The Feminine Element / Żeński Pierwiastek
Feminism as self- and collective care
Ania, Ania and Jola are three women who experience stress related to caring for dependent persons. Ania takes care of her mother, who has Alzheimer’s, while Jola works as a psychogeriatric nurse. Anka established a foundation that takes care of the disabled and the sick. They see themselves as feminists, because they support each other in everyday life. “What we do for ourselves, for our friends, is a permanent fight for each other. We want to feel we belong to a group of women who will support one another, give each other a helping hand and keep on walking, strengthened with their group’s strength.”
“There is no systemic support for caretakers of dependent persons”
According to research, a third of persons who take care of dependents do that alone. Only one in twelve of them is supported by some organization, while half of them have no access to any support. “It is no wonder that 50% of caregivers suffer from depression, and 70% – from of chronic stress”, say the group members. They notice that in their region (Podkarpacie), there is really no systemic support for such persons. At the same time, research shows that social support is a factor that lowers stress levels for the care-givers.
A relaxation period. “We want to end the myth of a strong woman”
Members of The Feminine Element are planning to spend the minigrant funds on a relaxation period for one of them. “We want to end the myth of “stron woman”, who chooses her obligations towards their loved ones over her own needs. Our program is a way to mentally and physically unburden the participants”. This requires paying for substitute care for the dependent person.
The other part of the minigrant will be used for meetings for other caretakers of sick and disabled persons: workshops and counselling regarding planning a diet, rehabilitation, coping with stress and fatigue in everyday life.
Grant amount: PLN 4,400
Image credit: Żeński Pierwiastek