If you’ve donated in the past year, chances are some of your dollars went towards supporting Lindley’s position as the Family House’s Support Services Coodinator. Last year she shared that your support gave her the opportunity to connect families to resources they didn’t know existed. Here is another update from Lindley!
As the Support Services Manager, I enjoy a variety of activities around the Family House, all with the goals of making the Family House a supportive place to stay and being a champion for caregivers.
“Support Services Manager” is my title and “social work” is my profession, but I’m more than these roles…
Sometimes I’m a listening ear
I’m available to listen to people’s concerns and hear their stories. I believe that there is power in storytelling, and a lot of times we work through and process our experiences by writing or talking about what’s happening and what we’re facing.
One guest told me that she appreciated getting to come back to the Family House after a long day at the hospital, take a deep breath, sit down for a meal, and tell me about her concerns and the stress that she was feeling. She felt heard, and she was reminded that she wasn’t alone.
Sometimes I’m a guide post
Some guests come to stay with us because of emergency situations, and they feel like they’re in a whole new world, disoriented and uncertain what steps to take. Even when guests are prepared for a planned surgery or are months into a new treatment plan, patients and caregivers appreciate information and resources. I try to point them in helpful directions.
I was able to help one family connect with a patient advocate at Cancer Services who helped them find financial assistance, a walker, and other helpful supplies. This family also utilized information from our resource wall about how to talk with their doctors and things to consider in preparation for discharge.
Sometimes I’m a community builder
At the Family House we believe in helping caregivers in our community as well. Along with other professionals in the area, I spend time serving on the planning committee for a Caregiver Lunch and Learn series and on the steering committee for a new initiative called ACAP Winston-Salem: Adult Children of Aging Parents. ACAP offers monthly educational programs for people in Forsyth County and beyond.
Thanks to programs like these, our community is stronger because the organizations who serve and advocate for caregivers can come together to do things that we couldn’t do alone. Coalitions like these also help to keep us all informed about the resources that are available to the people with whom we work.
Sometimes I’m an educator
Every other week, I publish a blog post that relates to caregiving and patient advocacy. On the off weeks, I post a Facebook Live video that covers the same topics. I keep information stocked on our resource wall and bring in local experts to address important issues. And each year, the Family House hosts a Powerful Tools for Caregivers course that educates and empowers caregivers.
A participant in the Powerful Tools for Caregivers course said that the experience was life-changing. Before coming to the class, she had been feeling hopeless about her situation, but after being reminded about the importance of self-care and learning helpful tools and resources, she left feeling positive that she could be a caregiver in healthy, proactive ways.
The Family House is an amazing place, and I’m grateful for the ways that I can help us live into our mission!