Thousands of Pierce County residents take care of a friend or family member with a serious health condition. While being a caregiver can be a labor of love, it can also be very stressful. On top of normal stress, the isolation created by COVID-19 has resulted in incredible challenges for care takers and caregivers’ well-being and mental health.
To alleviate stress and offer support, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources, in collaboration with the Health Care Providers Council, will present the 2021 Pierce County Caregiver Conference as a two-day virtual event on May 8 and 15. This free conference is open to both paid and unpaid family caregivers. Advanced registration is required, and participants can sign up using the link below:
Both workshops will run from 9:30-11:45 a.m. and feature the following 30-minute workshops:
- Saturday, May 8 – Focus on the care recipient
- When a loved one resists care
- Using the gift of music
- Keeping families in touch using virtual connections
- Sharing purpose and responsibility
- Saturday, May 15 – Focus on the care giver
- Caregiver stress, frustration and guilt
- When to go to the emergency room and when not to
- Involving the whole family in caregiving
- Assembling legal and emergency resources
Handouts, workshop materials, caregiving tools and community resources will be available online before and after the conference. Paid, in-home caregivers may qualify for up to four hours of continuing education (CE) credits from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).
“Caregivers are the backbone of our health care system,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “Nearly 900,000 unpaid family caregivers in our state provide 80% of the services their loved ones need to remain in home for as long as possible. Often working tirelessly, alone and unrecognized, these caregivers need support to prolong their ongoing caregiver activities and to ensure their own mental and physical health stays intact while coping with related challenges.”
Participants can also live stream the event online at www.PierceCountyWA.gov/Caregiver. For more information about the presentations or to register by phone, call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at 253-798-4600 or 800-562-0332.
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Bob Riler, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources