Groups - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Caregivers Find Comfort In Support Groups

When that time comes, the roles of children are often times reversed. Meaning the child is now taking care of the parent. Some say this can be a full- time job. Doctors say the caregivers need to remember to take care of themselves as well.

One East Texan is finding comfort in a support group. Linda Thelen of Lindale is the caregiver of her 87-year-old mother. Linda retired last year so she could take care of her mother full time. "Today she is going to stay with loved ones area, while I get some information. The nice thing is that I can bring her with me and she can be cared for and I don't have to worry about her for an hour," says Linda.

Linda's mother, Mary Laben, enjoys knitting while her daughter attends a caregiver's support group. "I think that the most important thing about the support group is knowing that I'm not alone. I've got other people that are doing the same thing their loved ones maybe at a different stage but we do get to compare notes," says Linda.

Dr. Kent Davis at UT Health Center says it's also important for the caregivers not to get too busy and forget about their own health.

"We try to get them to do the right things for themselves at the same time. That's the reason we have a caregivers support group to remind them of the importance of taking care of themselves," says Dr. Kent Davis, Director of Center for Healthy Aging at UT Health Center.

Linda says she's benefited greatly from the support group. "It's just nice to have someone pat you on the back and give you some hugs because it gets hard," says Linda. She says after the meetings, she walks away feeling refreshed and is ready to start again.

The caregivers' support group at UT Health Center meets the second Tuesday of the month, and is free. If you'd like more information about the group, call UT Health Center in Tyler.

Karolyn Davis, reporting.


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