Grace Willing Workers EHC hold monthly meeting

Sabrina Self-Gwin presented the program, "Emotional Aspects of Caregiving," at the recent meeting of the Grace Willing Workers Extension Homemakers. The meeting and pot luck luncheon were held at the Centennial Fellowship Church in White Hall. Cathy Lewis, Margaret Thomas, and Meg Kesl were hostesses for the luncheon. Self-Gwin opened her program by stating that a caregiver is anyone who helps take care of the daily needs of another person who is physically , mentally, or emotionally unable to take care of himself or herself. Caregivers supply nearly 25.7 billion dollars a year in services for their loved ones, such as transportation, supervision, financial management, feeding, bathing, lifting, and toileting.

Caregivers must learn how to balance their own needs with the needs of the other person.

Caregivers should: be up to date on immunizations; get a yearly check-up and recommended screenings; eat healthy foods; get enough sleep; tell your doctor you are a caregiver; talk to your health care professional if you suspect that you suffer from depression.

Examples of psychological effects and emotional stress common to caregivers are depression, anxiety disorders, stress, guilt, higher incidence of suicide, anger at self and the patient, social withdrawal from friends and activities, irritability leading to moodiness, negative thoughts and reactions, inability to concentrate, problems at work, alcohol and substance abuse, and loss of appetite.

Self-Gwin concluded her program by stating that the caregiver should remember that he or she is not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Family may share care giving tasks. Friends and neighbors may help with other chores or errands. Find a trained expert or doctor who can help you find the services and support your needs. Take some time each day to do something for yourself. Recognize your accomplishments as a caregiver instead of dwelling on your shortcomings.

Club president, Debbie James, conducted the meeting. Twelve members of Grace Willing Workers attended the Paper Necklace Workshop taught by Brenda Robinson. They were: Robinson, Delores Kelley, Kaye Richardson, Connie Herrin, Lynda Toler, Lewis, James, Liz Crosby, Nancy Rosen, Eva Marie Pearson, Dixie Fritz, and Linda Murray.

The purpose of Kids Fest is to strengthen the community and its families. It is also designed to educate the community on child abuse awareness and prevention. The Transformation Project at Centennial Fellowship Church is one of its main sponsors. Members of Grace Willing Workers supported their effort by helping children make bracelets, judging cupcakes, and working at the Red Cross booth.

Grace Willing Workers was in charge of decorating for the Jefferson County EHC Spring Council. Those who decorated were Richardson, Herrin, Crosby, Johnson, and James.

Election of officers was held. The Nominating Committee announced the following slate of officers for 2013-2014: President-Debbie James, President-Elect-Bettye Johnson, Vice-President-Kaye Richardson, Secretary-Brenda Robinson, Treasurer-Barbara Stone, and Parliamentarian-Nancy Rosen.

James reminded members of the American Cancer Society Chicken Dinner, the AEHC State Meeting in Hot Springs, and the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council Craft Retreat in Mountain View.