UOG offers training program for family caregivers of persons with dementia 

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For the month of August and continuing throughout the fall, the Isa Psychological Services Center at the University of Guam will provide an opportunity for family caregivers of persons with dementia to participate in an online training and certification program called CARES® Activities of Daily Living™.

This award-winning program focuses on learning how to help persons with dementia with the fundamental activities of daily living (ADLs) across all stages of dementia. Participants will learn effective strategies to support persons with dementia who need assistance with ADLs such as bathing, dressing, eating, grooming, mouth care, and using the bathroom.

The training program includes ten modules: (1) Dementia and the CARES® Approach; (2) Creating Meaning in Activities of Daily Living; (3) Recognizing and Managing Pain; (4) Bathing; (5) Dressing; (6) Eating; (7) Grooming; (8) Mouth Care; (9) Using the Bathroom; and (10) Mobility, Transferring, and Positioning. Participants who complete all ten modules will receive a certificate of completion and will be eligible for CARES® Dementia Certification.

Upcoming modules in August:

Module 1 – Dementia and the CARES® Approach:
• 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 11, or
• 10 a.m. – noon, Saturday, Aug. 14

Module 2 – Creating Meaning in Activities of Daily Living:
• 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 25, or
• 10 a.m. – noon, Saturday, Aug. 28

CARES® was created by HealthCare Interactive®, an organization that specializes in online training for caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. All of the CARES® training programs were developed in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association and include evidence-based strategies grounded in the Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations.

Support group sessions  

The CARES® Activities of Daily Living™ training sessions are part of Isa’s ongoing online support groups for family caregivers of persons with dementia being conducted in collaboration with the UOG School of Health’s Guam/Micronesia Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program. Support group sessions are held remotely on Zoom every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning year-round in 2021. The sessions are free of charge to partners, family members, and other caregivers of persons with dementia who have ties to Guam and the Micronesian region.

Upcoming support group sessions in August:

Sharing Caregiver Stories and Finding Support:
• 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 18
• 10 a.m. – noon, Saturday, Aug. 21

What to expect 

All support groups are client-centered and confidential. They provide a safe place to share the stresses and challenges, successes, and rewards of caring for a loved one with dementia with others who may be going through similar experiences. They also provide a forum for caregivers to participate in presentations led by health care professionals and other community members with expertise in dementia care.

The support groups are facilitated by Iain Twaddle, director of Isa Psychological Services Center who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and is a licensed clinical psychologist; Rhoda Orallo, a social worker with Health Services of the Pacific who holds a master’s in social work; and Nikolas Gutierrez, a counselor with Isa who holds a bachelor’s in psychology.

How to participate 

To attend a family caregiver online support group, use the following Zoom links or call or email Dr. Iain Twaddle or Nikolas Gutierrez at (671) 735-2883 or isa@triton.uog.edu or Rhoda Orallo at (671) 735-3277 or nfcspmgr@teleguam.net.

(UOG Release)

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