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 focus is “Substance Use, Misuse and Abuse Among Older Adults,” in support of National Recovery Month.
Sept. 6, Caregiver support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Sept. 13, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Sept. 20, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Sept. 27, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Support meetings allow you to 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 Shelley or Judy at (907) 262-1280.
The Homer Family Caregiver meetings take place on the second and fourth Thursday of each month (Sept. 8 and 22) at Homer Senior Center, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Call for more information, 235-4555.
The Senior and Caregiver Resource Center at Southeast Senior Services in Juneau offers a call-in support group for residents of Southeast Alaska. The meeting time is the second Thursday of each month (Sept. 8) at noon. Call for more information, toll free 866-746-6177.
The Ketchikan Family Caregiver Support Group meets the second Friday of each month (Sept. 9), upstairs at the Ketchikan Senior Center at noon.
The Sitka Family Caregiver Support Group meets the third Wednesday of each month (Sept. 21). 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
Parents are caregivers to children, teaching them life skills, values, morals and much more. They also handle medical necessities of health exams, dental appointments and more. Now it may be that the role has reversed and you are caring for them, possibly using some of those life skills they taught you. This is called “learning how to be a caregiver”.
All that knowledge could not prepare you for the role you have now assumed. Your caregiver role may be dealing with stroke, operation recovery, Parkinson’s, dementia or any number of age-related illnesses. Whatever you have to deal with, think seriously about what you have for coping with this new role.
One way to do this might be writing or composing poetry as a therapy. Many beautiful compositions happen as a result of dealing with caregiving challenges. Challenge yourself to write, whether poetry or just a rambling blog to yourself. It is one way to relieve the stress of what you are charged with doing.
Another important thing to do is to attend a sharing caregiver support group meeting in your area. Find out where the meeting closet to you is and make it a point to attend.
– Judy Warren, Kenai Peninsula National Family Caregiver Support Program