Free training, support for family caregivers

With senior centers still closed, the Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold all November peer support meetings on Tuesdays, 1 p.m., at its office at 44539 Sterling Highway, Suite 202 in the Blazy Mall in Soldotna. Social distancing will be respected, and masks will be worn at the meetings, and virtual attendance via Zoom can be arranged for those who can’t make it in person. Different topics will be discussed at each meeting. Bring your questions and ideas.

You may also schedule one-on-one appointments and if you have questions concerning help in the home, staff can refer you to community resources.

There is no charge for these services and everyone is invited to attend.

For more information, call Rachael or Judy at 907-262-1280.

The Homer Family Caregiver meetings will meet online via Zoom, hosted by Gay Wellman and the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska. For the schedule and other information, call 1-907-822-5620.

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

Family caregiver tip of the month

“As if we didn’t have enough to worry about.”

Sound familiar? The pandemic, along with the politics that our daily news brings is really not helping make caregiving any easier. What can we do in this stress-filled time that is positive and reduces stress? It’s called hugging. We not only miss hugs, we need them. Hugging is a therapy and research shows that it can be an effective healer. The physical sign of affection reduces stress, relaxes muscles and releases tension in the body. The giving and receiving provide warmth by sharing. Hugs help us let go and connect with our feelings.

How do we share hugs during the pandemic?

If you want to hug, be cautious and wear a mask. Point your faces in opposite directions — the position of your face is most important. Use the 10-second rule and don’t talk or cough and back away quickly. Let children hug you around your waist or knees.

Use discernment and caution in all decisions during this pandemic and know sooner or later that it will end and a vaccine is in the near future.

- Judy Warren, Kenai Peninsula National Family Caregiver Support Program.

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