Finding emotional support is never a walk in the park, but sometimes it is a good place to start.
A grassroots level support group to help those who take care of a sick family member or friend is taking shape after two weeks of meeting at Island Park.
“I’m trying to get a group started for people that are taking care of a spouse or child that has a disease,” says Jocelyn Howe. Howe’s husband is who relies on her for some help and she understands the demands and sometimes the pressure it takes to do well by your loved one.
“There’s a lot of stress that goes along with not only being with somebody who is sick but also the responsibility of helping to take care of that person. There is nowhere here to get help where you can just sit around and chat over a cup of coffee,” she said.
“There are many support groups for so many illnesses, but where does the wife who’s looking after her husband who has had a stroke go for help? Where does the husband who is looking after his wife who has been diagnosed with cancer go?”
Caregivers need to vent. Howe adds that venting to family is an all too familiar and common release. “You can’t vent to family, they don’t understand. Unless you actually live with someone you have to take care of, you can’t understand what feelings you go through: the dark humour you end up having.”
Howe’s initial plan is to meet in the park by the Memorial Garden once a week during the summer.
“I’ll be there on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. with a box of Kleenex,” she said. “Bring a cup of coffee or tea and we will just be there for each other.”
For more information, you can call Jocelyn Howe at 204-239-4111.