By Pat Baker, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Tucker, GA

Working for five decades in public, private, and faith positions in the field of aging, I can guarantee that every congregation has caregivers who are in need of support and help. While your congregation likely has an abudance of compassion for this population, they may lack confidence in how to respond.

Fortunately, there are lots of resources available to help churches become more involved with caregivers in their congregations. Start with this list.

Then consider hosting a caregiver support event that brings together these resources in person. St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in the suburbs of Atlanta, where I serve as director of Older Adult and Caregiver Ministries, recently hosted such an event for our community.

Our goal was to provide families with information and tools to help them address the challenges they face caring for loved ones. More than 100 people attended the very successful day.

Hold Your Own Event With These Tips

  • Invite local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to participate. Nearly 30 vendors showcased their programs and services at our event.
  • Ask for financial support. We solicited sponsorships from the local chapter of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers (CareNet), the Atlanta Regional Area Agency on Aging, and a non-profit that serves dementia clientele. The sponsors funded lunch for all participants and fees for the keynote speaker.
  • Engage other churches in the community. Many hands make light work in planning, advertising, and carrying out the event.
  • Promote the event. Send it to your local news teams. Ask sponsors and exhibitors to include the event in their newsletters, websites, and social media.
Pat Baker has been involved with POAMN since its inception in the early 1980s. After retiring in 2018, she began tithing her time at her local church to coordinate ministry to older adults and caregivers.
This article originally appeared in the 2024 Older Adult Ministry Planning Guide