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Writing for relief: Caregivers learn to put their thoughts to paper

When the days are long and busy with doing everything for another person, a caregiver can begin to lose touch with who they are.

Diane Cameron, teacher and writer, knows the angst that can come with being a caregiver, and she teaches others to regain their sense of self through her course, Writing for Caregivers. The next session, on Thursday, Sept. 18, is set to be taught at Boscov's in Colonie Center.

The course, which Cameron said started about a year and a half ago, focuses on fine-tuning caregivers' skills in the writing field, allowing them to better express themselves, and share tales of the ones they care for.

"It's been extremely popular," said Cameron. "I think the first class had a dozen people."

The course is offered at least four times per year at different locations throughout the Capital District and mostly serves caregivers of Guilderland, Bethlehem, the Hill Towns and New Scotland, but since it receives some funding from Albany County and some workshops are held outside of those towns, they draw in a crowd from all over the area.

Cameron said the Boscov's likely offered to host the upcoming program as a way to reach out to their demographic customer, who could be a caregiver.

Those interested in the program do not need a thing to join; admission is free. The only requirements are an eagerness to write and a willingness to learn.

"It's a workshop, so we start out by talking a little bit about the needs of care giving and the benefits of writing," Cameron said. "After that, I go specifically into writing techniques and writing that people can do with the people they're taking care of."

Polly Lemmerman, a caregiver who has been attending the workshops for the past year, said Cameron has the group do timed exercises, where they are not allowed to remove their pen from the paper until the clock has stopped.

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