Senior Voice Staff 

Free training, support for family caregivers


November 1, 2019

The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in November. This month’s meetings will include viewing and discussion of a training DVD on caregiving and wellness, examining the factors that contribute to caregiver stress, and practical solutions for reducing stress and cultivating lifelong wellness. Please join to share your experiences as a caregiver or to support someone who is a caregiver.

Nov. 5, Caregiver support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m.

Nov. 12, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m.

Nov. 19, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Senior Center, 1 p.m.

Nov. 26, 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 from 1 to 2 p.m., making a Mindfulness Glitter jar that will remind us that “in a world of doing, doing, doing, it’s important to breathe, to just be.”

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 (Nov. 14; no meeting on Nov. 28, Thanksgiving) 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 (Nov. 1), 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 (Nov. 21).


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 (Nov. 8), 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 (Nov. 22). 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

Dementia is a term used to describe severe changes in the brain that cause memory loss. Many people ask “is it dementia or Alzheimer’s”? There are many forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s is one of eight that are presently recognized.

Dementia can affect three areas of the brain — language, memory and decision making. Most are caused by a disease and cannot be reversed. Others can be caused by drug and alcohol abuse and can possibly be reversed.

The different types of known dementias are Alzheimer’s; Vascular; Lewy body; Parkinson’s; Frontal temporal; Creutzfeldt-Jakob; Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome; and Huntington’s disease. When you suspect your loved one has a dementia you should involve a trusted doctor to help the diagnosis and get you on the right path of treatment. Hopefully this explanation can clear up the question many ask. Another place to find answers is to attend your local family caregivers support group to get a clear understanding and support from those facing the same problems you might have. Happy Thanksgiving.

- Judy Warren, Kenai Peninsula National Family Caregiver Support Program


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