Free training, support for family caregivers
July 1, 2021 | View PDF
The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program has moved into a new office located at 35477 Kenai Spur Highway, Suite 205 (located in the 4D Professional Building). You can call them at 907-262-1280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caregiver support group meetings will be held at the following locations and times in July. Please join to share your experiences as a caregiver or to support someone who is a caregiver.
July 8, Sterling Senior Center, 1 to 3 p.m. A training titled, “Can Alzheimer’s be Stopped?” will be available from 1 to 2 p.m., and a peer support meeting will follow from 2 to 3 p.m.
July 9, Soldotna Senior Center, 1 to 3 p.m. Gail Kennedy will speak on “Grieving for the Living” from 1 to 2 p.m. and a peer support meeting will follow from 2 to 3 p.m.
July 20, Kenai Senior Center, 1 to 3 p.m. There will be a “town hall” meeting from 1 to 2 p.m. to introduce new staff and take suggestions for topics for upcoming trainings. Peer support group meeting follows, 2 to 3 p.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 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. Call with suggestions and ideas for upcoming trainings or follow on Facebook, @KPFCSP.
Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska (ARA) organizes caregiver support meetings all around the state, including the following locations: Anchorage, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Homer, Juneau/Southeast, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Mat-Su Valley, Seward, Sitka, Soldotna, Talkeetna, Willow. Call 1-800-478-1080 for details.
ARA also hosts a statewide call-in meeting on the first Saturday and third Wednesday of every month, 1 to 2 p.m. For additional information, call Gay Wellman, 907-822-5620 or 1-800-478-1080l.
Family caregiver tip of the month
Caring for a person with memory loss and confusion can be stressful and exhausting. The following tips can help you find the support you need:
Ask for help. Ask a friend to make a dinner or a relative to help out for an hour each week. Make a list of ways others can help so when a friend or family member asks, “What can I do?,” have them choose from the list. Ask for and accept help on a regular basis – don’t wait for a crisis.
Express your feelings. Recognize that feelings of frustration, sadness, anger and depression are normal under the circumstances.
Take care of your health. Try to eat as healthy as you can, get regular physical exercise as often as you can, and plenty of rest as you are able.
Learn about the disease. Find out as much as you can about the various forms and stages of dementia so that you are not taken by surprise when new behaviors occur.
Avoid isolation. Grab a cup of coffee or lunch with a friend. Visit that shop that you’ve been eyeing. Get back to the favorite hobby that you’ve let go by the wayside.
Watch for signs of burnout. Not taking care of your own health, feeling lonely, crying, or losing your temper more that usual are all signs that you may need help. Find someone to talk to if you feel discouraged, frustrated, trapped or over-burdened by attending caregiver peer support meetings that are held by the Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program.
Give yourself a treat. Buy yourself a present even if it’s a favorite magazine or new clothes. Put your feet up and listen to your favorite music. Order dinner from your favorite restaurant and have it delivered.
Take time for yourself. Schedule regular time for yourself even if it’s just an hour each day. Take a walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells.
Remember, you will be better able to take care of your loved one if you take time for yourself.
- Dani Kebschull, Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program