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Support Can Be Just a Phone Call Away

By Mary Damiano

(Page 3 of 3)

Wotowicz says that the toll-free phone numbers allow them to help a greater number of people, and the organization has grown steadily over the past 20 years. In the first year, the organization helped 14 people. Last year, they made 1863 matches. While telephone support is most common, face-to-face meetings are possible.  

“There are face-to-face meetings in some cases; it’s really a matter of logistics and what the people want,” says Wotowicz. “The organization was originally founded on the basis of face-to-face meetings but as it grew and became nationwide… actually people prefer not to meet face-to-face. I think part of it is the fact that our lifestyles are so busy; it takes a while to set a meeting because of the logistics of everything. It’s just so much better over the phone. If people want a face to face meeting, and it’s logistically possible, we certainly encourage it, but we get very little demand for it.”

Whatever option caregivers choose, Masi stresses that the most important thing a caregiver can do is to not overlook their own needs. “Do the best you can to keep yourself healthy so you can be of help,” Masi says. He encourages people not to overlook their physical or emotional health when caring for someone else. “We’re trained to be the martyrs as caregivers and we get to the point where we’re not helpful because we haven’t taken care of ourselves. I see that all the time.”

 

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