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Sharp Health News

Putting “a lemonade stand on every corner”

Nov. 6, 2015

Hospice volunteer Barry Sinclair

When caring for a loved one faced with illness or the difficulties of aging, it’s crucial that caregivers make time for their own health and well-being. Barry Sinclair learned this the hard way.

After his mother suffered a stroke, Sinclair volunteered to help his father care for her. Unfortunately, his father later fell ill, and Sinclair became the primary caregiver for both parents. Overwhelmed by stress and exhaustion, he sunk into a deep depression.

“I wanted to escape,” Sinclair says. “The challenges were too great. I didn’t have help and I didn’t know that others felt the same way.”

When he read a flier for Sharp HospiceCare and Sharp Senior Resource Centers, Sinclair was pleasantly surprised to discover services not only for seniors, but also for their loved ones.

“Finding help is the biggest challenge,” Sinclair says. “Sharp’s classes and services offer the necessary caregiving tools, and the staff and volunteers give you guidance so you can provide better care.”

Whether it is a caregiver support class or estate planning seminar, Sinclair takes the time to attend — for his parents’ and his own benefit. He encourages others to do the same.

“I am honored to share my experiences because I personally know how tough it is to be a caregiver,” Sinclair says. “It’s important to connect with others who are going through similar situations, and reassuring to know you’re not alone.”

Sinclair now sits on the Sharp HospiceCare caregiver panel. He continues to be an outgoing proponent of self-care for caregivers and an excellent resource for seniors and their support team.

“The people and programs at Sharp have changed my life and given me a renewed purpose,” Sinclair said. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I’m going to put a lemonade stand on every corner.”

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