The Aging & Disability Resource Center — serving Barron, Rusk and Washburn counties — is now offering the Savvy Caregiver Program. Savvy Caregiver is a six-week series of two-hour sessions that will provide the caregiver with skills, knowledge and techniques needed to provide care to a person (most often a friend, or family member) who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (or any progressive dementia). The program begins Wednesdays, May 26 – June 30, from 9-11 a.m.

Savvy Caregiver is an evidenced-based curriculum developed by Dr. Kenneth Hepburn and colleagues at the University of Minnesota. Grounded in research, this educational series teaches strategies, practical real-world skills, and helps to reduce stress, both in the caregiver and the person for whom care is being provided. Savvy Caregiver increases the caregiver’s sense of competence, and well-being even though there may be little experience.

The course will cover such topics as understanding the career of caregiving, different types of dementia, how the decline in cognition effects behavior, dealing with the feelings that arise while caregiving, fitting tasks and activities to the person’s abilities, and decision making skills to name but a few. The course will be presented through lecture, short video and printed materials.

Anyone who is providing care, or will be providing care to someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another progressive dementia will find this course not only useful, but a means to obtaining the skills needed to provide excellent care. Love brings most people to the caregiving role some time in their lives; however it does not provide the knowledge, skills, strategies or techniques that are necessary to deliver high quality care and lessen the caregiver’s stress. Savvy Caregiver provides the means to learn those skills, practice them in a controlled environment, and learn from one another’s experiences.

While not a support group, the participants will share their own real world experiences which will provide examples for the training lessons.

Register online at adrcconnections.org. For more information call dementia care specialist Trisha Witham at 715-537-6226.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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