National Caregivers Month: Siblings Offer Support and Input

OhioSIBS Conference a Model for Strengthening Families

The Ohio Adult Sibling Conference (OhioSIBS) this past weekend in Columbus provided a unique opportunity for people whose siblings have a disability to network with and gain support from each other. The 14th Annual Conference included Project STIR (Steps Toward Independence and Responsibility) trainers sharing their expertise, as well as several state and national presenters who are adult siblings.  Attendees again this year reported that the best thing about the conference is the spontaneous and natural sharing of stories and ideas that can help and support others.

Project STIR trainers share their knowledge of self-advocacy.

Project STIR trainers share their knowledge of self-advocacy.

During National Family Caregivers Month, DODD joins OhioSIBS in saluting family caregivers — the nearly 90 million people across the nation who play critically important and sometimes exhausting roles in the lives of people with developmental disabilities. The 2014 theme is ‘Care Comes Home,’ acknowledging that care does not always take place in hospitals, nursing homes, or doctors’ offices. In fact, most caregiving occurs in a family home, helping people who rely on them to stay at home longer, where they are happier and healthier.

At the OhioSIBS conference, topics of discussion included the fact that more and more Americans are caring for a family member with a condition due to a disability, or issues related to advancing age. And, many families headed by aging parents will be looking to their children and extended family members to step in when they are no longer able to care for a family member with a disability. DODD Family Advocate Peggy Martin attended the conference, and explained,

We often fail to recognize the extended family members, such as in-laws who marry into a family’s responsibility for a sibling with developmental disabilities. Here at this conference there are several examples of how well this relationship can work for everyone involved, with a little care and planning.”

Right: From Portage County, Kevin O’Connor (front) with his sister, Maureen Brawn, and her husband all enjoyed the camaraderie at this year’s OhioSIBS conference.

Right: From Portage County, Kevin O’Connor (front) with his sister, Maureen Brawn, and her husband all enjoyed the camaraderie at this year’s OhioSIBS conference.

To learn more about OhioSIBS visit the OhioSIBS website or contact Dr. Tom Fish at 614-685-8723.

More information about National Caregivers’ Month is at www.caregiveraction.org/

Advertisements