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BCH offering support groups

STAFF WRITER

BARSTOW • Barstow Community Hospital will host two monthly support groups throughout 2014 for local residents suffering from diabetes and/or recovering from strokes.

The Diabetes Support Group conducted on the last Thursday of every month will feature new topics and special guest speakers monthly. The meetings, the first of which is slated for Jan. 30, will take place in the BCH conference room from 4 to 5 p.m.

Terri Jackson, a registered nurse at BCH, is bringing back the Diabetes Support Group after a six-month hiatus for the group meetings.

“The support groups are a great asset to the community,” Jackson said. “They bring in the community and they connect the community with the health care system.

“The most satisfying thing for me is seeing that I can even help just one individual. Even if I have 20 people, if I can help one, make a difference in one person’s life, I’m totally satisfied,” Jackson said.

Jackson said roughly four out of every 10 patients who come through the hospital are diabetic.

“The diabetic support group is going to reach out to the community,” Jackson said. “Bring the community into the system, meaning the health care system. That way we can help them with their diet and exercise.

“Get them on the right track, so that way they know what it’s going to take to keep them well, and out of the hospital — because there’s a diabetes epidemic.”

The Stroke Support Group takes place on the second Tuesday of each month and aims to assist those who have suffered a stroke, as well as family and friends of the stroke victim.

“We actually started it because there were several people that kept calling from the community, saying they’d had a stroke, or a loved one had a stroke,” RN Bonnie Lou Schneider, who operates the group, said. “They didn’t really know what to do after the fact. So we started this support group. We do everything from nutrition, turning the patients, bathing the patients. We encourage the patients to get speech therapy, rehabilitation.”

The BCH support groups give patients the opportunity to socialize with other patients experiencing similar situations.

“The common thread with our hospital-based stroke and diabetic support groups is to ensure that no one living with the disease or condition that the group serves ever has to feel alone,” said John Rader, hospital spokesman.

“They allow community members who share a common diagnosis to come together, share ideas, coping tips, experiences and most importantly, to exchange emotional support to minimize the disease or condition’s impact on their lives,” Rader said.

For more information, callt Terri Jackson at 760-957-3259, or Bonnie Lou Schneider at 760-957-3014.


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