The Caregivers Support Group meets with the intent to learn from other caregivers and professionals in the field while providing the opportunity to gain strength and support for the weeks and months ahead.
Look for special events on our SLVcaregiver Facebook Page.
Support group meetings at the Highlands Park Senior Center are currently suspended due to COVID concerns. A fund provided by the Valley Women’s Club can help defray up to $100 for a Valley family caregiver to take some time off.
For more information, call Barbara Hanson at 335-4949 or email.
Nira Rittenberg, an occupational therapist at Baycrest, offers these tips to help caregivers manage their parents’ dementia.
1. Longer visits are not always better. Keep the visits short and don’t try to squeeze too much into it. Better to come again and leave when things are going well, rather than staying when the person is overtired and overwhelmed, turning it into a negative experience.
2. When communicating with parents, don’t overload them with a lot of information. The brain is compromised and too much can be overwhelming. Keep it simple and clear and don’t get into unnecessary details.
3. Plan activities carefully in advance. Even errands, doctors’ appointments, etc., can be a lot for someone with dementia. Pace and organize so that you are in control. This applies to travel, too. Plan well, as the person may not cope well with change.
4. Connect with community resources. Find a point person who can help you navigate the system — someone you can relate to. This is a lot of work and you need someone to help you in the journey.
5. Remove time pressures when the parent is around. They sense pressure and non-verbal communication strongly, even if they are not verbalizing it. Look for signs of agitation or irritability as feedback.
6. Take time out for yourself. In the busy life of work, family and other commitments, you need to recharge to be an effective caregiver.
7. Recruit others to take on tasks. This is not a failure. You need to find different people for different jobs so you can conserve your energy.