couple-and-daughter.200.135.sThe Penn Memory Center offers a six-week psycho-educational class for those caring for a family member or other loved one with dementia.

The next class will run from March 4 through April 8, 2014.

 

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 six-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.

Topics include:

  • 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.

Classes are being held Tuesdays from March 4 through April 8, 2014 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Ralston House, 3615 Chestnut Street, room 241, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
There is a $200 course enrollment fee. Some financial assistance is available.

For more information, please contact Lisa Burkholder at lisa.burkholder@uphs.upenn.edu or 215-662-4523.

To download a one-page Caregiver Class handout, click here.