Caregiving Resources for caregivers

Resources for caregivers

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Southern Maine Agency on Aging is offering Savvy Caregiver, a six-week training program for family caregivers of people with dementia disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The training program is designed for people who are assisting a family member or friend with dementia, and helps them develop knowledge, skills and attitudes to make caregiving easier. Savvy Caregiver consists of six, two-hour class sessions, and encourages participants to try out ideas at home between classes. Participants are asked to plan to attend all six classes in the series. The workshop will be held at York Hospital, 15 Hospital Drive, York starting on April 22 from 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Savvy Caregiver will also be offered July 15, 22, 29, Aug. 5, 12, and 19, from 2-4 p.m., at the Southern Maine Agency on Aging, Scarborough.

Pre-registration is required in both locations.

For more information, or to register, contact Ann O’Sullivan at 800-427-7411, ext. 541 or email aosullivan@smaaa.org.

The agency’s Family Caregiver Support Program also can help caregivers learn strategies for planning to make the future easier, learn tips on how to take care of themselves, get ideas on how to balance caregiving with family and work, find the care and assistance the person in care needs and reduce stress and anxiety.

Services offered include:

• Resources that provide information on benefit programs, adult day health programming, resources in the community and more. A licensed social worker can help.

• A variety of classes, including classes about community resources, stress management and hands-on care.

• Finding respite help so the caregiver can take a break. The Caregiver Respite Program may be able to help pay for respite for caregivers of someone with dementia.

• Regularly scheduled support groups to help cope with the challenges of caregiving.

Among the programs on the schedule are:

April 30, May 7, 14 and 21: 5:15-7:15 p.m.: Putting the Puzzle Together: Getting Ready to Offer Support to Older Adult Family and Friends. Southern Maine Agency on Aging, Scarborough. $50 suggested donation. Contact Ann O’Sullivan at 800-427-7411, ext. 541 to pre-register (required).

May 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Our Aging Parents: Supporting Independence While Providing Assistance. MacArthur Library, Biddeford. Free. Contact Sally Leahey at 284-4181 with questions.

May 16, noon-1 p.m.: Reducing Risks and Supporting Function at Home. Prince Memorial Library, Cumberland. Free. Contact Jennifer Gifford at 829-2215 with questions.

Southern Maine Agency on Aging also offers support/discussion groups for caregivers, including:

Biddeford: Second Monday of the month, 3:00-4:30 p.m., at Community Partners, Inc. For caregivers of people with dementia. Contact Barbara Alberda at 713-3723.

Bridgton: Second Wednesday of the month, 1-2:30 p.m., at the Bridgton Community Center. Contact Ann O’Sullivan at 800-427-7411.

Kittery: First Thursday of the month, 3-4:15 p.m., at The Gathering Place. Respite available onsite for a fee; call ahead to reserve. Contact Jill Larson at 439-6111.

Scarborough: Fourth Thursday of the month, noon-1 p.m., SMAA, 136 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough. Contact Kate Fallon at 800-427-7411, ext. 558.

York: Third Tuesday of the month, 1-2 p.m., at the Heart Health Institute. Contact Susan Kelly-Westman at 475-1167. Those looking for a group in another area can call Kate or Ann, 800-427-7411.

The state of Maine posts a comprehensive guide to caregiving. Find it at www.maine.gov/dhhs/oads/aging/documents/Connections.pdf.

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