Do you help someone who has dementia? Are you new to the caregiver role or need some fresh ideas? If so, Care Connection for Aging Services may be able to provide some specialized family caregiver training at no cost to you.

Nationally, about 34 million family caregivers help adults 50-plus in their homes, many times without any guidance or education.

The area agency on aging’s Family Caregiver Program is seeking participants for a caregiver education program that provides practical advice and support for caregivers of people with dementia.

The topics covered include: basic daily care, everyday activities, restlessness and anxiety, injury prevention and safety, anger, mealtimes, bladder and bowel problems, self-care, communication, sleep, bathing, wandering, transferring, brain health, driving and dementia, and balancing work with caregiving.   

“The program is aimed at making the life of the caregiver a little bit easier,” said Marilyn Gunter, Director of Care Management for Care Connection. “We want to reduce physical and emotional stress that comes with caregiving.”

During a one-on-one visit, a Care Connection Care Manager will evaluate the capacities of the person with dementia; provide information about the disease, including caregiving strategies and community resources; evaluate potential safety risks and offer appropriate assistive devices; and work with the caregiver to develop a care plan so that the person with dementia may stay at home as long as possible.

The education is provided in printed materials or online, and participants work at their own pace. Pre- and post-surveys will measure the program’s success. The information is targeted to caregivers of adults who are newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or other dementia, as well as struggling caregivers who need a boost.

Care Connection is partnering with the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging to provide this service as part of a federal grant through the Missouri Department of Health and  Senior Services.

If you want to participate or find out more, call the Care Manager at your nearest senior center or call Marilyn Gunter at 1-800-748-7826. Care Connection for Aging Services is a non-profit area agency on aging with a mission to provide opportunities to create positive aging experiences. Our service area includes 13 counties in West Central Missouri. Our vision is the people we serve will live with maximum independence, respect and dignity.

Care Managers:

Hickory and St. Clair counties: Melanie Foster, 417-646-8292 in Osceola and 417-282-6100 in Wheatland.

Cedar County: Katie Hunter, 417-876-5574 in El Dorado Springs and 417-276-5306 in Stockton.

Bates and Vernon counties: Artricia Lowry, 417-667-5847 in Nevada and 660-679-5830 in Butler.