Caring for caregivers

Welcome to Caring for the caregivers — meant for those caring for someone, whether family member, friend, or client. This is a space for parents taking care of children with special needs, for care receivers, and anyone one else who my be supporting a person in any of those roles. 

This is an extension of AEMCH (An Episcopal Ministry to Convalescent Hospitals) or more recently EMCH. For more that thirty-five years that ministry promoted visitations to convalescent homes in the Diocese of California diocese and supported the visitors through workshops, activities, and prayer. On December 2, 2015, at St. James Church, Fremont the Diocese of California said goodbye to AEMCH as the diocese moves forward to a new beginning. Read the story here. When AEMCH was started the idea of rest homes was just really becoming a reality to most families, and bringing the church to those confined within rest homes’ walls was revolutionary. That worked for quite a while, then gradually the participants changed roles and caregivers became care receivers. A new concept had to be developed. So here it is — a support group, information center and comfort zone all in one.   

Robin Wiley oversees and coordinates this space, its work, and its offerings. You may know her as the last president of the board of overseers for AEMCH. She has been involved with caregiving most of her life. Her father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was eight and she just kept taking care of family members. She later added working with children with special needs and received an AA in Developmental Disabilities. She has been the support group facilitator at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward and facilitated a group at Washington Hospital in Fremont for parents with children with asthma and allergies. 

In 2011 she went from amateur to professional and became a PCA, personal care assistant working with individuals diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. More recently she became a care receiver, having fallen in December and having surgery to repair a broken bone in her foot.