'Age-Positivity' Could Be the Key to a Long Life

Atlanta event looks to provide care for caregivers

‘Caregiver Day Out’ provides a free chance to connect, relax

Kenisha Brown-Alexander knows from experience that balancing life while also taking care of a family member can be taxing — to say the least. 

She became a caregiver when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when Brown-Alexander was just 18 years old. 

For years, she drove back and forth from college to be there for her mother and provide care. 

Through this experience, she realized there weren’t many places to look for support from other people who were caring for loved ones, which is what led her to found Seasons of HOPE

» RELATED: Going home for the holidays? How to check well-being of aging parents

The organization is focused on providing support and resources for those who are caring for an ill or elderly loved one. 

“Isolation is the number one feeling among caregivers. I wanted to start an organization that allowed caregivers to connect (live and virtually) with others who walk in their shoes,” Brown-Alexander said in a written statement.

This month, they are teaming up with The Black Healers Collective to hold a “Caregiver Day Out” in Atlanta, in honor of November being “National Family Caregiver Month.”

The event, which will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 in Atlanta, is meant to allow caregivers a chance to “relax, eat well, rejuvenate and enjoy good company in a confidential, non-judgmental, and supportive environment,” according to a post about the event.

» RELATED: To live a long life, you should embrace getting older

Whether in a formal or informal capacity, more than 1 in 6 Americans spend a portion of their time as a caregiver.

For some, it’s a full-time job, but for millions of Americans, caring for a loved one is part of their life, in addition to their full time work. 

» RELATED: Resource Connection can help with questions about elder care

According to the National Center on Caregiving, nearly 70% of people who care for a family member or friend in need reported having to rearrange their work schedule or take unpaid leave in order to provide care. 

The caregiver role can be especially heavy for women, according to the organization. Women caregivers are more likely than men to rearrange work or leave their job all in order to care for family members, which can have financial impacts. 

The stress and strain of these roles is why Seasons of HOPE and The Black Healers Collective wanted to turn the tables and provide a free chance for caregivers to be cared for with the event later this month.

» RELATED: Is it time you had ‘the talk’ with your aging parents?

“Until you are a caregiver, you don’t truly understand the mental and emotional toll it takes on you,” Brown-Alexander said.  

“I started hosting Caregiver Day Out events across the U.S. for caregivers to take just a few hours for themselves and pull back from their everyday responsibilities, to connect with other caregivers in a judgement-free environment. “

The Atlanta gathering will be held at The Brainery ATL and will feature a catered brunch, massages, mindfulness exercises and self-care goodies, according to the organizers.
If you go: If you or someone in your life is a caregiver and interested in attending the event, you can register here.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.