Family caregivers need support

On May 11, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Statistics show that over 43 million people in the U.S. are giving care to someone 55 or older, and almost 15 million care for someone who struggles with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. This is a huge responsibility that often leaves individuals feeling overwhelmed and “hanging by a thread.” Caregiver burnout mirrors the symptoms of stress and depression, including feeling blue, irritability, sickness, and changes in diet and sleeping habits.

The Somerville Council on Aging, in a collaboration with Cambridge Health Alliance and Life Care Directions of New England, presents “Effective Communication for Family Caregivers,” a workshop that recognizes the tremendous demands put upon family caregivers and offers strategies for improving the quality of life for all involved.

The first in this two-part series on Tuesday, May 14, addresses communication with health care providers. Dr. Daphne Schneider, Cambridge Health Alliance, will talk honestly about how caregivers and health providers can develop positive relationships that result in informed and thoughtful medical decisions.  Part two, on Tuesday, May 21st, features Lindsay Brennan of Life Care Directions of New England. She will help caregivers with strategies for communicating within the family.

Both events are free and open to the public and will be held at 167 Holland Street in Somerville. For more information, or to RSVP, call (617) 625-6600, ext. 2300.

In addition to these specific workshops, the Council on Aging offers ongoing, monthly Caregivers Support Group, which provides a safe and confidential space for caregivers to share concerns and challenges and to give support to each other. For more information on the group, please call Nancy O’Connor at (617)625-6600, ext. 2300.



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