Definition of a Caregiver...
Merriam & Webster defines a caregiver as: a person who provides direct care (as for children, elderly people, or the chronically ill).
In my life and over the past 4 years I have met so many parents, spouses, and loved ones that are in this family caring role. They give everyday not only to their loved ones with diverse abilities in so many ways that most people would not even think of, but most also have other relationships they have to cultivate and take care of as well; other children, spouses or partners, parents, jobs, friendships, with themselves being the last on the list.
The overarching theme we hear from caregivers is loss of self. The Arch Foundation's mission and vision is to provide support for caregivers to find balance in their own lives and a community to share the ups and downs of managing the life of a loved one with diverse abilities.
"I look in the mirror and do not even recognize who is looking back anymore," said one participant in The Arch Foundation. TAF has helped this caregiver on her journey of regaining her self, signing up and paying for yoga classes so she can begin to recognize who it is looking back at her in the mirror.
Since beginning programming in May, we have helped over 300 caregivers and their families far more than I had hoped for. I could not have done this without your help. My hope and plan for 2019 is to double this number. Thank you for helping me make my dream of taking care of those who take care of others.
Have a safe, healthy, happy holiday season.