A love letter to my caregiver support group | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

A love letter to my caregiver support group


Can I tell you about my Ovation Communities’ Caregiver Support Group? I have had the great honor and privilege to facilitate a group of delightful, intelligent people, who exhibit sincere kindness and understanding. Incredibly, some members have only just met virtually, while others have connected previously through our services. However, each person has one thing in common; everyone is caring for a loved one with memory loss.  

I love and adore this group. Maybe this sounds a little contrived, but when I share a bit of what occurs during our group, you will begin to understand  why I love it so.  

There is a great emotional impact for caregivers of individuals with dementia. The issues they face can be challenging on any day, but during a pandemic the stress can be extreme.  For example, they may experience loneliness, isolation, depression, and anxiety. During the pandemic, especially, the Caregiver Support Group has been an emotional lifeline for many! We help each other by sharing tips and strategies, information, and resources.  In addition, I often listen to concerns, answer questions when members are stuck, and help to plan for the future. We have created a heartwarming, supportive group that links families. When caregivers connect with others that are on a similar path, they do not feel so alone.   

Can you even imagine finding the fortitude to be a caregiver throughout this pandemic? These inspiring members did and continue to forge on despite COVID-19. Of course, I cannot adequately describe this extraordinary group; this is just a tiny taste.  

It is a blessing to facilitate this group. At a time when it is easy for hope to wane, this group fills me with love. I witness raw emotions and care. At the end of many groups, I finish with a breathing and relaxation exercise. But long after we say goodbye and close the meeting, I am still thinking about their remarkable stories. I breathe it all in and hold their goodness and compassion in my heart.  

If you or someone you know could benefit from the Caregiver Support Group or Ovation Adult Day Services Virtual Programs, please consider calling or emailing Dana. Call 414-721-9249 or email DRubin-Winkelman@Ovation.org. 

The Caregiver Support Group meets virtually on Zoom the first and the third Fridays of each month from 1:30-2:30 p.m.  

Dana Rubin-Winkelman, MSW, CAPSW is the Social Worker for Ovation Communities Adult Day Services.