Seminars explore role of families in long-term care

Families provide almost 80 percent of all the long-term care in the United States. So when a loved one transitions into any kind of formal care setting, the role of the family becomes all the more important. 

“Being there for Mom and Dad,” a free seminar hosted this month by Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources at four locations in South Hill, Tacoma, Bonney Lake and Lakewood, looks at the important role adult children and families can play when a relative moves into an adult family home, assisted-living or skilled-nursing facility.

“Nobody can give care like a family can,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Aging and Disability Resources, a division of county government. “It’s particularly difficult to entrust a loved one to another’s care. On the one hand we rely on the professional expertise of trained caregivers. On the other hand we often feel we could do it better and want to jump in and do it ourselves.”

“Being there for Mom and Dad” will be held on Nov 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lakewood branch of the Library System, at 6300 Wildaire Road SW.

Earlier sessions were held on Nov. 1 in South Hill and Nov. 6 in Tacoma and Bonney Lake.

During the transition of a loved one into a long-term care facility, feelings of anxiety, separation, guilt, disappointment, depression and worry are common, according to Van Valkenburg. He said “Being There for Mom and Dad” can help families understand how they and a facility can work together for the benefit of the new resident. Participants in the seminars will include representatives of the Pierce County Long-Term Care Ombudsman and local facilities. 

Additional information is available at 253-798-4600.