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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?

Terry, I'm a woman who takes care of  the sick and elderly. I started by taking care of my parents and grandparents (all of whom have died). Since and during, I have, and am, taking care of others (parents and grandparents of friends and neighbors). I also give support to friends and neighbors as they are taking care of  family members. It seems to me that the experience someone could bring to the table would count for something. I can understand the rotating of members so thing don't get stuck in a rut and there are always fresh and up-to-date ideas. What I don't get is the all female thing. Yes, the majority of caregivers are women, but that should be all the more reason to include the voices of male experience. I don't know if my voice will help, but here it is.

I am just finishing a third year where the non-profit I work for has provided a Caregiver Support Program.  We are ending the year and will not be able to offer it next year.  The requirements that many funding sources have make it extremely hard for us to provide the services.  This is a program that is needed all across the nation, and I hope you can find a way to continue support to the people who are no longer a part of the group.  I hope you do not have bad feelings toward the leader.  Remember they have many challenges to meet their requirements.  If you have been in a strong group, maybe part of your group could break off and start a new one, or a few of you meet with the ones leaving in a public area as an extended support group. 

This is not advice for Terry, only an idea...
If you cannot get them to change the rules, why not start your own support group with the current members who will no longer be allowed to attend?
If you do this, then your new group can decide the who, what, when, where how and why of your group. Your group can include everyone who wants to attend, if you so desire. As a group, you can decide the new guidelines for your meetings.  You can take turns facilitating if you like, or you can vote on a facilitator.  Since it sounds like you have been attending your current group for some time, you can adopt some techniques for facilitating that you have learned- perhaps a ritual for opening/closing the meeting, how to keep folks on subject and how to make sure everyone gets a turn without the group feeling like any one person is monopolizing.  You can take a list of potential topics of discussion that folks would like to address, and this can be a starting point for each meeting- what an opportunity to learn about different topics and ideas!  You can even use topics in the newsletter to expand upon. Perhaps experts in different aspects of care issues of your group will donate time to come and participate/educate/answer questions.
Essentially, your new group can work collectively to make it what each of you needs and wants.
Perhaps you can get space donated to hold your meeting in a part of a restaurant/coffeehouse, agency or library. 
Of course, you can absolutely look for another support group with a different agency. Naturally, it is going to be geared to caregivers caring for a loved-one with the illness or issue that particular agency deals with (i.e, Alzheimer's, cancer.)
Whatever your decision, I wish you the best of luck and hope it works out for you.  Remember that your local Information & Assistance/Referral (I&A or I&R) office can help direct you and your group members to resources.
Thank you for doing the most difficult and most important work ever- caring for family, whether biological or not.  Many blessings to you, your group and all caregivers.
M. G.

Gary, with regard to the caregiver group that is referred to and meets where the rules have changed,  one rule that changed is Ė no men allowed.  I am a woman and I donít feel men should be excluded.  They need support just as we do.  I have a father with dementia and live away from my family but am in constant contact with my mom and sister.  Seems that doesnít matter who a person is, male or female, support for these situations is needed.  You may pass my email along to the lady who is wanting to change rules.  What happened to her compassion?

#1, First, the members of this group will make changes according to the needs of the Group after free discussion in which all will or can participate  and vote.
#2  this Group will NOT condone nor practice sexual discrimination based on gender.
#3  This group will recognize that a caregiver is a caregiver whether or not they are related to the person (s) getting care.
4.  This group recognizes that caregiviers also grieve and the comfort of the group should not be withdrawn or denied them arbitrarily.
5.  Should the Faciltator feel he or she is unable to work within the group following the above guidlines,  and recognize that she is an aide to the group, not a dictator.She should feel free to leave.



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