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Senior Voice Staff 

Free training, support for family caregivers

 

October 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 kpfcsp@soldotnaseniors.com.

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

Oct. 14 Sterling Senior Center, 1 to 3 p.m. Caregiver training, “Alive Inside,” from 1 to 2 p.m. with a caregiver support meeting from 2 to 3 p.m.

Oct. 15 Soldotna Senior Center, 1 to 3 p.m. Presentation topic “Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter,” from 1 to 2  p.m., followed by a caregiver support meeting from 2 to 3 p.m.

Oct. 19 Kenai Senior Center, 1 to 3 p.m. Presentation topic “Can Alzheimer’s Be Stopped?” from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by a caregiver support meeting from 2 to 3 p.m.

Oct. 27 Nikiski Senior Center, 1 to 3 p.m. Presentation topic “Stress: Portrait of a Killer.” from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by a caregiver support meeting 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.

The Homer Area Caregiver Support Group has resumed its monthly meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays (Oct. 14 and 28) in the Homer Senior Center multi-purpose room. Enter through the main entrance on Svedlund Street. For more information, call Pam Hooker at 907-299-7198 or Janet Higley at 907-235-4291.

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 1-800-478-1080.

Family caregiver tip of the month

No doubt about it, we are living during some very stressful times. If you’re also caring for a loved one on top of everything else, you may be feeling stressed out, anxious or uncertain. We’ve all been there. When these feelings come on strong or last too long, it can be hard to imagine feeling grateful. But positive emotions such as gratitude actually help to boost your resilience to stressful times. Nancy Calhoun, Managing Editor at Journeyworks Publishing, has written about ways to add gratitude to your daily life.

Slow down and notice your surroundings. What makes you smile?

Find a few moments every day to engage in an activity that you enjoy.

Pick one day a week when you try not to complain about anything.

Do something nice for somebody else.

Spend time with positive people.

Use mealtimes as a reminder to think about or share things you felt grateful for during the day. Maybe you felt grateful to talk to a friend, or maybe you simply felt glad to see the sun shining.

Tell someone what you appreciate about them.

Say thank you more often. Don’t forget to thank yourself for working on healthy habits.

Start a gratitude journal. Or create a list on your phone. Try to add a few things every day. You can write detailed descriptions or keep it simple and just make a list.

Post images on social media of something you are grateful for – and let people know why.

Look online for other ways you can practice gratitude.

Go to sleep thinking about the best thing that happened to you today.

Ms. Calhoun also writes that when stress, worry or negative self-talk fill your mind, it can make you feel drained and defeated. After a certain point, you run out of energy and you don’t feel so good. When you focus on what you are grateful for, your attention shifts to the positive, which can reduce or replace the focus on what is wrong or missing. Being grateful doesn’t make the hard stuff in life disappear, but it can change the way you respond to it.

Studies show that people who practice gratitude have less depression and anxiety, are more likely to achieve their goals and may even have better health. But when things feel stressful, gratitude may be the last thing you can imagine feeling. Gratitude is something you can practice and get better at.

- Dani Kebschull, Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program

 
 

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