Bigger Conversations
Healing Dialogue.Mindful Service.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. ~Gandhi

Community Programs

Caregiver Wellness Circles® for Caregivers.   Family Caregivers are often in a role they never anticipated and for which they are often unprepared.  While tending a loved one in the home or a facility, the caregiver can become overwhelmed, exhausted and isolated.

These stressors affect the well-being of both the caregiver and the loved one.  An overwhelmed and exhausted caregiver misses the rewards and joys that can arise out of the caregiver/patient partnership.

Our program focuses on stress reduction and wellness, and self-care.  Over the five-week program, caregivers create their own self-care plan, using our Caregiver Wellness Workbook©.

We were glad to partner with the Howard County Department on Aging in the September.  The respite care provided by Howard County Citizens Services allowed more caregivers to attend.

We have a proven track record of providing support and teaching useful tools for the caregiver’s journey.  Here’s what family caregivers have said about these Circles:

      1.  “The greatest change I experienced is improved feeling of calm and focus.”
      2.  “It gave me ideas and ways to cope.”
      3.  “I learned ways to deal with my anger and guilt.”
      4.  “I notice I am stressed sooner [than I use to] and use the breathing exercises to calm myself.”
      5.   “I am not rushing meals…  enjoying my food.”
      6.   “I am sleeping better.”
      7.   “Coming [to these meetings] has opened my eyes to possibilities and opened doors to my heart.”
      8.  “Not a typical support group; emphasis was on my wellness and possibilities.”

In Caregiver Wellness Circles®, we provide healing support for caregivers and advocate doable, self-care plans. Each session starts with a relaxation exercise, a cup of tea, followed by a caregiver “check in.”  We teach simple practices to generate relaxation and self-renewal that can be used immediately in one’s daily round.  Each week a topic, specific to caregiver needs, is presented and discussed.

Over the five-week program, caregivers create their own self-care plan, using our Caregiver Wellness Workbook.

      • We offer family caregivers our Caregiver Wellness Circles, in partnership with local churches, senior centers, retirement communities, assisted living communities, hospices, businesses and other organizations.
      • We offer professional caregivers our Caregiver Wellness Circles through hospitals, hospices, assisted living and nursing homes, businesses and other groups.  For more information and to offer this service to your professional caregivers, contact Barbara Catlin at bconversations@gmail.com.

 

We are glad to acknowledge funding provided by the Community Foundation of Howard County for our Caregiver Wellness Circles, the Dominican Sisters of Peace for our Caregivers Wellness Circles, and our generous donors who support our work.  We are grateful to the Howard County Department of Aging for their on-going assistance in reaching family caregivers.   We were glad to partner directly with the Howard County Department on Aging on the September 2015 Circle.  Respite care provided by Citizens Services allowed more caregivers to attend. 

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Bigger Conversations is a non-profit organization.  Donations are greatly appreciated and tax deductible.  Send your check to Bigger Conversations, 10065 Windstream Drive, Suite 2, Columbia, MD 21044, or you may call 443-799-0308.

 

Help us support family caregivers. Tell a caregiver about this highly succesful program.

Next Circle starts in Fall 2018 (details tba)

Ten Practices to Support Wellness

    • Eat well
    • Sleep/rest
    • Walk outside/move
    • Recognize limits
    • Ask for help
    • Express feelings
    • Set compassionate boundaries
    • Refuse manipulation
    • Give & receive forgiveness & acknowlegment
    • Maintain a life outside of caregiving

    — adapted from Being with Dying by Joan Halifax

We offer three circles each year: spring, summer and fall.  Check back for future dates.