WH Willing Workers learn about the emotional aspects of caregiving


Willing Workers of White Hall’s Extension Homemakers Club met recently in the meeting room of White Hall Library for its regular meeting.

President Cheri Aronowitz welcomed everyone and read the Thought of the Month — “Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” She also led the Homemaker’s Creed and read the Handy Hint — “For best results, compliment rather than criticize.”

Marnette Reed gave the Inspiration from Exodus 20:12. Members answered roll call by answering the question “Have you ever been a caregiver?” Members present were Aronowitz, Peggie Barbaree, Jo Ann Carr, Sarah Payton, Dee Kindrick, Karen Needler, Reed, and Catherine Atkinson. Diana McNutt was a guest and expressed interest in joining.

Kindrick presented the program on “Emotional Aspects of Caregiving.” She explained that a caregiver is anyone who helps take care of the daily needs of another who is physically, mentally, or emotionally unable to care for himself or herself. Caregivers must take care of themselves. They must learn 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; exercise; get enough sleep and tell inform their doctor that they are a caregiver.

By developing some coping strategies, one can avoid reaching the point of exhaustion and burnout. Remember you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Use your family, friends, church, and neighbors for support. Family may help share caregiving tasks. Friends and neighbors may help with other chores or errands. Seek out information that can assist during this emotionally stressful time. Find a trained expert or doctor who can help you find the services and support your need. Don’t neglect your own health. Take some time each day to do something for yourself: read, listen to music, telephone friends, or exercise. Talk about it. Visit with friends. Go to a support group. Keep a journal. Recognize your accomplishments as a caregiver instead of dwelling on your shortcomings.

She closed the program by reading the “Caregiver’s Bill of Right”. For more information on this subject, contact Mary Ann Kizer at the Jefferson County Extension Office at 870-534-1033.

Aronowitz presented Kindrick with her 20-year member Certificate of Service and pin because Kindrick was unable to attend the Spring Council meeting when years of membership was recognized.

Leader reports:

Community Service – Barbaree, community service chairman, reported a few cot sheets for UAMS Kids First still need elastic. Two workshops were held recently to work on them. There are about 50 cancer turbans cut out that need to be sewn and have 20 that need elastic that was turned in at the meeting. Several boxes of cereal were brought for White Hall Food Pantry. This is a continuing project each month. The group is still collecting pennies for friendship and monies collected this year were to be turned in at state meeting in Hot Springs.

Education – Carr reported that the recent county workshop on paper necklaces was very well-attended and everyone enjoyed it. Brenda Robinson, member of Grace Willing Workers, taught the class. The June county workshop will be June 20 and will be taught by Andrea Hartley of Camden Road EHC and it will be on making a plastic canvas Christmas tree ornament. Carr also reported the group will be going to Conway on June 22 to check out Patsy Glover’s new home, eat out and shop. Carr announced she would be teaching a workshop for Grace Willing Workers on making a flower pin cushion on May 30.

New officers for 2013-2015 were elected. They are Aronowitz, president; Needler, vice president; Elizabeth Wall, secretary; and Reed, treasurer. They will be installed at the June meeting and will take office in July.

Aronowitz announced upcoming events included Farmers Market on June 1; “Oliver” at the Arts & Science Center on July 24; and county picnic on Aug. 3

Potluck refreshments were enjoyed by all after the meeting and members made Snap Happy Bags furnished and taught by Barbaree.

The club meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the White Hall Library and the June program will be “Eating on the Run”, presented by Barbaree. Hostesses will be Payton and Barbaree.

For more information about Extension Homemakers, contact any member or Kizer at 870-534-1033.