I'd blame my tardiness on sun stroke. Except I'm from Seattle, where sun is in short supply. During May and June I attended the American Red Cross Family Caregiving Program, held at Evergreen Retirement Community, where I work. I promised a review.
If you care for your aging parent either full-time or part-time, or are supporting your parent who is caring for his or her spouse, this national program is worth your time. First, there's no cost. Second, caregivers can select one or more segments. Third, sessions are facilitated by Red-Cross certified leaders. Mike Davis, of Always Best Care-Eastside, led our discussions.
Booklets on the various topics--home safety, general caregiving skills, positioning and helping your loved one move, assisting with personal care, promoting healthy eating and caring for the caregiver--were helpful, as were the videos.
The best part of these sessions was the lively discussion. Some participants worked in the eldercare field, helping adult children and their aging parents. Others were caregivers themselves.
"There's great value in people getting together to discuss caregiving issues and to work toward problem-solving," said Mike Davis.
For more information on the program and locations near you, contact the Red Cross Family Caregiving Directory.