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There is a group of individuals in our community that are invisible. They are going to work, getting kids to school, helping with homework, at the grocery stores, and living life like everyone else.  The only difference is, that this individual is also a caregiver for someone.

This story is a tough one for me to write because I had a huge a-ha moment during my interview with April Sutor from Family Service Rochester in Minnesota. Full disclosure - April doesn't know my story.  I didn't even share it with her during our conversation but as she was explaining an upcoming event, I felt like this event was designed just for me.

senior woman with home caregiver
AlexRaths ThinkStock
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Free Caregiver Event Open To All on Thursday in Rochester, Minnesota

Caregiver = a family member or paid helper who regularly looks after a child or a sick, elderly, or disabled person.

There is a demographic of people in our community that tend to always be giving of themselves to others.  There aren't always moments where this person can rest, have a moment to connect with others in similar positions, or even learn what help is available.  This person is a caregiver and as the definition above states, this is anyone who is regularly looking after someone who is a child, sick, elderly, or disabled.  This could even be someone who is helping take care of a neighbor.

What April didn't know was that I am a caregiver.  About 11 months ago, my husband started feeling ill.  There never is a good time to be sick but this was especially challenging because as he was starting to rapidly decline, I was in the middle of recovering from a surgery.  As I was trying to get strong enough to walk after foot surgery, he went from walking normally to using a cane.  A few weeks later, he was using a walker.  Next thing we knew, he was in a wheelchair.

Jessica On The Radio
Jessica On The Radio
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His body is in the middle of a huge fight right now and thankfully we have Doctors surrounding us at two amazing hospitals that are trying to get all of the answers.  But to sum it up, being a caregiver is exhausting.

During my discussion with April about the upcoming Caregiving Forum, she mentioned that caregivers need respite.  They need a break and have an opportunity to know what resources are available to help as well as have a supporting group where they can talk.  Every single thing that she said, I was saying "YES!" inside my heart for each one.

Here's the ironic thing...the free Caregiving Forum that I really should be going to is happening on a day when I have to be a caregiver.  My husband is having surgery that day.  This will be his second surgery in about 6 weeks and unfortunately, it won't solve all of the pain that he is experiencing on a daily basis, but it should help some of it.

Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams
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Caregivers, I understand how tired you are.  I get how you sometimes wonder who there is to chat with who is also going through the same thing.  We give up parts of our lives to take care of those that we care about.  But you need to take time for you too.  The Caregiving Forum was created for you and I hope that you take a moment and attend...because I know you need this moment.

Family Service Rochester
Family Service Rochester
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Everything You Need To Know About the Caregiving Forum in Rochester, Minnesota

  • DATE: Thursday, November 9th
  • TIME: 10:00 am until 11:30 am
  • WHERE: Family Service Rochester, 4600 18th Ave. NW Rochester, MN
  • WHAT: supportive forum for caregivers of older adults, providing a space to share experiences, insights, and resources for navigating the challenges of caregiving with compassion and understanding.
  • COST: Free
Family Service Rochester
Family Service Rochester
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Learn more about Family Service Rochester and all of the ways they support individuals in our community at their website.

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Gallery Credit: Jessica On The Radio

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