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EDITORIAL RESPONSES  /Impeachable Offenses?Editorial List

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Impeachable Offenses Editorial Responses
These are just some of the many responses we received from our Editorial of 08/07/08 - Impeachable Offenses?

Find another organization to sponsor your caregiver support group, if that's possible.  This facilitator sounds very "heavy handed".
I have been a Hospice volunteer for 18 years and act as an unpaid facilitator for a caregiver support group, sponsored by the local Hospice organization.  There are two other unpaid Hospice volunteers working with the group, as well. The group has been meeting for five years. Caregivers are a special breed of people and need all the help they can get. Certainly, anything that is of concern to the caregivers attending our meetings is open for discussion. We have no limits on how long anyone may attend the meetings, though there is a separate grief recovery group available for those who have lost their family member/friend/patient which the caregiver may want to begin to attend in time.........or not. Our experience has been that after a patient dies, the caregiver is usually occupied with many other things and moves on of her/his own accord.  We welcome all who have a need, men and women alike.  We do not limit the caregiver experience to "family only".  We don't have a lot of rules; the main rule being confidentiality.  We do expect those attending the meetings not to speak outside of the meetings of the other members' situations and to treat  other members with respect and consideration.  We also "administer" strong doses of patience and caring.
This is a casual group.  There are no demands on attendance and members may come and go as they choose. Attendance is on an "as you can" basis.  Caregivers are not always free to attend every meeting......their lives are not always predictable.  This is understood and we do not expect any notification from caregivers if they cannot attend meetings.  As a facilitator, because our meeting time is limited, I do try to be sure that each person has his/her own time to speak, but feel that I am there mainly to is the caregivers who really help one another.  Some need to talk more than others on occasion and a new member coming into the group is often given more time to tell her/his story, by the other caregivers.  This relaxed approach seems to have worked for us. 

Unilateral decisions are never good.  It's always better to open a dialogue with those individuals who will be affected by new rules or procedures so that they can feel that their issues have been heard and that they were a part of the overall decisions.

Why are men to be excluded?  It's difficult enough to get men to seek help with their emotional well-being, the last thing the facilitator would want to do is shut them out.  If these men can't participate, then they may not seek out another support group and may, instead, try to deal with their serious and stressful caregiving issues on their own.  We all know that white males have the highest suicide rate among elders, who often experience feelings of isolation and loneliness.  Attending support groups is sometimes the only respite a caregiver can manage!

Why are those who are taking care of non-relatives to be excluded?  Does the facilitator view this category of caregiver to be less involved in the elder's care?  Whether you’re taking care of a parent who lives 2 miles down the road or taking care of your deceased mother's best friend who lives next door, the issues are basically the same.  Three hours a day taking care of your parent or three hours a day taking care of your mother's best friends is still three hours, no matter who it is.

As far as having someone leave the group eight months after their spouse has passed away, I say that the facilitator may have a point.  I disagree that this should be a steadfast rule, though.  The facilitator should be encouraging the former caregiver in attending bereavement support groups and to consider some short-term counseling.  The caregiver should also be encouraged to call any of the other members to chat or maybe even to volunteer their time assisting with the care of their loved one.  Remember, some of these individuals were married for 40, 50 or 60 years and now find themselves alone.  Bereavement support groups and some short-term counseling can help them in adjusting to their independence and direct them to more appropriate groups and volunteer opportunities.  It may take someone a few months and some more than a year… we all grieve differently. 
Whatever happens, everyone in the group should able to discuss the issues and create other alternatives that could  provide a solution to the problems that prompted the creation of these new rules. 

I hope things work out well for you.



The unilateral decisions outlined and implemented by the Facilitator are understandable.  A Caregiver Support group is not a dating club (hence the single gender criteria). A Caregiver Support Group is not a Hospice Aide/Provider Support Group.  A Caregiver is a family member in most cases otherwise the person providing care is called a Home Health Aide or Personal Care Attendant. 
An individual caring for someone who is terminally ill would be better served by a Hospice Support Group.  Unless, they can limit their comments to the caregiver aspects of their duties.  Their is the appropriate grief counseling after the terminally ill passes on.
An individual caring for a non family member caring for a stage 4 cancer patient, regardless of relation, would be better served by a Cancer Family Support Group or Hospice Support Group.
I would image that this group is Employer-tolerated, not Employer-sponsored.  In any case when a support group has been around for more than a few years, the initial focus of and for the group becomes blurred; the mission and vision is lost.  Perhaps it would help the have mission statement revisited or if there is no mission statement, now is the time to consider one.  A groups' modus operandi may not be agreeable with all participants.  If a participant becomes too disenchanted they should seek support elsewhere versus trying to reinvent the wheels of an established group.


My first thought is how can one eliminate a gender from a group.
When did women forget that they were not allowed in the work place, even as
secretaries?  Your female ancestors have fought long and hard to have the
rights that they have now, in the workplace, voting, ect.
Now you want to exclude a man that is suffering with giving care to a loved
one?  Come on, it is 2008!!!!!!!!!!  I am a Homosexual man that had a car
accident, and my male partner is suffering for my lack of judgment.  I was
not impaired, just made the wrong decision, the deer, or the tree.  Now I
live with his Traumatic Brain Injury every day.
If I were there, and you decided to exclude me because of my gender, I would
make sure to make sure that this woman knew that Susan B Anthony was
spinning in her grave.



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