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Kelowna dementia caregivers sought

An innovative educational program starting in early March will help caregiving family members from Kelowna deal with the loss and grief issues associated with dementia.

“The dementia journey requires ongoing adjustment to many changes over a long period of time that result in feelings of loss,” explains project leader Dr. Penny MacCourt, from the Centre on Aging at University of Victoria. “You are witnessing the progression of your family member’s dementia. The progression results in many changes: in your relationship, in shared activities, in roles and responsibilities, in dreams and plans for the future, and in living circumstances, to name just a few.”

The new Coping with Transitions program will connect residents with a skilled registered coach with extensive knowledge and experience in counselling caregivers of people with a dementia.

Coaching is being offered in both online and telephone group formats, allowing participants to share experiences and to learn from each other, says MacCourt.

The choice or phone or online groups provides convenience, since participants don’t have to leave their homes, and accessibility, which is vital for those living in rural areas.

The format also provides participants with choice of location; they can work from anywhere that has a telephone or an internet connection. And they are assured of full anonymity and onfidentiality.

Interested caregivers in the Kelowna area can choose from four options:

• A telephone group running Mondays from March 14 through April 18, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.;

• A telephone group running Thursdays from March 17 through April 24, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.;

• An online group running Tuesdays from March 8 through April 12 from 9:30 to 11 a.m.;

• An online group running Tuesdays from March 8 through April 12 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Interested residents must pre-register for the program by contacting MacCourt toll-free at 1-877-244-0419.

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