Soror­ity mem­bers gather to honor care­givers

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Sean Wil­liams [email protected]­hoo.com

The Theta Omi­cron Omega Chap­ter of the Al­pha Kappa Al­pha Soror­ity, In­cor­po­rated once again took to the Cedar­town Women’s Build­ing for a night of ed­u­ca­tion, sto­ry­telling, and kin­ship cen­tered around care­giv­ing.

The topic, pri­mar­ily fo­cused on car­ing for one’s el­derly par­ents, served as a small part of the group’s over­all mis­sion of tar­get­ing women’s health and wellness is­sues.

Guests were wel­come to min­gle with other care­givers, read tips and ad­vice from book­lets, and par­tic­i­pate in ed­u­ca­tional work­shops.

Makeup artists and other con­fi­dence­boost­ing ac­tiv­i­ties were avail­able, and none left hun­gry thanks to the mas­sive meal the soror­ity pre­pared.

“Care for the Care­givers places em­pha­sis on tak­ing care of those who take care of oth­ers,” chap­ter vice-pres­i­dent Yvonne Prater said. “All Al­pha Kappa Al­pha chap­ters will em­pha­size the need for care­givers to prac­tice pre­ven­ta­tive health­care, as well as self-care, to elim­i­nate the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties and stress of be­ing a care­giver. And we want to elim­i­nate stress, don’t we? So, I hope all of you will take a deep breath tonight, re­lax, feel beau­ti­ful, and come back and join us many more times.”

As Prater sug­gested, tak­ing care of one­self was pre­sented as the first step to be­ing a healthy and pro­duc­tive care­giver.

Nu­tri­tional ad­vice was of­fered in pam­phlets, healthy food op­tions were avail­able, mas­sages were of­fered, and a round of stretches closed the night out. Those healthy of body but stressed of mind no doubt ben­e­fited from shar­ing their sto­ries.

“Ev­ery­day, I go to work as a psy­chol­o­gist and a li­censed pro­fes­sional coun­selor be­ing the best rain­bow I can be in some­one else’s cloud,” Dr. LaTonya Wat­ters shared. “I couldn’t have pos­si­bly mas­tered this if my health, wellness, body, mind, and spirit were not bal­anced with one an­other. Know that be­hind the cloud, the sun still shines.”

Wat­ters ad­vice was pre­sented as some­one who had over­come many chal­lenges, in­clud­ing the loss of loved ones. She con­tin­ued by high­light­ing how her own per­sonal wellness was piv­otal in over­com­ing those is­sues and help­ing those who needed it.

“Care­givers, your body, mind, and spirit each play an over­all role in your over­all health and daily func­tions,” Wat­ters said. “There needs to be an equal sta­bi­liza­tion, and you can’t mas­ter one with­out the oth­ers. Care­givers are al­ways go­ing to make sac­ri­fices, and in mak­ing sac­ri­fices, life can be un­bal­anced. Health is de­fined as the over­all men­tal and phys­i­cal state of a per­son, but wellness is more than that. It ad­dresses liv­ing a life of per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity and there­fore tak­ing proac­tive steps for one’s en­tire well be­ing. One can not be an ef­fec­tive care­giver if they can not take care of them­selves.”

Wat­ters would be the last to share a story be­fore the group joined hands in song and prayer.

Those in­ter­ested in keep­ing up with the Al­pha Kappa Al­pha team and the Theta Omi­cron Omega Chap­ter can visit http://www.aka1908.com/. Care­giv­ing re­sources and ad­vice can be found at https://www.care­giv­ing.org/re­sources/.

/ Sean Wil­liams

In­for­ma­tion was pro­videdd to care­givers about ways to help them­selves and the ones they love.

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