This was the question at today’s Without Warning Support Group meeting for caregivers. About 14 caregivers of people with younger onset Alzheimer’s talked about what it took to be a caregiver. They talked about grief and finding ways to put the needs of someone else before themselves. They talked about humor and ways to brace themselves for losses. They talked about enjoying a moment and stress they should let go.
And then the question came up. “Are we extraordinary people doing ordinary things or ordinary people doing extraordinary things? One said that what made them extraordinary was being in a group with others. Being in a support group allowed each member not only share ideas and tips but talk about the stress and tough times they each faced that week. It made them more deliberate in their actions as caregivers. It gave them the space to vent and to know that they are not alone.
And as support group leaders, that’s where we come in. Within in our groups, we have the opportunity to create that space. As leaders, we need to realize how healing it is for the caregivers in our groups to be part of a community where people completely understand and lift each other up. As support group leaders, we have the opportunity, in each and every meeting, to create a group where people can join together to become . . . extraordinary!