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Noyes Health / About Noyes / News / Article

7th Annual Caregiver Retreat

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The children are grown up.  You are established in your job or maybe retirement is right around the corner and then you get the phone call.  Your parent was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and can no longer live alone.  You are now a 24/7 primary caregiver for an older adult.  You are exhausted, stressed, and worn out.  Does this scenario sound familiar?  Perhaps you or someone you know is caregiving for a loved one either with Alzheimer’s or a chronic illness.  If you are, you are not alone. Nearly 44 million adults provided care to an adult or child in the last year; that is more than one out of every six adults in the United States.  More than 34 million of those were caring for a frail elder.  And according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration of Aging, those numbers will only increase as the baby boomers continue to age.  By 2030, the number of Americans age 65 or older is expected to double to 72 million.  

The stress on caregivers and their families is tremendous.  In 2011, the American Psychological Association conducted the Stress in America survey.  They found that on a scale of 1 to 10, caregivers mean level of stress was 6.5 compared with 5.2 among the general public.  55% of those folks said they were overwhelmed in the amount of care they must provide.  The good news is that there are resources to help caregivers through the journey of taking care of a loved one.  

Locally, the Noyes Caregiver Resource Center, along with the Office for Aging, Mental Health Association and Alzheimer’s Association is sponsoring the 7th Annual Caregiver Retreat.  It will be held at Celebrate Family Church in Leicester on November 12th from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. The Caregiver Retreat is for caregivers taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other chronic long term health conditions. Community vendors will be on hand to answer questions about services.  Everyone gets a complimentary spaghetti lunch and door prizes will be drawn. The keynote speaker this year is Caren Kolerski. In a lively interactive session, Caren will facilitate fun, stress awareness activities, followed by a full Laughter Yoga session for stress-relief, joy and wellness!  The guest speaker panel line-up includes representatives from the Office for Aging, Venture Forthe, Lifespan Finger Lakes Caregiver Institute, LAW NY, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Registration is required for event.  Call 585-335-4359 or email: caregiver@noyeshealth.org to reserve your spot.   Respite care and activities will be available for caregivers who bring their loved ones. Call the Alzheimer’s Association at  1-800-272-3900 to request respite during this event.

The Noyes Caregiver Resource Center comes alongside family caregivers in Livingston County and provides them with the support they need to meet the challenges that come with caring for someone at home with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other chronic health conditions. The Caregiver Resource Center supports caregivers by providing information and assistance, education, support groups, and respite care services. Caregivers often neglect themselves and suffer with high rates of stress-related illness that affect their ability to be a successful caregiver. It is vital for caregivers to take care of themselves and educate themselves on resources available in their community.

For more information on the Caregiver Resource Center services or if you are interested in volunteering to provide respite services for caregivers, call Christa Barrows (585) 335-4358 or e-mail: caregiver@noyeshealth.org

This article was written jointly by Christa Barrows and Lorraine Wichtowski, community health educator.    If you have questions or suggestions for future articles Lorraine Wichtowski can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327.  

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