Launching the Care Partner Network

By Marie Gress, LMSW at Milan Seniors for Healthy Living

Generally, we talk about caregivers, but let’s shift our conversation to care partners. This may be “social worky” of me, but caregiving is seen as a one-way street whereas a partnership can be a two-way relationship, three-way, etc. The traditional view of caregiving is giving care to someone who can’t do these tasks themselves and that’s the end of it. In a care partnership there is a care provider and a care recipient. This is a give-and-take relationship where there is cooperation, mutual goals, both providing input on care needs, and the care recipient may take care of some need the care provider has (i.e., advice, financial support, etc).
What a difference it makes to shift our view on these relationships as a partnership! With some of my clients, they begin to realize their loved one is an active participant in their life again. A person receiving care realizes they are contributing and not a passive burden. It restores purpose and dignity for both parties.
MSHL is starting a Care Partner Network because we realize how hard it is sometimes. We realize you may still be working, raising families, and/or juggling your own health concerns. We realize you want to come to a support group, but your schedule is full and you have to arrange for respite care. We realize the medical world hands you way too many brochures, pamphlets, and other papers to read through and keep track of. We realize the internet is so full of information that you don’t know which source to trust. It can be so hard.
The Care Partner Network is here for you. We want to increase your support system while making it more accessible. Sign up for the network to receive e-newsletters with encouragement and care giving tips. Sign up and join our peer support Facebook group where you can ask questions, give advice, and share victories in real time. The Facebook group is moderated by MSHL, a retired nurse, and a dementia specialist, so you are in trusted hands.
As the Care Partner Network grows, MSHL looks forward to growing with you. We want you to be empowered to share your triumphs and your needs. We want you to feel more confident and more connected.
Ready to sign up? Go to our website: milanseniors.org and click on “Care Partner Network.” You can also email us at mshl [at] milanseniors [dot] org.

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