Taking care of a loved one can be extremely rewarding. It can also be stressful. Too often, family caregivers are so focused on the patient’s needs they ignore their own. The retreats help caregivers understand that caring for yourself is a part of caring for your loved one. It can actually allow them to be a better caregiver.
The Community Cancer Center makes support of family caregivers a priority. Twice a year, the Community Cancer Center & St. Luke’s Palliative Care host the Caregivers’ Quality of Life Retreat. This free event, first held in 2013, celebrates the role of caregivers while also giving them tools to help take care of themselves. From the start, our hope was not just to have our caregivers feel good for a day, but to help them make lasting changes. With that in mind, the retreat includes activities to enhance quality of life along with helpful information presented specifically for caregivers.
Caregivers who have attended previous retreats have this to say:
“It really made me have a better understanding of everything I have been going through.”
“I enjoyed the day out. Time to refresh – mission accomplished!”
“I will keep in touch with some of these people. It was nice to have this experience – that I am not alone on this journey. Thank you so much.”
“I never thought I would be considered a caregiver. This has helped me see that I am and that I am not alone.”
“It was my first time attending anything like this. Lots of good info & support. Will definitely come again.”
“It was a good day for me. Met people and was relaxing. Smiled & laughed more than I have in a long while.”
“This has been informative and relaxing. Great food. Good to see some familiar faces and some new ones. I will be signing up for the next event too.”
“I was so looking forward to today. I benefited so much from coming.”
“I loved this day for us – the caregivers. It was such a learning experience.”
“I started to see ‘myself’ reappear today. I didn’t know it but I had ‘disappeared’ in the treatment of my wife’s illness.”
“It was good to be in a positive group of people. Everyone was so kind and helpful.”
“It fit the bill – a time of laughter and to get away from the stress of the day-to-day.”
For more information on the Quality of Life Retreat, contact Nancy at (319) 369-7473.