Let’s be real here – caregiving is hard. It is really challenging even for the most loving and patient caregiver, in the most supportive caregiving situation, among the most loving relationships between care partners. It is hard. To make it worse, most of us are not equipped with the knowledge, strategies, and skills prior to stepping into the caregiving role. There is no Guide Book or Instruction Manual for proving care for another person. Many caregivers feel that they are treading water in the caregiving role, simply doing the best they can to help their loved one through each day and survive themselves.
The good news is that when we know better, we typically do better. Armed with knowledge about our loved one’s health issues, symptom management strategies, and skills for keeping them comfortable physically and emotionally, we can become empowered caregivers who thrive – not just survive. Choices in Senior Care helps people age well – which includes maintaining independence, autonomy and dignity through the aging process as well as empowering caregivers through knowledge and support.
Our monthly message for July is ‘Choices in Senior Care is the key to fostering independence through the aging process’. One of the ways we do that is through providing community education and evidence based caregiver trainings. The Savvy Caregiver is an evidence-based program designed to train caregivers in the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to cope with the challenges of caring for a person with cognitive changes. This 6-week teaching program has been shown in multiple studies to reduce caregiver stress and improve care. Choices in Senior Care is working with community partners in Knoxville, Maryville, and Crossville to offer Savvy Caregiving sessions for those living with and providing care for someone with dementia. Please see the ‘Events’ page on Choices in Senior Care website for a complete listing of community education programs as well as scheduled Savvy Caregiver sessions.
By Rebekah Wilson, MSW