Resources are available for older adults who may feel isolated. In addition to the many activities appropriate for older adults available through Community Education (651-480-7670) and through the Hastings Senior Center (651-480-7689), both DARTS (651- 455-1560) and Hastings Family Service (651-437-7134) have visitor programs through which a volunteer visitor will be matched with an older adult to build a new friendship and perhaps enjoy a game of Scrabble or cup of coffee.
Caregiver information you might find helpful
Caregiver Mondays Tip No. 5: Love your heart. February is National Heart Month - time to show that you love your heart! Prove it by moving more, maintaining a healthy weight, minimizing stress and quitting the habit if you smoke. These actions can help reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Caregiver Mondays is an initiative of The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit organization in association with Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and Syracuse universities.
Memory Loss Support Group meets the third Tuesday of each month from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the private dining room at Regina Medical Center. Contact Kim Schrader at 651-480-6812 for more information.
Vision Loss Support Group meets the fourth Thursday of each month from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. in the activities kitchen at Regina Medical Center. Contact Kim Schrader at 651-480-6812 for more information.
Let's Have a Party
The next time one of my friends becomes a caregiver, I'm going to throw a shower. New brides get parties and presents--sometimes practical, sometimes personal--as they prepare for married life. Expectant parents are given the necessities of childrearing. Why not caregivers?
Wonderful gifts I've received are now ideas I'll tuck away for this future shower. I relished the homemade soup, some of which I shared with my parents, and some of which nurtured my own stomach and soul. Friends made quick work of fall leaf-raking and stealthily shoveled my snow after a particularly big storm, so I know how welcomed a chore voucher would be. (Note to self: the caregiver may never call in the promise, so provide the help anyway.) Perhaps each guest could jot down a resource recommendation and a word of encouragement to be included in a personalized caregiving handbook. There might even be practical supplies that would come in handy.
I shudder to think what caregiving-themed shower games might entail, so my hypothetical party doesn't have any of those. But it will be full of friendship and moral support; the most valuable gifts of all.
Editor's note: Beth's complete online journal can be found at: www.darts1.org/blog/caring-reflections.
For a resource guide for service providers who can help in your caregiver journey, please stop by the Hastings Senior Center in the Tilden Community Center, or go online to: www.darts1.org/dakota-county-eldercare-resources.
If you would like to submit a question or concern about your own caregiving experience, and get direct, one-to-one information and advice from a licensed social worker and eldercare advisor, please visit: www.darts1.org/online-caregiving-advisor or call 651-455-1560.
This section of the Star Gazette is a resource for family and friends helping an older adult. We hope you find this section useful, and if you have any comments or suggestions, we would love to hear them. Please contact Colleen Fritsch at DARTS, 651-234-2222 or Colleen.Fritsch@DARTS1.org.