Free training, support for family caregivers
December 1, 2017
The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in December. This month’s meeting topic: “The Rock Movement.” Painting rocks has become a movement, including locally in Kenai and Soldotna. Attendees will paint and hide rocks in the community as an act of random kindness.
Dec. 5, Caregiver support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Dec. 12, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Dec. 19, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Senior Center, 1 p.m.
Dec. 20, Caregiver support meeting at Anchor Point Senior Center, hosted by Paula Koch, 3 p.m.
Dec. 26, no meeting due to Christmas holiday
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 Sharon or Judy at (907) 262-1280.
The Homer Family Caregiver meetings take place on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month (Dec. 14 and 28) at Homer Senior Center, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Hosted by Pam Hooker. 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 (Dec. 14) at noon. Call for more information, toll free 866-746-6177.
The Ketchikan Family Caregiver Support Group meets the second Friday of each month (Dec. 8), upstairs at the Ketchikan Senior Center at noon.
The Sitka Family Caregiver Support Group meets the third Wednesday of each month (Dec. 20). 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
With the approach of the holidays, how do you “handle all this stuff” as a caregiver and still enjoy the holidays? There is a lot of information on how to handle the stress of the holidays but it is really up to you, the caregiver, to take charge of yourself first and foremost. Here are a few things you should try:
Give yourself permission to do less. Keep it simple. You don’t need to send out cards or decorate the house with all sorts of decorations for the holidays. Keeping it simple might just be the best thing for the person you care for – this time of the year should be about feeling good and spending time with those you care about.
Moods may affect the person you are caring for. Try to create a happy holiday in spite of difficult circumstances. You did not create the mood nor are you responsible.
Arrange for yourself to have a holiday break. Try family, friends or a hired worker to give yourself some time away for respite. Respite is important to renew and recharge.
Give yourself credit for what you do. Make a list of accomplishments however small they might be, recognize the good that you do, track this in a journal. It can be very rewarding.
Happy holidays to all caregivers!
- Judy Warren, Kenai Peninsula National Family Caregiver Support Program