Community

Free workshops for caregivers of elderly family

The Burnaby Family Caregivers Project, offered by Burnaby Seniors Outreach Services Society (BSOSS), is a one-stop shop for information and support for people looking after elderly family members.

The project, funded by United Way of the Lower Mainland, is offering a free four-session series of workshops from Nov. 24 to Dec. 15 to help people understand why caregivers need to take care of themselves and not do it all alone.

More than four million Canadians are acting as unpaid caregivers to an elderly family member or friend. While it's can be rewarding, the experience can also be incredibly stressful, confusing, scary and isolating.

According to the Canadian Caregiver Coalition, most such caregivers are aged 45 to 64, of whom 70 per cent are struggling to balance jobs, family and caregiving.

“As our loved ones grow old their advanced age brings an increasing incidence of chronic health challenges, including brain related dementias–Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia related to strokes, and more,” said gerontologist and project coordinator Katherine Willett, in a press release. “Most don’t know about the government, non-profit society and business services designed to help increase quality of life for seniors while also reducing caregiver stress—and why should they?”

The four sessions run runs Saturdays, from Nov. 24 to Dec. 15, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Attendance at all four sessions is required.

Family caregivers will learn about the myriad of resources and support services available and the health care and legal issues they might need to address.

The Burnaby Family Caregivers Project also offers a free support group that meets every other Saturday, 10am to noon, where unpaid family caregivers can share their difficult emotions and experiences in a supportive space with others who understand.

To register for the four education sessions, or to arrange a free talk for your office or community group, contact Katherine Willett at 604-241-0485. For information about the support group, call Linda Comba at 604-291-2258.

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Community Events, July 2014

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