Visiting Nurses Association offers program for caregivers

Caring for an ill or disabled family member or friend is often rewarding, but it can also be very stressful. Research shows that caregivers are at high risk for depression and stress-related illnesses. To help minimize these risks, a program is being offered to give caregivers the skills they need to take care of themselves and to feel more confident in the care they provide.

“Taking Care of You: Powerful Tools for Caregiving” is designed to aid those who care for older adults with stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease or similar long-term conditions. The program is offered free of charge thanks to support from the Visiting Nurses Association and the Northern Illinois Area Agency on Aging.

The six-week series meets once a week for two hours. Participants develop their own personalized action plans as they cover a variety of topics, including tools to:

Help reduce stress,

Communicate effectively with family members, doctors and paid staff,

Take care of yourself,

Reduce guilt, anger and depression,

Help you relax,

Make tough decisions, and

Set goals and problem-solve.

The program is scheduled to meet Wednesdays, from Sept. 6 to Oct. 11, 2006, 5 to 7:30 p.m., at the Visiting Nurses Association of the Rockford Area, 4223 E. State St., Rockford. Dinner will be provided.

To register or for more information about caregiver services, please call the Visiting Nurses Association at 971-4285. Visiting Nurses Association is an entity of Rockford Health System.

From the Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 2006, issue

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