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Senior Voice Staff 

Free training, support for family caregivers

 

August 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 dkebschull@soldotnaseniors.com.

Caregiver support group meetings will be held at the following locations and times in August. Please join to share your experiences as a caregiver or to support someone who is a caregiver.

Aug. 12, Sterling Senior Center, 1 to 3 p.m. The theme will be “Getting to Know Each Other.”

Aug. 13, Soldotna Senior Center, 1 to 3 p.m. Alaska Legal Services will present “Answering Caregiver Legal Concerns,” from 1 to 2 p.m. and a peer support meeting will follow from 2 to 3 p.m.

Aug. 17, Kenai Senior Center, from 1 to 2 p.m., Anise Dobkins from Consumer Care Network will speak on “Learning How PCA Agencies Work,” with a peer support meeting immediately following from 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.

Statewide

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

Are you a relative or friend of an older, ill or disabled person? Is one family member responsible for providing or arranging most or all of the care? Do you want other family members to become more involved? These tips from Mardi Richmond can help.

Start with a family meeting. Call a family meeting to discuss caregiving needs and ways for each person to help. Include everyone who can contribute. Consider holding the meeting in a neutral location with few distractions. Or if your family is spread out geographically, the meeting can be held by email or group telephone calls. Make up an agenda ahead of time so that everyone can contribute.

How will decisions be made? If the person being cared for is able, he or she should have a say in how care needs are met. The person who has the primary responsibility should also have a say. Other family members’ views should be heard and respected too. For health and legal decisions, the person being cared for can use Durable Power of Attorney documents to designate someone to make decisions if he or she cannot.

If you disagree… It is common for people to disagree about the best way to approach a caregiving situation. Make sure each person’s concerns are heard. Try to reach a compromise. Avoid turning the disagreement into a feud. If you cannot agree, bring in an outside person – a counselor, care manager or clergy member, for example – to act as mediator.

Support the primary caregiver. Try to respect the person who is taking primary responsibility. He or she is doing a difficult job. If you see that a problem exists, offer solutions and support, not criticism.

Don’t be afraid to take charge. When there are several people involved, organizing tasks is very important. Make a list of what needs to be done. Ask people to volunteer for tasks. Consider having each person take responsibility for a different area of caregiving.

What can you do if you don’t feel others are carrying their weight? Find out why. Sometimes a friend or family member would like to help but isn’t sure how. Sometimes a sibling may be respecting the role of the primary caregiver by not interfering. He or she may not get involved unless asked directly. If a person is not participating because he or she does not agree with the course of care, talking through issues may help.

- Dani Kebschull, Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support program

 
 

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