Free training, support for family caregivers

The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in October. This month’s meetings will include discussion on how to take vital signs during caregiving – temperature, blood pressure, respiration, pain assessment. Please join to share your experiences as a caregiver or to support someone who is a caregiver.

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

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

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

Oct. 22, Open house at Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program in Blazy Mall, Soldotna, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check out the lending library, durable medical equipment loan closet and more while enjoying a cup of coffee and friendly conversation. Be sure to attend the workshop presentation from 1 to 2 p.m. by Lois Johnson, RN, who will teach practical skills and techniques necessary to take and record vital signs.

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 or 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 (Oct. 10 and 24) at Homer Senior Center, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Hosted by Pam Hooker. Call for more information, 235-4555.

Palmer caregiver support group meets at Palmer Senior Center (aka Mat-Su Senior Services) the first Friday of each month (Oct. 4), 10 to 11:30 a.m. Contact Janice Downing, Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska, 746-3413.

In Wasilla, Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska hosts a caregiver support group meeting at Primrose Retirement Community, 889 Elkhorn Drive, 10 to 11:30 a.m. on the third Thursday of each month (Oct. 17).


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, 463-6177 or 463-6181.

The Ketchikan Family Caregiver Support Group meets the second Friday of each month (Oct. 11), 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 (Oct. 25). 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

Ketchikan, 225-8080

Kodiak, 486-6181

Nome, 443-4507

Palmer/Wasilla, 746-3413

Family caregiver tip of the month

It’s turning into a nice fall season, and it provides incentive to finish up projects before colder weather. Along with the usual things that need to be done, take a look at the medicine cabinet. Is the cabinet filled with expired and unused meds? If so now is the time to tackle this chore. Start by checking on line with And find the closest place for disposal near where you live, such as pharmacies, police departments and fire stations. By taking care of unused medications you play safe and help to avoid accidental overdoses that are quite common, according to reports. Most medications are safe for up to 12 months past the expiration date, however there are exceptions and a particular one to pay attention to is the antibiotic tetracycline, which can become toxic. Any expired liquid medications should be replaced immediately on expiration, as they lose potency. Don’t take any chances, be safe, purge the medicine cabinet. You will feel good and your loved one will be safe.

- Judy Warren, Kenai Peninsula National Family Caregiver Support program