Support group caring for caregivers

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – The responsibility of being a caregiver for a loved one can cause depression, frustration, and leave you with feelings of isolation.

The Cumberland County Aging and Community Services provides care for the elderly. This month, it kicked off a support group for caregivers.

“I’ve always loved the elderly – since I was a little kid,” Russell Pierce said. “When I was in high school, we would go to nursing homes to visit”.

Pierce built a career around helping the elderly, working at the Aging and Community Services. Then, it got personal.

“First, my father in law had a stroke then my mother-in-law developed dementia,” he said.

Dealing with dementia became frustrating.

“She wanted to help,” he said. “So you would say, okay, get the fork, and she would bring back a pen.”

Feeling isolated and desperate, Pierce and his wife sought support.

“When they start saying ugh, I’m really frustrated with whatever … other people will say I know exactly what you’re talking about; same here.”

The support group is open to all caregivers in the Midstate.

“We see this as a growing need in our community,” aging care manager and supervisor Nancy Nemoyer said. “It’s caring for each other and feeling cared for while you’re a caregiver.”

“We just ask that you call ahead in advance so we have enough pretzels on hand,” she said with a laugh.

The support group meets the first Wednesday of every month at the Cumberland County Office of Aging and Community Services, at 1100 Claremont Road in Carlisle, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

If you plan to attend, call Becky Fritz at 717-240-6110 or e-mail rfritz@ccpa.net.

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