Help for Caregivers: the Creating Confident Caregivers Program

Ask the Experts by Carolyn Van Dorn

Q: I am taking care of my aging mother who has dementia and have been feeling overwhelmed and anxious - like I'm not doing things right. What might be available to people in my situation that could help me feel secure in taking care of her?

A: Yours is a very common reaction. Most people in your stage of life worry about giving their parents the best possible care, just as your parents likely did when you were growing up.

Many communities have options - through senior centers, health care facilities or home care providers. Here in the Grosse Pointe area, SOC (Services for Older Citizens) offers a Creating Confident Caregivers program to address just this topic. It is a workshop to give information and provide techniques to apply while caring for your loved one(s).

You will learn strategies to reduce your stress, improve your confidence, create a positive environment for you both and manage behaviors caused by dementia. You will also have the opportunity to spend time and share with others going through many of the same things you are, in a confidential setting. I also provide a workbook that is yours to keep and to use throughout your mother's care.

It is important, as a caregiver, to utilize information from experts and others, so that you do not feel as though you're "making it up as you go along."

There will be a new Creating Confident Caregivers group beginning Thursday, August 17 at SOC (Services for Older Citizens). This free program will run for 6 weeks. Contact me if you'd like to attend, or if you need information about other options.

Carolyn Van Dorn, CDP, is the Director of Client and Employee Relations at Nursing Unlimited in Grosse Pointe Woods. She has worked in the medical field since 1984 with a goal of educating families and caregivers about the services available to help them maintain a balanced home while caring for a loved one in need. Contact Carolyn at 313.642.1122 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   Nursing Unlimited is a member of The Family Center's Association of Professionals.

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