A Port St. Lucie woman is starting a new support group for caregivers

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Right now more than 34 million Americans are caregivers. A woman on the Treasure Coast wants to give them a shoulder to lean on.

Emery typically spends her evenings on the couch watching TV with her father inside her Port St. Lucie home. Nine years ago, her father was badly injured after he fell inside his California home.

"There's just no way he could live by himself and I didn't want him to go to a nursing home so I moved him out here," says Emery.

She quit her job and became his caregiver.

"It changes your whole life," says Emery.

Part of her job is making sure he takes all his medication. Her father suffers from dementia, Alzheimer's, arthritis and has had several strokes. He takes pills twice a day and it's all recorded on a chart.

"He'll check it off and I have him look at the clock and write the time down," says Emery.
 
She learned on her own how to stay organized, how to take care of her dad and herself.  She says many caregivers forget to take care of themselves.

"I was like in the trenches before and I was depressed," says Emery, "I had gained a lot of weight."

Emery found support online but she wanted more. She decided to start a support group in Port St. Lucie. She contacted the city and now a few months later her group will have its first meeting on Friday, March 14.  

"There is hope and so many people that are caregivers they lose hope," says Emery.

The meeting will be held every Friday afternoon from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at a conference room inside the police department located at 121 SW Port St. Lucie Boulevard. If you have any questions or want more information you can contact Emery at 772-249-4114.

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