Most long-term care is provided in-home by loved ones such as spouses, adult children, relatives and friends. These informal caregivers are crucial for the safety and well-being of their beloved. Despite the demanding and difficult tasks, very few caregivers have more than on-the-job training.
November is National Family Caregiver Month and to celebrate Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources is collaborating with the Pierce County Library System to offer a space for open and honest dialogue among caregivers. “Conversations on Family Caregiving” is an opportunity for caregivers to share experiences, ask questions, learn from others and connect with community resources.
Seven conversations will be held in November:
• Nov. 3: 1 p.m., Key Center Branch Library, 8905 Key Peninsula Hwy. NW in Lakebay
• Nov. 5: 11 a.m., Eatonville Branch Library, 205 Center St. W. in Eatonville
• Nov. 5: 6:30 p.m., Lakewood Branch Library, 6300 Wildaire Road SW in Lakewood
• Nov. 6: 3 p.m., University Place Branch Library, 3609 Market Place W. in University Place
• Nov. 7: 6:30 p.m., South Hill Branch Library, 15420 Meridian E. in South Hill
• Nov. 13: 4 p.m., Summit Branch Library, 5107 112th St. E. in Tacoma
• Nov. 15: 3 p.m., Sumner Branch Library, 1116 Fryar Ave. in Sumner
The content of each conversation will largely be guided by the needs and wants of participants. Usual topics discussed include caregiver self-care, setting boundaries, caregiving role reversals, support networks, financial planning, legal documentation, elder abuse and community resources.
“Each caregiver is in a unique situation,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “The health, needs, resources and abilities of loved ones are all distinctive. Caregivers rarely have the opportunity to discuss what’s going on for them. This series provides an opportunity for caregivers to share successes and frustrations and learn from the experiences of our Aging and Disability Resources staff and one another.”
Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources offers this series as part of our Family Caregiver Support Program. The program helps unpaid family caregivers of all incomes with a variety of supports including education, counseling, adaptive equipment, housework and errands services and respite care to continue providing quality care in the home.
“Conversations on Family Caregiving” is an information only event. Each session is free and open to the public. Anyone of any age can attend. No RSVP is required. For more information about the presentations or the Family Caregiver Support Program, call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at 253-798-4600 or 1-800-562-0332.
Bob Riler, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources
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