Family Caregiver of the Year Award Nominee: Elegant Caregivers


Family Caregiver of the Year Award Nominee: Elegant Caregivers

Nominated by: Nancy Luberoff

Tell us about the nominee's caregiving story.
The ELEGANT CAREGIVERS (the name of our group) are a community of seven women, all caregivers for our mothers and/or fathers. We have met once a month for over three years and provide ongoing, loving, immediate, and appropriate support to one another. We are an informal group, not sponsored or moderated by a larger group. We found each other because we all needed this kind of support.

How does the nominee complement his or her caregiving responsibilities with their own needs and interests?
Our caregiving support group is one of the most important ways that we meet our own need for friendship, support, humor, avoidance, fun, good food, compassion, and advice. We have dozens of communications every month in addition to our regular monthly gathering.

Tell us about the nominee's problem-solving techniques.
We listen. We listen some more. We ask questions. We ask more questions. Then we sit with the pain, together, as loving supports for one another. Sometimes we provide physical assistance to solve problems—rides, food, referrals; sometimes we just listen and acknowledge the experience of the other; and sometimes we offer advice and push another caregiver to try something new, to bring in new resources, to take care of herself.

How does the nominee use online resources or community services?
We help one another access online resources and community services. We have shared home health aides. We have helped one another understand and access hospice services. We reach out for spiritual guidance when needed.

How does the nominee remain involved in his or her community (including online)?
We are all active in our community through our work, our children, our volunteer initiative, and our hobbies. We are very visible to our friends and colleagues as an amazing model of caregiving support. We are regularly approached by others who want to join our group; however, we have decided that we can be there for six other women and that a larger group would be impossible for us to manage. Several people we know are trying to replicate our group.

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