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Workshop to aid caregivers

According to statistics released by elder care officials, the 85-and-older population is expected to more than triple between 2008 and 2050 in the United States alone. That statistic is one reason more and more senior adults are being cared for at home by family and friends.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System and D.W. McMillan Hospital are teaming up to provide information to caregivers who find themselves with a new job.

Margaret Odom, Regional Extension Agent in Family and Child Development, said two workshop dates have been set for the “Caring for Caregivers” training program.

“We wanted to offer information that home caregivers will need when they begin to care for a loved one at home,” Odom said. “So many questions come up when homecare is needed and we want to help answer those questions.”

The workshop will be held at D.W. McMillan Hospital beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday, June 11 and Friday, June 18. There is no charge for the program and lunch will be provided.

Odom said those who are interested in attending the workshop should pre-register for planning by presenters.

“We really want to help caregivers with any questions they may have,” Odom said. “In order to do that and to plan properly, we need to have participants pre-register.”

Odom said pre-registration by noon Thursday, June 10 is necessary. Pre-registration can be completed by calling 867-7760 or (251) 533 1524.

“The Caring for Caregivers Training programs has been designed to meet the immediate need for educating all caregivers with the goal of alleviating the stress associated with the demanding role of caring for an older person or person with a disability,” Odom said.

Odom said many presenters will be on hand during the workshop sessions to offer information and answer questions regarding homecare for elderly.

“We have several professionals who are planning to make presentations during the workshop sessions,” Odom said. “We hope that those who find themselves in caregiver positions will find the information useful.”

Dr. Roma Hanks, director of USA Program in Gerontology at the University of South Alabama is scheduled to speak during the sessions. Others scheduled to present information include Larry Pope with McMillan Home Health; Lois Dorough with Alabama Poison Center; Dr. James Robinson with the State Health insurance Program, Ron Pierce with Mobile County Sheriff’s Department and the Mobile Division of FBI’s chaplain; Kyla Groff Kelim with the law firm of Davis and Neal; and Kyle Buck with Covenant Hospice. Local presenters with D.W. McMillan Hospital include Autherine Davis with Human Resources, Tara Braswell with physical therapy; and Marcia DeGraaf with community coordination. Extension agents scheduled to make presentations include Odom; Carolyn Bivins with health, diet and nutrition; Amelia McGrew with food safety, preservation and preparation; and Rick Zapata with personal financial management.

Odom said partners for the event include D.W. McMillan Home Health, Covenant Hospice, Alabama Poison Control, D.W. McMillan Hospital, Area Agency on Aging, Washington County health Council, Davis and Neal Attorneys at Law, and the University of South Alabama.

To learn more about other programs of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, visit their Web site at www.aces.edu.