AP NEWS

New support group available for Weston caregivers

March 20, 2019

WESTON — Caring for loved ones can often be an overwhelming experience for families, but now a new support group in Weston hopes to ease those challenges.

Allison Lisbon, director of social services in Weston, kicked off a caregivers support group at the senior center on March 14.

“We wanted to bring this to Weston, so it stays local, and that people don’t have to drive anywhere else to get the support that they need,” she said.

While only six individuals attended the first session, Lisbon said she plans to see more people in the future, once word of the group starts to spread.

Twice a month, on the second and fourth Thursday of the month from 1 to 2 p.m., people are invited to the senior center to get advice on how to be a caregiver.

Due to the sensitivity and privacy of the matter, only those who are caregivers or looking to be a caregiver are allowed to attend the meetings.

During the first group meeting, participants primarily spent time making introductions, sharing stories of the people they cared for and the diseases and ailments they suffer from, and the biggest caregiver concerns.

Depending on the severity of the ailments, the numerous responsibilities that come with caring for another person can sometimes be overwhelming — medication handling, driving to doctors’ appointments, and being there for emotional support were among experiences shared by the group.

“Our hope with this group is to establish connections in the community, provide peer support, share resources, provide education and introduce self-care through shared positive experiences and time to focus on the caregivers journey,” Lisbon said.

Lisbon, the newest addition to the town’s Social Services Department, became director this January. Since then, she has been trying to make the Weston community a more comfortable place for residents, and make sure that those needing help are taken care of.

There will be a guest speaker at the next group session on March 28, though their name has not been announced. Each month will follow a similar format of the first session being a support group, and the second incorporating a presenter on a relative topic.

For information, contact Lisbon at 203-222-2663, or Rose Cruz, assistant social worker at 203-222-2556; or visit www.westonct.gov/townhall/27652/28677/29470