Caregiving can be a daunting, difficult task |

Caregiving can be a daunting, difficult task

An elderly parent. An ailing friend.No one knows when they might be called on to be a caregiver to a family member or close friend, but the task can be daunting.”A family caregiver can be someone who is taking care of an elderly patient or someone with a terminal illness,” said Alice Sundeen, spokesperson for Valley View Hospital. “Or it could be a home health worker or someone taking care of a hospice patient.”Luckily, there’s a caregiver support group offered through Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs that gives those who are caring for loved ones or others some much-needed encouragement and a place to talk about their feelings.Marti Duprey, who works full-time as a counselor at Mountain Valley Developmental Center in Glenwood Springs, heads up the Caregivers Support Group, which formed in March 2006. She has a master’s degree in counseling and has also worked as a grief counselor and at a funeral home. Duprey is originally from Nebraska and Chicago and moved to Glenwood Springs in 1970. She has one son.

She said some people are trying to work as a caregiver and at the same time hold down a job and take care of their own families.”Every case is different, but (the caregivers) need to take care of themselves as well,” Duprey said. “Sometimes that means just maybe stopping at a stop light and taking a deep breath. Or getting up a little earlier and taking some time for tea or coffee.”The philosophy of caretakers taking care of themselves as well as their loved one or friend is a key focus in the support group.”A lot of times they’re burnt out – they’re overwhelmed and they’re not taking care of themselves,” Duprey said. “We try to address the different issues that they need and provide support for them. It’s a time out for them.”The group meets twice a month – from 5-6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month in the chaplain’s office at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs.

“But they can call in between those two weeks and just talk, ” Duprey said. “It does seem to work for people.”Sometimes the group has up to nine attendees, sometimes only one.”But it always turns out the way it’s supposed to,” Duprey said. “This is a wonderful service that Valley View Hospital offers. It helps people to help themselves. (Caregiving) is something you know might happen to you, but you never really plan for.”The next support group meeting takes place Thursday, Oct. 26. For more information, contact Duprey at Mountain Valley Developmental Services at 618-3043.

Who: Anyone caring for elderly or disabled patients or those with terminal illnesses; hospice and home health workers, etc. What: Caregivers Support Group When: 5-6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Next meeting is Thursday, Oct. 26 Where: Chaplain’s office at Valley View Hospital, Glenwood Springs Why: To provide caregivers with encouragement and a place to talk about their feelings Information: Marti Duprey, Mountain Valley Developmental Services, 618-3043

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