Offering support to dementia caregivers

Kelowna caregivers get help in role as 'invisible second clients.'

  • Feb. 28, 2015 8:00 p.m.

Family caregivers of people with dementia are often called the invisible second clients for good reason.

As many Kelowna families have found, their roles as informal caregivers are critical to the quality of life of the person they care for, who generally require increasing levels of care.

“Without caregivers, people with dementia would have an increasingly poorer quality of life and would need residential care more quickly,” explained Carly Gronlund, the support and education coordinator for the non-profit Alzheimer Society of B.C. for Kelowna & the Central & North Okanagan.

The support, though, can come at a cost: caregiver exhaustion. And that’s why the Society is bringing its free Family Caregiver Series to Kelowna on two Saturdays, March 14 and 21.

The workshop helps caregivers learn strategies to care for someone with dementia and to take care of their own health, to ensure they are prepared to continue to provide care to their family members.

“We provide practical techniques and strategies that caregivers can begin using immediately,” Gronlund said.

Topics to be covered include:

*Understanding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

*Effective and creative ways of facilitating communication with a person with dementia.

*Understanding behaviour as a form of communication.

*Self-care for the caregiver.

*Planning for the future.

The series runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 14 and 21 at the Alzheimer Resource Centre, 307-1664 Richter St. Pre-registration is required. For information and to register contact Carly Gronlund at 250-860-0305 or cgronlund@alzheimerbc.org.

The workshop is free thanks to partial funding by the Province of BC, Provincial Employees Community Services Fund, RBC Foundation, Seacliff Foundation,Victoria Foundation, Mott Electric GP, Paul Lee Family Foundation, Colin and Lois Pritchard Foundation, Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation, Frank and Yvonne McCracken Foundation, Kaatza Foundation, Lohn Foundation, London Drugs Foundation, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., Pfizer Canada Inc., Morris & Helen Belkin Foundation, Bellringer Family Foundation and through the generous contributions of individual donors.

More information on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as resources for living with their impact, are available by visiting alzheimerbc.org.

 

Kelowna Capital News

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