November is National Family Caregiver Month, and a few events in Juneau will bring added exposure to the challenges and issues caregivers face.
The Caregiver Education Series will take place every Tuesday in November from 1-2:30 p.m. at KTOO (on Nov. 7 and 14) and the Mendenhall Library (Nov. 21 and 28). These free workshops are meant to provide information and tips to ease the load on family caregivers.
On Nov. 7, Dr. Ray Pastorino will discuss secondary trauma in caregiving, which can happen to those who take care of a traumatized or suffering person. Pastorino is the former director of behavioral medicine at Alaska Family Practice Residency in Anchorage and a retired professor of psychology at Alaska Pacific University.
On Nov. 14, Amber Smith of the Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska will speak about Alzheimer’s and related dementia disorders and ways caregivers can address the challenges that come along with them.
On Nov. 21, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Health Educator Kathryn Lawrence will give a presentation about how it’s never too late to be “the healthiest you.” Sometimes caregivers don’t invest enough time in themselves, and Lawrence will talk about ways to find that time.
The final workshop, on Nov. 28, is entitled “Advanced Planning for Eldercare: Why Medicaid Matters.” Alaska Legal Services Attorney at Law Holly Handler will speak about options in financing long-term care for adults with disabilities, the role of Medicaid and what people need to know about need-based Medicaid benefits before a crisis.
The Senior and Caregiver Resource Center (SCRC) is sponsoring the Caregiver Education Series. The SCRC, which serves family caregivers throughout Southeast Alaska, is made possible through grants from the Alaska Division of Senior and Disabilities Services and the City and Borough of Juneau through the Juneau Community Foundation.