AP NEWS

Unsung heroes: Local family caregivers honored at luncheon in Aiken

May 16, 2019

Some of the “unsung heroes” in the community received recognition Wednesday at a Family Caregiver Appreciation Luncheon in Aiken.

Held at the Lessie B. Price Aiken Senior and Youth Center, the Lower Savannah Council of Governments (LSCOG) and other senior care agencies provided lunch and some learning opportunities for folks who are in-home caregivers to their family members.

“Caregivers are key to allowing loved ones to safely stay in their home as long as possible, and that’s something we really want to support,” said Catherine Longfellow, caregiver advocate at LSCOG.

“They’re kind of the unsung hero that really does everything from nursing skills to, you know, just their time is constantly giving care to that person and honoring that and giving them some appreciation and recognizing the value of that is what we’re trying to do.”

Investigator Adam Stubbs with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office and attorney Linda Farron Knapp talked to caregivers about making sure they and their loved ones are protected, mentioning things such as scams, when to call the Department of Social Services versus law enforcement, and legal documents and protections that are needed.

Longfellow said the educational information and tools caregivers were given are to help keep them safe and well-prepared as they get older.

Following lunch, caregivers heard from Chaplain Dexter Lambert, who, according to Longfellow, gave them encouragement in their caregiving journey.

The LSCOG offers a caregiver support program, which providess resources, respite care, grants and education for caregivers.

Wednesday’s luncheon was a collaboration between LSCOG and agencies that assist with the program.

“We just want to give them a day where they feel celebrated and serve them, because they spend their time serving others,” Longfellow said.