Caregiver Support Program on the way

Published 1:26 pm Saturday, July 19, 2008

It’s coming soon.

The Caregiver Support Program is soon to be a reality.

Offering both Caregiver Mentor and Caregiver Respite Provider training, the new program will fill a void that has existed far too long.

Email newsletter signup

That’s what Glen Mair, chairman of the Mower County Senior Services Advisory Council, said he believes will happen.

According to Mair, a retired residential care facility administrator, an assessment found a growing need to support cargivers in the home.

Annie Avery, Mower County senior advocate, saw it every day in her work and the caregiver training and respite care services were her idea.

“It’s wonderful news and we are very excited we will be able to offer these services,” Avery said.

“We want to help people to remain independent in their homes as long as they can and this training will help the people who are working to do that,” Avery said.

The target demographic group for the training is the corps of volunteers, such as family, hospice workers, experienced caregivers, retirees, parish outreach workers, teachers, nurses and social workers.

Thanks to a grant from UCare, the training will be offered free of charge.

“We really appreciate the support of UCare on this project of the Senior Services Advisory Council,” Mair said.

ViDeyo Arts will record the session for future use in more training sessions to come.

Avery described the presenters as “trained professionals,” who will deliver the best orientation to the important job of caregiving.

Renee Kreter will facilitate the first session on Caregiver Mentor Training, beginning Thursday, Aug. 14, 1-5 p.m.

The six-week-long session will concluded Sept. 18.

The sessions will be offered at the Mower County Senior Center.

Kreter has over 25 years experience in relationship counseling.

The second session will focus on Respite Provider Training and Julie Gran will be the facilitator, executive director of Elder Network.

It will be held 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Mower County Senior Center.

Avery visits the homes of seniors as the Mower County Senior Advocate. She sees instances where caregiving is the safety net keeping seniors independent in their homes.

That’s where the training’s focus should be, according to Avery.

Meanwhile, Mair, drawing upon his experience in the nursing home industry, said professional caregivers in the workplace setting can use the training as well as those in volunteer opportunities.

The target of the training is anyone who cares for somebody in any setting, Avery and Mair agree.

Registration forms are available at the Mower County Senior Center and preregistration is advised by August 8.

For more information, call Avery at 507 433-3462 or email with the subject “Caregiver Support Program.”