Good News: Hospice Savannah helping caregivers

Good News: Hospice Savannah helping caregivers
Updated: Jan. 27, 2017 at 5:20 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - With studies showing there are now more seniors than youth in the world for the first time, the 9th Annual Hospice Savannah Lecture Series focused on the people taking care of those seniors.

Friday's discussion was aimed largely at family members who find themselves caring for a loved one, sometimes suddenly, often unexpectedly.

"It's specifically for the needs of non-paid, non-professional, non-prepared caregivers, which no one is addressing,'' said Jamey Espina, Hospice Savannah's Vice President of Service Excellence. "A lot of people don't recognize that they're a caregiver. They're doing this work, they've never been trained for it, they're not prepared for it, they don't plan for it and all of a sudden, this is thrust upon them.''

So, Hospice Savannah and its year-old Edel Caregiver Institute share information and instruction whenever it can, including Friday's talk.

"This is now a place where they can come for care for themselves,'' Espina said of the Edel Institute. "They can learn how to care for someone, to learn financial, legal issues.''

With members of the clergy helping lead the discussion, one feature of the event was to introduce caregivers to churches, who Hospice Savannah has enlisted to ease the burden.

"We work closely with all the churches in our community,'' said Espina. "We let them know we'll come on site to provide information about the caregiver institute and what we're doing for the caregivers in the community. It's very personal, and that's why it's easy to connect people and get them the support they need.''

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