By Grace Maselli
When TBT leadership and volunteers recognized a pivotal community need, members took action and the Circle of Care was formed. Initially conceived by members Jude McCormick and Tammy Bertoncini, the idea to create the group came from the realization that many elderly people in the Tampa Bay Area live alone. Or they’re geographically distant from family and potential caregivers and genuinely need an action-driven support structure.
The Circle of Care is just such a network of friends who nestle one another in empathy and practical help. This may come in the form of companionship, reassurances, and active listening, not to mention pragmatic supports for transportation, navigation through social services and what can be a fragmented medical system, and estate planning, for instance. Most of all, the Circle of Care functions to create a sense of belonging driven by compassionate interest in lives beyond our own.
Since its recent inception, the Circle of Care has expanded to 15 participants who bring a host of skills to the circle, including medical, time management and organization, computer know-how, and more. Besides local, hands-on support, the Circle of Care is also Interconnected by digital technologies and cell phones, so even when members may be out of town travelling they can still connect with one another for guidance; in this way they keep themselves encircled within this homegrown and powerful system of care. For more information, contact Rita at (608) 335-3383 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.