Reenergizing dementia caregivers topic of Roseville Library talk

Many caregivers for people with dementia at some point feel like they hit a wall — they want to stop, give up, throw in the towel.

Those feelings usually pass quickly, experts say, but they are signs that the caregiver may need a break or a way to reenergize from the day-in-day-out rigors of caregiving.

That is the topic of a program from 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, at the Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. N. The event, called Energizing Care Partners, is the latest in a monthly series called Dementia Caring & Coping. It is sponsored by the Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action Team.

Caregivers often find many rewards in the caring process, including a deeper emotional bonding with the loved one. But it may be a rocky journey of unexpected ups and downs, and experts caution that caregivers do best when they figure out ways to care for their own needs as well.

There is a wide range of help available to caregivers — ways to take a regular a “mental health” break of a few hours a week, take a vacation, get caregiver coaching or mentoring, even outings to art museums and other events designed for people with dementia and their caregivers.

Speakers at the May 9 event include Sara Adams, a social worker from Family Means, a nonprofit social service agency based in Stillwater; Catherine Engstrom, caregiver consultant at the Wilder Foundation in St. Paul; psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Oligmueller; Paula Biever, who leads a Lewy body dementia support group; and Carolyn Klaver, a community dementia care specialist at 2nd Half with Lyngblomsten.

 

For June, the Caring & Coping program will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, at the Roseville Skating Center, 2661 Civic Center Drive — a much larger venue. That’s because the event will feature a resource fair with products and services that can help people remain active and engaged wherever they live.

 

—Warren Wolfe is a Roseville resident who retired from the Star Tribune, where he reported on aging and health care policy issues. He also is active in the Roseville Alzheimers and Dementia Community Action Team.

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