AARP organizes event to help people with life difficulties

A group of senior citizens discussed the importance of self-care and the care for others last Thursday, saying that many people forget about themselves while taking care of their relatives.

Three representatives of the AARP organized the event held at the Dave and Busters restaurant in Hollywood.

The goal of the event was to have people share their stories about their health and financial difficulties, and provide them with information of home care and assisted living facilities that can help them overcome these obstacles, said Janette Marin, an AARP community program instructor.

“Our goal is to give you information about different agencies that can help you take care of yourself and your relatives,” Marin said.

Given a choice of five topics, the group chose to talk about finding support and how one can  take care of oneself. Other topics were: How to start a conversation, how to form a team, how to make plans and how to find support.

Nancy Thompson, a Broward County resident, said she was happy to attend the event because she was looking for information about affordable agencies to help her family members and friends.

“I like this event because they offer a lot of resources, but the ones that many people need are very expensive,” Thompson said. “Most people need private caregivers, but they cannot afford it.”

Members of the audience had the opportunity to speak about their obstacles. One attendee said  her sister does not take care of herself because she focuses too much on taking care of her mother.

“My sister always dresses my mom so nice and neat when we are going out,” Eva Brown said. “But she does not do it for herself.”

Marin encouraged the audience to call these affordable agencies for assistance with their family members who have serious health conditions. She said that having professional caregivers at a lower cost can alleviate the burden of people who do not take care of themselves.

“Guys, it is important that you call these agencies so you can start taking care of yourself and your family,” Marin said. “These medical professionals are easily available to help you have a better life.”

Santiago Santana, a Broward County resident, said he is planning to move to Jacksonville with his mother, who is mentally disabled. He thanked AARP for providing him with information about home care agencies that will help him with his mother.

“I want to show my appreciation to AARP for organizing this event,” Santana said. “Now I do not feel alone going through this hard moment.”