SNN:- With an aim to provide support, encouragement, guide and a shoulder to lean onto, HEART Foundation, NGO from Navi Mumbai (which runs STREE as well) has launched a ‘Support Group for Care Givers’ of dependent individuals.
“Caregivers have been a neglected lot, often being challenged to find time to tend to their own needs, resulting in an alarming decline in their physical and mental health. The fact is that caregivers need to be taken care of too and supported to see through the trying times that they find themselves in,” says Dr. Jayakar Ellis, Founder President, HEART.
“HEART Foundation has been working in the field of health since its inception in July 2013. During its work it was observed that though health care facilities have improved in cities, the unknown plight of the caregivers, remains all the more hidden. Nothing is said or being done about people who tend to their ailing ones on a day to day basis,” he added.
In India, caregiving is essentially a job for women since beginning, owing to their exclusive presence at home and the ability to juggle multiple tasks while at it. So, apart from the daily household chores, which tend to overwork them, they get overburdened by an additional responsibility of taking care of an ailing dependent family member. While, all of them carry out their responsibilities well, the pressure tends to take a toll on their own needs as they start ignoring or hardly find time to think about their own physical and mental needs. In some cases the growing financial crunch adds up to the pressure exerted. This burdening of individuals who already have a lot on their plates, is overwhelming. The scope of their social interaction gets limited within four walls leaving no room for hobbies, dreams and aspirations.
A Startling fact
“It is startling to know that in most of the cases, caregivers too, end up under some physical or mental ailment for the stress they go through. The lack of support tends to push them into a different level of depression that has deteriorating effects on them, exposing them to the same fate as that of the ailing ones. They get sick while caring for the sick!,” said Dr. Shirish Patil (MD), one of the facilitators of the Group.
Heart Foundation: Caring for the Caregivers
In Navi Mumbai, caregivers consist of both people from the low economic groups and high economic groups. While people from the high economic groups have the option to hire help to look after their physically dependent relatives, people from the lower class have to bear the brunt resource crunches that include finances too, as many of them also have to work to keep the family running. Additional expenses and the physical and mental drain add to their woes pushing them towards disaster.
Aim and Objectives
“Through this Group, we would strive to connect caregivers and others too into forming support groups that can share experiences, interact openly, learn from each other and support each other in every possible manner,” said Mrs. Uma Vaidyanathan, Coordinator and senior volunteer of HEART.
Through this initiative HEART Foundation aims to provide a platform to :
- Exchange practical information on care giving problems and possible solutions
- Talk through challenges and ways of coping
- Share feelings, needs and concerns
- Learn about resources available in the community
- Learn ways of coping with the stresses and strains of being a caregiver
“The support group will benefit the family caregivers who can learn from each other and also from the resource persons. This can help to perform their role in a better way and to lead healthier lives,” said Ms. Suvarna Suryavanshi, psychologist and another facilitator.
The Group is open for all caregivers and the get together will be held every Saturday from 5 pm to 7 pm at HEART Foundation’s office at office no. 2, Jyoti Apartments, Sector 20, plot no 17 G, Belapurgaon, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai.
Various fun filled activities will be held along with sessions on Yoga by Mrs. Sharmishtha Ambre, a well known yoga exponent, talks by Dr. Pujari and session by Ms. Suryavanshi.
Registration is free but mandatory. Pls call : 8080007777/ 97680404043 and email to firstname.lastname@example.org