The Peace Lutheran Church, at 231 Harry Sauner Rd. in Hillsboro, is sponsoring a caregiver’s support group on Monday, Feb. 3 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Pastor Robert Skipper said the “Caregiving for the Caregiver” session is being offered as both an outreach and a help to the greater Hillsboro community to give encouragement and reassurance to those in the role of a caregiver.
Skipper said he is a God-called pastor, adding that he also has many years as both a licensed clinical therapist and chemical dependency counselor.
He said the idea for a caregiver support group grew out of direct experiences that some families in his church have gone through in recent years, and a joint seminar he attended last year.
“Last spring, we attended a seminar put on by the Archdiocese of Southern Ohio and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America/Southern Ohio Synod,” Skipper said. “Out of that was when the seed got planted about how congregations can respond and help support their neighborhoods, and we’ve been thinking about this for months and finally got the plan put together.”
The plan is to offer support, contact and self-care information for those providing care to other family members, such as grandparents raising their grandchildren, aunts and uncles raising other family member’s children or children caring for their parents.
He said factors such as the current opioid crisis, chemical dependency, aging, economics, family stress, unemployment and income levels contribute to the demands and needs that have come to bear on those who find themselves in the role of a caregiver.
“I want to take what I feel is the best of clinical practice along with a solid theological grounding and literally marry them together,” he said. “Obviously, the gospels are full of what makes for healing and for loving your neighbor.”
Care for the caregivers is a vital necessity that must be offered, Skipper said, which includes direct support, encouragement for self-care and fostering contact with others that gives a modest respite for those who in some cases were called without warning into being caregivers.
The goal of Monday evening’s initial gathering is to not only provide a platform of support for encouragement for the caregiver, but to also facilitate education and conversation on a monthly basis.
For further information regarding Peace Lutheran’s Caregiving for the Caregiver support group, call the church at 937-393-1837 or Skipper at 937-694-3038.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.