Free training and support for family caregivers
The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in August. This month’s topic is “Immunizations for Seniors.”
Aug. 4, Caregiver support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Aug. 11, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Aug. 13, Caregiver support meeting at Caregiver Support Program in the Blazy Mall in Soldotna, 1 p.m.
Aug. 18, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Aug. 25, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Aug. 27, Caregiver support meeting at Forget-Me-Not Adult Day Center in Kenai, 6 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 (Aug. 13 and 27) at Homer Senior Center, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Call for more information, 235-4555.
Fairbanks Resource Agency hosts a free information exchange for caregivers on the first Tuesday of each month (Aug. 4) in its main office library, 805 Airport Way, from 1 to 3 p.m. Refreshments and door prizes provided. Call Karen Kreiser for information, 451-0389
The Juneau Family Caregiver Support Group meets the second Wednesday of each month (Aug. 12) 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 (Aug. 14), upstairs at the Ketchikan Senior Center at noon.
The Sitka Family Caregiver Support Group meets the third Wednesday of each month (Aug. 19). 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
How family members can assist in a caregiving role is difficult and should be dealt with at the onset of caregiving. Families are either brought together or torn apart when dealing with issues of care. By holding a family conference at the onset, conflict may be avoided. Here are some tips that have helped others:
Talk things over and include the person being cared for. Helping seniors maintain some level of independence is important and knowing they have support of the family is comforting.
Research your options. Know what services are available, and the organizations and resources that can help meet those needs is your starting point.
Once needs based resources have been identified, you have a better idea of what will be required for your roles in the caregiving. How long will the person be able to stay at home and what long term care needs will be needed in the future are considerations.
Flexibility of tasks should be considered with family member’s availability and skill levels taken into account.
If you are the primary caregiver and you are at the breaking point, let the rest of the family know. Look at areas where others can help out.
Call the National Family Caregiver Support Program in your area for more information and resources.
– Judy Warren, Kenai Peninsula National Family Caregiver Support Program