Shifting the focus of caregiving to the caregiver

“Caregivers are generous people,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Aging and Disability Resources.  “Often times there is nothing they won’t do for their loved one.  However, far too often we see caregivers who simply have not taken care of themselves and are falling apart.  Taking care of themselves just falls off their agenda and then, sadly, problems arise.”

“Getting and Using Respite” is a workshop offering caregivers information about access to respite and how to make the most of their time.  Because some caregivers rarely get a break from their daily routines of meal preparation, personal care, medication management, doctor visits, housework, and financial accounting, the workshop focuses on providing exposure to a variety of support systems that make respite possible.  Getting a break for themselves – even for a few hours – is one of the most important things caregivers can do for themselves.  Without a break, caregivers can burn out resulting in poorer quality care and possible placement of their loved ones into community services such as nursing homes, foster care, or hospitals.

“Getting and Using Respite” is jointly sponsored by the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC), the Pierce County Coalition for Developmental Disabilities, The Arc of King County and the Respite and Crisis Care Coalition of Washington.  The workshop will be held Saturday, Sept. 29 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Soundview Building, 3611 S. D Street in Tacoma.  The presentation is free and no RSVP is required.  It is intended for anyone who is caring for a family member who is over the age of 60, an adult over 18 who has a disability, or a vulnerable child under 18 who has a disability or special need.  For additional details call the ADRC at (253) 798-4600.