Workshop to Aid Caregivers

By Johanna S. Billings

The Down East Hospice Volunteers want caregivers to know they’re not alone.

“Anyone involved in care could use a little support,” said Barbara Barnett, director of the Calais-based group.

As such, the organization is hosting an informal workshop Sept. 24 that is open to anyone in Washington County who is a caregiver for a person with a terminal diagnosis and/or Alzheimer’s or dementia.

“I want people to feel that this is not going to be a class,” said Barnett. “It will be informal and relaxing.”

She said her organization and others who serve hospice clients are noticing a growing number of cases involving a terminal diagnosis and dementia and a growing need for caregiver support.

She also wants people to know that just because “hospice” is a part of the sponsoring organization’s name doesn’t mean the workshop is limited to those caring for someone who is terminal.

“People who come to this workshop don’t have to be members of families who are in hospice care,” said Barnett.

She added she doesn’t expect the workshop to lead to “sudden big changes” in Washington County but rather hopes that it will offer participants a chance to network with others in similar situations.

The workshop will be led by Kandyce Powell R.N., M.S.N., executive director of the Maine Hospice Council and Center for End of Life Care, who has 30 years experience working with end-of-life issues.

The program is set for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Kay Parker Building in Machias. Barnett noted the organization selected a Saturday to accommodate people who work during the week.

The program is free, thanks to a grant from the Maine Community Foundation. 

Lunch will be provided. 

 

It is limited to 30 participants and pre-registration is required. Call 207-454-7521, ext. 126, or email downeasthospice@yahoo.com.