FCA’s caregiver education programs are designed to help you feel stronger and healthier, both physically and emotionally, in your role as a caregiver and
in your life.
Family Caregiver Alliance has always considered education programs to be an important core service and an integral part of our mission. With the establishment of the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) in 2000, the federal government designated caregiver training as one of “five direct services that best meet the range of caregivers’ needs.”
How do you decide if a class or workshop will be right for you? Clearly, the focus of the program is an important concern. Another factor to consider is whether you’re interested in mostly prac-tical information or would also like class interaction and emotional support. The choice is yours.
The class format involves a series of weekly meetings usually conducted over four or six weeks. The classes offer both instruction and numerous opportunities for interaction with the teacher and with class members. Many caregivers gain strength and comfort from the fact that they are not alone in caregiving and appreciate the wisdom of first-hand experience offered by classmates and teachers. Often class participants stay in touch after the class has ended.
This spring, we’re offering two classes: It Takes 2 and Powerful Tools for Caregiving, in a number of Bay Area locations. Check our Education Listings for more specific information.
A one-day caregiver workshop provides valuable information and the chance to ask specific questions without the time commitment of an ongoing class. Beth Logan, FCA’s Education Consultant, has designed two inspiring workshops: Taking Care of SoMEone Else and There Must Be a Better Way Than This. These programs provide the same practical information offered in our classes; however, it’s presented in a half-day format. Workshop participants will benefit from Beth’s humor, energy and insight. As she says, it’s important to not just survive caregiving, but to learn to thrive.
You may also be interested in workshops that deal with specific caregiver problems. When Everyone Talks and Nobody Listens is primarily for siblings, but all family members can benefit. Learning to work with other family members and to appreciate their unique skills can help caregiver to let go of resentments.
Difficult Conversations about Difficult Decisions is designed to help family members confront end-of-life decision-making that can be part of caring for someone with a chronic illness and/or dementia. Often, doctors don’t discuss the course of these illnesses and families are forced to make decisions in an emergency situation. Taught by a physician and a social worker, the class looks at the issues surrounding feeding tubes, ventilators and Do Not Resuscitate orders, and teaches participants how to start these difficult conversations.
A new program, What’s Up, Doc?, teaches caregivers how to be more organized, proactive and assertive with healthcare providers and suggests ways to improve communication with family physicians.
Finally, Take Time to Smell the Roses, an exciting new program, will help you to focus on your own care along with a relaxing and rejuvenating tour of two beautiful National Parks in the Bay Area.
If funding is available, FCA can help caregivers attend our classes by offering respite help when needed. Please register soon and inquire early about respite to make sure that space and funds are available. Please call us if you have any questions.
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