Guidance for family caregivers

The vast majority of long-term care is provided in homes by family members – spouses, adult children, relatives and friends — and is crucial for the safety and well-being of their loved ones. Few of them have more than on-the-job training, which is why Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources and the Pierce County Library System are collaborating to host informal community discussions about caregiving. 

The sessions, titled “Conversations on Family Caregiving,” are described by organizers as an opportunity to share experiences, ask questions, learn from others and connect with community resources. Free and open to the public, the talks will be held at branches of the county library system on:

  • Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. at the Key Center branch (8905 Key Peninsula Hwy. NW.).
  • Nov. 5 at 11 a.m. at the Eatonville branch (205 Center Street W.).
  • Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lakewood branch (6300 Wildaire Road SW.).
  • Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. at the University Place branch (3609 Market Place W.).
  • Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the South Hill branch (15420 Meridian E.).
  • Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. at the Summit branch (5107 112th St. E.).
  • Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. at the Sumner branch library (1116 Fryar Ave.).

Subjects will largely be guided by the needs and wants of participants, such as caregiver self-care, boundary-setting, caregiving role reversals, support networks, financial planning, legal documents, elder abuse, and community resources. 

Aging and Disability Resources (253-798-4600, 800-562-0332)), a part of county government, provides unpaid caregivers with resources and support. 

November is National Family Caregiver Month. 

 â€œEach caregiver is in a unique situation,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources.  “The health, the needs, the resources and the abilities of loved ones are all distinctive.  Caregivers rarely have the opportunity to discuss what’s going on for them.  This series provides an opportunity for caregivers to share successes and frustrations and learn from the experiences of our Aging and Disability Resources staff and one another.”