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Published December 22, 2020
Wyoming Dementia Together is a new program for caregivers offered through the Wyoming Center on Aging (WyCOA) at the University of Wyoming.
The goal of the program is to “create a vibrant, active community that touches every caregiver in Wyoming to harness personal strengths and local resources to ultimately provide the best care possible for those living with dementia,” says Sabine Schenck, the project’s coordinator.
The program is composed of experienced professionals who collaborate with caregivers to provide free confidential education and support to those whose loved ones are living with dementia.
Caregivers will meet through Zoom technology to learn how to best support their loved ones; learn how to ask for support and connect to community resources; and learn how to build their own resources to manage stress and deal with challenging situations, Schenck says.
The first session, titled “Being the Caregiver I Strive to Be,” is Jan. 20. Other sessions are “Care and Identifying Resources,” Feb. 3; “Self-Care: Physical Self-Care,” Feb. 17; “Self-Care: Mental Self-Care,” March 3; and “Self-Care: Emotional Self-Care,” March 17.
The sessions, all at 10:30 a.m., will not only be a good opportunity for learning, but also for sharing successes and struggles with other caregivers who have family members living with dementia, Schenck says.
The program’s team leader, Carol Taylor, a Jackson licensed clinical social worker with ElderCare Advisors Inc., says Wyoming Dementia Together is available to anyone who is seeking support.
“As the number of those with dementia continues to grow in our state, so, too, does the number of family members caring for their loved ones,” Taylor says. “The need for accessible and consistent support, education and professional care throughout the long journey is critically important. Wyoming Dementia Together has been developed for just that purpose.”
She says the program is available to anyone who is looking for support.
“Composed of a group of professionals along with the caregivers who are in the trenches every day, our goal is to offer best practices along with practical advice about options and approaches to the ever-changing landscape of dementia,” Taylor adds. “We recognize families living with and caring for a loved one with dementia as true heroes. It is our honor and commitment to walk this journey with them.”