Free training and support for family caregivers
The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in February. This month’s theme is National Heart Month.
Feb. 3, Caregiver support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Feb. 10, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Feb. 12, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program in the Blazy Mall, 5 p.m.
Feb. 17, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Feb. 24, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Please join and share your experiences as a caregiver, or support someone who is a caregiver. If you are helping a family member of friend by being a caregiver, learn what kind of help is available. There is no charge for these services and everyone is invited to attend.
For more information, call (907) 262-1280.
The Homer Family Caregiver meetings take place on the second and fourth Thursday of each month (Feb. 12 and 26) at Homer Senior Center, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Call for more information, 235-4556.
The Juneau Family Caregiver Support Group meets the second Wednesday of each month (Feb. 11) in the conference room of KTOO’s studio, 360 Egan Drive, noon to 1:30 p.m.
The Ketchikan Family Caregiver Support Group meets the second Friday of each month (Feb. 13), upstairs at the Ketchikan Senior Center at noon.
The Sitka Family Caregiver Support Group meets the third Wednesday of each month (Feb. 18). For more information, call Brave Heart Volunteers, 747-4600.
For information on caregiver support group meetings around the state:
Juneau, 463-6164 or 463-6198
Family caregiver tip of the month
The number one killer in the United States is heart disease and accounts for 40 percent of all deaths. This is more than all forms of cancer combined. Do you know the symptoms of a heart attack? Not all heart attacks are alike and not everyone experiences the same warning signs. Here are 12 symptoms never to ignore:
Anxiety. Intense anxiety, fear of death and a feeling of “impending doom”.
Chest discomfort. A classic symptom, one doctors look for.
Dizziness. Being lightheaded, losing consciousness, or an abnormal heartbeat shouldn’t be ignored.
Cough. Wheezing and persistent coughing can be caused by fluid buildup in the lung.
Fatigue. This is especially true in women. Feeling tired all the time can be a symptom.
Nausea or lack of appetite. This is not an uncommon symptom during a heart attack.
Pain in other parts of the body. Pain can begin in the chest and spread to shoulders, arms, elbows, back, neck, jaw or stomach. The pain may come and go.
Rapid or irregular pulse. An occasional skipped heartbeat is usually not worrisome, however when accompanied with other symptoms it can be evidence of a heart attack.
Shortness of breath. Getting winded with minimal exertion can be a pulmonary disease symptom but should be checked out as it can also be evidence of a heart problem.
Sweating. Breaking out in a cold sweat is a common symptom for heart attack.
Swelling. Fluid accumulation in feet, ankles, legs or abdomen or sudden weight gain.
Weakness. Some people have unexplained weakness.
February is National Heart Month. For any of these warning symptoms, see your doctor.
– Judy Warren, Kenai Peninsula National Family Caregiver Support Program