Free training and support for family caregivers

The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in May. This month’s focus is part two of a presentation on basic spiritual needs throughout life, what may or may not change when someone is living with dementia, and how to best meet those needs. Resource materials include a DVD presentation by dementia expert Teepa Snow and the Rev. Linn Possell.

May 1, Caregiver support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m.

May 8, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m.

May 15, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Senior Center, 1 p.m.

May 16, Caregiver support meeting at Anchor Point Senior Center, hosted by Paula Koch, 3 p.m.

May 22, open house and workshop at Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program office in Soldotna, Blazy Mall, Suite #209, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check out the lending library, durable goods loan closet, ask questions or just visit over a cup of coffee. Spirituality workshop presented by Frank Alioto, Central Peninsula Hospital Spiritual Care Coordinator, at 11 a.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 Sharon or Judy at (907) 262-1280.

The Homer Family Caregiver meetings take place on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month (May 9 and 23) 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 (May 10) at noon. Call for more information, toll free 866-746-6177.

The Ketchikan Family Caregiver Support Group meets the second Friday of each month (May 11), upstairs at the Ketchikan-Saxman Senior Center, 2 to 3 p.m.

The Sitka Family Caregiver Support Group meets the third Wednesday of each month (May 16). For more information, call Brave Heart Volunteers, 747-4600.

Other locations

For information on caregiver support group meetings around the state:

Anchorage, 561-3313

Fairbanks, 452-2277

Homer, 235-4555

Juneau, 463-6164 or 463-6198

Ketchikan, 225-8080

Kodiak, 486-6181

Nome, 443-4507

Palmer/Wasilla, 746-3413

Sitka, 747-4600

Family caregiver tip of the month

It is said that preparation is the key to good work. Included in your preparation plan should be keeping track of medical records both for yourself and the person you are caring for. Doctors will tell you that patients without complete medical records for information and review is like driving a car blindfolded. Those of you that are computer literate may choose to do this electronically, others of you may choose to store this in a binder. Make sure your information is accurate and up to date. After each doctor visit ask for a copy of your record. Things to track and have a folder for are: doctor’s note; surgeries; procedure; lab and other tests; hospital discharge summaries; medications and allergies. This keeps it all in one place, available when needed for review and accuracy, and any follow up that may be needed. The outcome may produce good results essential to your wellbeing and that of the person you care for. After you finish this project you can get out and rake the yard, plant some flowers and enjoy spring in Alaska.

- Judy Warren, Kenai Peninsula National Family Caregiver Support Program

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