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 focus is part two of “Designing a Supportive Dementia Care Environment,” with showings from a training DVD by dementia expert Teepa Snow.

Sept. 4, Caregiver support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m.

Sept. 11, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m.

Sept. 18, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Senior Center, 1 p.m.

Sept. 25, open house and workshop at Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program office in Soldotna, Blazy Mall, Suite #209, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check out the lending library, durable goods loan closet, ask questions or just enjoy some company. Or attend the 11 a.m. workshop, presented by Dani Kebschull from Frontier Community Services Forget-Me-Not adult day center.

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 (Sept. 13 and 27) 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. Call for more information, toll free 866-746-6177.

The Ketchikan Family Caregiver Support Group meets the second Friday of each month (Sept. 14), upstairs at the Ketchikan-Saxman Senior Center, 2 to 3 p.m.

The Sitka Family Caregiver Support Group meets the fourth Friday of each month (Sept. 28). 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

As people age and take more medications, some add supplements in the form of vitamins and herbs to help them with the aging process. While this may seem like a good idea to help one stay healthy, you need to be sure there are no conflicts with your medication. As a caregiver this may require some research and telephone calls to the pharmacist and doctor stay on top of your loved one’s medications and supplements, to avoid interactions. Here is a list of things to watch for:

medication-to-medication interactions

herbal remedy conflicts

food and drug interactions

alcohol and drug interactions and a

reaction to the drug itself. The best way to track this is to keep a diary of any reaction that seems unusual and include when taken; how long before the reaction was noticed and what the reaction was; whether it got better or worse as time elapsed; and what discomfort it caused. This can help you as a caregiver and the doctor in their assessment.

Staying informed is the best way to prevent conflicts.

- Judy Warren, Kenai Peninsula National Family Caregiver Support Program