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Free Caregivers Assistance Program to be held in May

By Staff | Apr 27, 2010

A Caregiver Assistance and Regional Education program designed to provide caregivers free comprehensive help will be offered through Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in May.
This CARE series of sessions will be held May 4, 6, 11 and 13 at the North Fort Myers Good Shepherd United Methodist Church from 1 to 4 p.m. The church is at 2951 Trail Dairy Circle in North Fort Myers.
It is an important program for caregivers, said Judy Greenstreet, RN, parish nurse and local health care provider.
“It is for all people who are providing care in some fashion,” she said. “That could be in a nursing home or at home. It provides for emotional and physical health and well being for them, and it also allows the caregiver to provide better care for their loved ones.”
The program is through Lee Memorial Health System Elder Care Services, in conjunction with several agencies including Elder Affairs State of Florida, the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center and Hope Healthcare Services.
“There is such a need for this,” she said. “It’s a series of four classes.”
Session One on Tuesday, May 4 will include topics on Caregiver Roles, Responsibilities and Stress, as well as Doctor/Patient Communication and Medication Management.
Session Two on Thursday, May 6, will talk about Understanding Aging, Illness and Behavior Changes, as well as Caregiver Feelings and End-of-Life Issues.
Session Three on Tuesday, May 11, will include topics on Emergency Planning, Elder Law & Planning for the Future and Community Resources.
Session Four on Thursday, May 13, will cover Personal Care, Mobility and Falls and Conclusion.
Greenstreet said it is Church Pastor Tom Willett’s goal to provide as much health care information and support as possible.
“He actually wanted a parish nurse because he had worked with one previously, and knew the value they could bring,” she said. “This addresses aging concerns of the congregation, especially an aging congregation and we need to address those needs.”
Besides leading this program, she has continuing work with the church, several hours a week.
“The idea to became a parish nurse came to me at a church meeting, and I had taken the required courses. In order to be a parish nurse you have to have taken a current Florida license to practice as an RN, and have you have to take a parish nurse special course.”
She also said the church itself will have a grief support group set up in the future as well.
She encourages registration as soon as possible.
This program is free for anyone in Lee County who can benefit from this information. To register, call 1-866-231-0921.