The Face of Caregiving and Education

Marilucy Lopes
Director of Education & Outreach

Educational seminars at CaringKind provide caregivers with the opportunity to develop their understanding of what it really means to be a caregiver or, more specifically, an Alzheimer’s or dementia caregiver. Those who attend our seminars, report gaining a better sense of what to expect as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia changes and progresses, and how their role as a caregiver changes and progresses too. Caregivers also report feeling less stress as they learn about what kind of support is available and where to go for assistance.

In our Understanding Dementia Seminar, we talk about the patterns and commonalities of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but also teach how each person’s experience of the disease is different. We often say, “If you’ve seen one person with dementia, you’ve seen one person.” This is because each of us is unique in our experiences, even though we have things in common.

Being unique and having our own experiences with dementia applies to caregivers too. For example, when you picture a dementia or Alzheimer’s caregiver, what do you see? Is this person a certain age, gender or race? Whatever you imagine, it’s correct. There is no “wrong” way to imagine a caregiver. In fact, many caregivers who attend our seminars can quickly recognize the differences in their circumstances, while still being able to relate and identify with the situations other caregivers face. With education, caregivers learn they’re not alone and support is available.

At CaringKind, we purposefully design our educational seminars to be safe, open, shared spaces limited to Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers, but available for use at their own pace. Our seminars are uniquely intended to address topics that will support a caregiver’s role. Caregivers have the option to attend an education meeting as often as they would like, and have the option to choose from multiple locations. This past summer, seminars were available in all five boroughs of New York City, and opportunities to learn are always expanding.

Many caregivers are surprised to learn that in addition to understanding Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, there are other important topics to learn about too. Our Legal and Financial Seminars give caregivers information about the legal system and what documents and legal processes are necessary to provide the best care. After attending that seminar, caregivers can attend the Medicaid Home Care Seminar, which guides caregivers through the application process required in order to receive home care via Medicaid services. Caregivers stress how helpful these seminars are to them.

Educational seminars are very helpful for strategizing purposes too. The Placing Your Relative in a Nursing Home Seminar is designed to educate caregivers about the steps involved in nursing home placement, how this care is paid for, and how one might become a successful advocate for the resident. Sometimes a caregiver will say, “I’m not thinking about a nursing home yet,” and that’s okay. The seminar is offered so caregivers can learn about the subject and discover what it involves, in the event that level of care might become necessary. The idea is to allow education to inform your current and future choices. Our seminars are there to foster a proactive — rather than reactive — approach to care.

Lastly, once a month, caregivers can also attend our Monthly Educational Seminar which features rotating topics based on issues caregivers report they’d like to learn more about. In the past, we’ve offered information about managing challenging behaviors or how to enhance communication. These seminars are designed to develop more skills and offer more tools to enhance each caregiver’s caregiving experience.

For more information about our Educational Seminars or how your caregiving experience can benefit from educational support, please contact our 24-hour Helpline at 646-744-2900.

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