The Penn Memory Center offers a seven-week Psycho-educational Caregiver Class every spring and fall for those caring for a family member or other loved one with dementia. Thanks to generous support from the Julius H. Caplan Family Caring Difference Fund, the Caregiver Class is now free for all participants.
Caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia may experience feelings of sadness, anger, confusion, hopelessness, or frustration. This course is designed help caregivers develop skills to better help their loved one – and themselves – cope with the many changes of living with dementia.
Unlike a typical support group, this course offers a unique seven-week curriculum. While participants will learn some specific techniques to better care for loved ones, this class stresses ways of coping with the personal and emotional challenges caregivers face.
- Understanding and better managing behavior and emotions, especially conflicting, negative or distressing thoughts and feelings
- Finding the personal “fuel” needed for caregiving through strategies including recognizing and sustaining pleasant events
- Communicating effectively with family, friends, and others to access needed help
- Understanding what’s ahead, and planning medical, legal, and financial next steps
The class is open to anyone caring for someone with dementia of any stage, though much of the curriculum is geared toward individuals caring for someone who needs support with tasks such as managing money, medicines, cooking, or driving, and who may be showing changes in their personality and behavior.
Previous participants report that the tips and tools they learned here are very helpful. They also indicate that the opportunity to interact with others going through experiences similar to their own was a more valuable outcome than they had anticipated before joining the class.