Senior Voice Staff 

Free support for family caregivers


March 1, 2024 | View PDF

The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following support group meetings in March:

March 1, Soldotna Senior Center, discussing direct services models, 1 to 2 p.m.

March 5, Tyotkas Elder Center, open discussion, 1 to 2 p.m.

March 19, Kenai Senior Center, open discussion, 1 to 2 p.m.

March 21, Sterling Senior Center, open discussion, 1 to 2 p.m.

March 29, Nikiski Senior Center, with overview presentation on home health nursing, 1 to 2 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. For more information or to offer suggestions on training topics, call Dani Kebschull at the Nikiski Senior Center, 907-776-7654 or email

The Homer caregiver support group meets at the Homer Senior Center on the second and fourth Thursday of each month (March 14 and 28), from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Contact Pam Hooker for information, 907-299-7198.

Kodiak Senior Center in partnership with Hospice and Palliative Care of Kodiak hosts the caregiver support group, March 21, at 1 p.m. Call for information, 907-486-6181.

Around the state

Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska (ARA) organizes caregiver support meetings around the state, including 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 information, call Gay Wellman, 907-822-5620 or 1-800-478-1080.

In Southeast Alaska, the Southeast Senior Services Senior and Caregiver Resource Center is available. Call Jennifer Garrison at 866-746-6177.

The national Alzheimer’s Association operates a 24-hour help line for caregivers, staffed by specialists and Masters-level clinicians, at 800-272-3900.

Look for opportunities to laugh

Caregiving can bring out the good and the challenges in our lives. With this, we have opportunities to make beneficial choices. Reducing stress, anxiety, and giving our health a boost can be as simple as finding something to laugh about.

The Mayo Clinic notes stress relief from laughter has short-term and long-term benefits – soothing tension, stimulating many organs, and activating and relieving your stress response is a short-term benefit. Long term effects include strengthening your immune system, relieving pain, improving your mood, and increasing personal satisfaction with life’s challenges.

Look for humor in your world, find a comic strip or a television show that gives you break time for giggles. Share time with friends who make you laugh, and practice. Laughter can feel great. Know what isn’t funny – and discover what is. You may find your belly laugh in an unexpected place.

Other ways of reducing stress and anxiety include establishing routines, creating a calm environment by reducing clutter, managing stimulating activities, and planning for five-minute breaks when possible. Make humor a part of your choices and give yourself permission to laugh where you can.

–Dani Kebschull, Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support program


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