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

"It really helped me to organize my thoughts," she said.

Lemmerman has been caring for her husband of 58 years over the past few years. While her husband can still get around, she says she needs to be around to take him places he needs to go and in case he needs her help with anything.

In the time she has spent caring for her husband, she said, she has gained feelings that have had no outlet, as she was left with no way to express herself.

After joining the class, Lemmerman said, she now feels comfortable jotting down thoughts as they come to her, and formulating them into short stories later.

"It certainly does help just to take the time out to do that," she said.

Lemmerman brings her daughter to the workshops sometimes, and together, she said, they inspire each other.

In the time she is at the course, her husband is left with her son, giving her a short break from care giving. But for Lemmerman, the break is nice to have once in a while.

Outside of the workshop, Lemmerman has, in a way, flipped roles, and become the writing teacher, bringing her newly fine-tuned writing skills home to her husband.

"His mind is still very sharp, and he's beginning to write his memoirs too. I think that that's helped because I've urged him to go to the computer and just write down his experiences."

Lemmerman's favorite type of writing is that in which she records her own experiences, to look back at them at a later date and be able to relive the moments that enriched her life.

Caregivers who wish to join the Writing for Caregivers group on Thursday, Sept. 18, can call 438-6600, or 456-2898.

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