Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


June 5, 2014

Care for the caregiver

Workshop aims to help 'sandwich generation' cope

Her 93-year-old widowed mother needs her pills and morning eye drops while her 19-month-old grandson is squirming for a snack.

Trish Simpson’s daughter is also living in her home on Quail Run to save money to buy a house.

At 62 years old, Simpson never thought this stage of her life would be so hectic. The retired Wilmington school teacher who now works part-time for that district had looked forward to some time for herself spent enjoying her favorite things.

But now she can’t even remember what it was she liked to do as her caregiver family role has evolved into a full-time responsibility.

Simpson is finding herself sandwiched between the generations taking care of the young and old in her family.

“I pray a lot ... it’s emotional at times, but I love my family,” said Simpson, who is divorced. “It would be great if there was help for caregivers, someone to talk to, but there isn’t.”

Dr. Suetta Tenney, a mind/body specialist who lives and works in Andover, truly understands the fulfilling, but often frustrating role Simpson holds in her family.

Tenney led that life for many years as her younger sister has Down’s syndrome and she took loving care of her late mother and grandmother as they suffered from serious health problems.

“You have got to take care of yourself first,” said Tenney, an internist who has been practicing for over 30 years and now has an office on Andover Street.

This week, Tenney is introducing an eight-week workshop especially designed for caregivers on Thursday nights at the Center at Punchard (formerly Andover Senior Center).

Participants will learn simple mind-body techniques to assist them in caring for themselves as they care for others. The aim is to help caregivers more effectively handle the challenging demands in their lives, Karen Payne-Taylor, program coordinator at The Center at Punchard/BoomerVenture, said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

    FILE PHOTO Kim Stamas at an Arbor Day program this spring at The Park. She took over as Department of Community Services director in March.

    Busy summer for Stamas; Community Services director reflects on strong season Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo

    FILE PHOTO Casey McQuillen, seen here performing at an Andover Youth Services Valentine's Day Dance, is hoping for clearer skies Thursday night for her Concert in The Park.

    Waiting out the storm; McQuillen opts for one-day rain delay for Concert in The Park Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo

    PHOTO CUTLINE: The cast of the Actor's Company will perform Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, a joyful comedy full of mischief, deception and ultimately love, will be performed for free on the North Andover Town Common, Friday, August 22, 6 pm. (Pictured Autumn Buhl as Hero, James T. Turner, III as Claudio, Kerry Anne Kilkelly as Beatrice and and J.T. Turner as Benedick) For details contact Linda Greenstein, 978-352-7315

    Out & About: Local actor high-flying in 'Mary Poppins' on Maine stage Posted 6 days ago 2 Photos

    FILE PHOTO Casey McQuillen, who aims to incorporate an important message for adolescents into her music, takes to the bandstand at The Park in downtown Andover next week. Her appearance will cap off the town's annual summer music series.

    Keeping it real; Hometown 'Idol' sings about what matters most Posted 13 days ago 1 Photo
  • 140731_AT_CRU_VEHICLES_5

    Deena Droubi, 5, poses from the cab of one of the Department of Public Works' mini loaders as she climbs down from the vehicle. Deena got a chance to sit behind the wheel of the piece of heavy equipment.

    Show and tell: Town wheels roll out for Vehicle Night Posted 13 days ago 6 Photos
  • AT ACT1

    COURTESY PHOTO "The Jungle Book" cast members, from left, Somin Virmani as Mowgli, Sophia Yannolfo as Buzzy the vulture, Jillian Alden as Ziggy the vulture, Meyer Rosen as Flaps the vulture and Caroline Samoluk as Dizzy the vulture, rehearse in ACT's current theater space.

    Hoping for a kickstart; ACT Andover launches online campaign for new theater Posted 13 days ago 3 Photos

    COURTESY PHOTO Andover's Alex Hanscom will play Gomez in Boston Children's Theatre's weekend production of "The Addams Family."

    Out & About: World-class tap stepping into Collins Center Posted 13 days ago 2 Photos
  • Thursday, July 31, 2014
  • 140722_AT_MSC_DANCE_2

    Ricky Jaime, left, cheers on Isaac Brickman as he works on his moves on stage at the Collins Center.

    'So You Think You Can ...' Posted 20 days ago 6 Photos

    PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo Volunteer Martha Owen of Andover works in the perennial garden at The Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover. A dedicated group of local residents recently restored the perennial beds, which were established at the estate in 1907.

    Inspiring tales abound in The Andovers Posted 20 days ago 4 Photos

    Courtesy photo Megan McCann, left, and Melanie Scharn, right, have launched a fundraising campaign to assist Tammy Jusczak, center, a longtime toddler teacher at Bright Horizons in Andover who is battling cancer.

    Jamming return for Ben Rudnick & Friends Posted 20 days ago 1 Photo

Pictures of the Week