Free training and support for family caregivers
The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in September. This month’s topic is “Medication Management.”
Sept. 1, Caregiver support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Sept. 8, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Sept. 10, Caregiver support meeting at Caregiver Support Program in the Blazy Mall in Soldotna, 5 p.m.
Sept. 15, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Sept. 15, Caregiver support meeting at Anchor Point Senior Center, 3 p.m.
Sept. 29, 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 (Sept. 10 and 24) 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 (Sept. 1) 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 (Sept. 9) 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 (Sept. 11), upstairs at the Ketchikan Senior Center at noon.
The Sitka Family Caregiver Support Group meets the third Wednesday of each month (Sept. 16). 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
Alaska’s Silver Tsunami continues and more folks are finding themselves faced with the reality of aging and the illness and disease that often accompany the aging process. Often family and friends are faced with a caregiving role. If you are a caregiver here is what you should do as a first step in your role: develop a caregiving plan. The plan needs to be firmly grounded in the wishes and consent of the person receiving the care.
Start by talking about what they foresee as their future and help develop a set of goals. Let them know that their opinion is really important and you want to protect their needs and interests. Ask them what they want and assure them you are there to help them with the goals that they set.
Phrase concerns as questions and let them draw the conclusion. If they become upset, stay calm and tell them you know it is a hard conversation but it is okay and we can have the conversation later if they choose.
Planning is the key to good caregiving. By knowing the needs and wishes of the person, you are protecting them and yourself for the future. Contact your local Family Caregiver Support Program in your area to assist you in a caregiving plan.
– Judy Warren, Kenai Peninsula National Family Caregiver Support Program