A thank you to the R&R Group

As a primary caregiver I was given the chance to attend the R&R group, having been told it was to help people like myself.

My wife had a stroke and was paralyzed on one side, so needed constant help. Thankfully her speech was good.

For me to get one morning a week free so I could relax was a great bonus, while a PSW took over her care.

At first, not sure what I would find, and many times being the only male in the group, I soon enjoyed those mornings run by empathetic people knowledgeable about health care. The mornings were “loosely structured” and flexible. Relaxing and free to talk, joke, be serious, have a massage, play cards and more – many caregivers relaxed, talked about their problems – and I found there was much overlap in their problems – or had quiet, private meetings as needed.

Towards the end of the morning there would be a yoga session, and finally a delicious hot lunch – often accompanied by jokes.

For myself, I was away from my stress for a short while each week. Eventually I realized I was learning to cope with my own stress more efficiently as well as be more compassionate about my wife’s needs.

Most men are never trained to be caregivers.

I thank the R&R group for helping me get through those tough years, plus showing me how I needed to take care of myself more physically and emotionally.

Thanks too all.