“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”
– Margaret Mead
The life of a caregiver is never an easy one, as the ongoing care of a seriously ill family member allows for no holidays, sick days, or days off. Yet now, thanks to a partnership between three area care agencies, local caregivers will finally get their much-deserved day off, and they will be honored as they are in a spotlight of sunshine. “Calling all Caregivers,” read an event notice. “You’re invited to the ‘Caregivers Day Out,’ an afternoon of respite and relaxation on Thursday, February 16th, 2023, from 11:00- 2:00 pm at Oak Hill Senior Living (7411 Cortez Oaks Blvd Brooksville, FL 34613).”
This “Caregivers Day Out” is presented by Oak Hill Senior Living in collaboration with United Way of Hernando and the Dementia Spotlight Foundation. RSVPs are required for this free-of-charge event. This day commemorates National Caregivers Day, that’s observed on the third Friday in February to honor people who provide personal care, both physical and emotional support, to those who need it. “This is a health and wellness program meant for all of the caregivers, for their relaxation and respite,” said Angie Walasek, executive director/CEO of United Way of Hernando County. “This is a place for them to go. We’re going to have fun.”
Caregivers will be treated to a day of good eats and enjoyment at this inaugural event. “We’ll have food and music,” said Walasek.
As caregivers kick back and enjoy themselves, they’ll have the opportunity to learn about more community resources that are available to them. “They can ask questions, meet like-minded people also living the caregiver experience, and learn more about our caregiver support groups,” said Walasek. “They’ll also be encouraged to bond with other caregivers, to form lasting friendships.”
Caregivers will be permitted to bring those that they care for to the celebration, although no daycare or private care services will be available for them at the event. Thanks to a partnership between United Way and the Dementia Spotlight Foundation, monthly caregiver support groups are now available for those who care for Alzheimer’s or Dementia patients. Those interested can learn more about how to participate in these groups when they attend “Caregivers Day Out.”
Walasek credits Dementia Spotlight Foundation Education Director Gary LeBlanc with helping to conceptualize Caregivers Day Out, as well as event Co-Organizer Carly Theilen of Oak Hill Senior Living. “After looking at the Oak Hill Senior Living calendar, Carly thought that, since National Beach Volleyball Day and National Cheese Day are celebrated,” said Walasek with a smile, “Caregivers definitely need their own day.”
Interested caregivers can RSVP to Carly Theilen today by calling 352-584-1328 to register for “Caregivers Day Out.” For more information, visit www.UnitedWayHernando.org/CargiversDayOut-2023.