Here’s the scenario: You visit your mother at her home and discover she’s fallen, needs hospitalization and rehab. What will happen when she returns home? What does she need? Who will take care of her?
Find out at the 3rd Annual Family Caregiver Resource Fair will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3, 9 a.m.-noon, at St. Peter’s Parish, 5001 N. Sherman Avenue. The Fair is free and offers a rare opportunity to informally meet with representatives of Dane County’s elderly services network — the community-based organizations, agencies, and businesses that provide services to older adults and their caregivers.
Why on earth would you want to attend this? As 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, everyone at some point will be involved in some degree of caregiving. You may be a family caregiver and not even know it. If you provide unpaid assistance for an older adult, whether it’s running errands, doing housework, replenishing the pillbox, or providing 24/7 care for someone, you are a family caregiver. Caregiving demands can escalate over time and can take a serious physical, emotional and financial toll, particularly for caregivers who also have jobs in the workplace.
Caregiving is hard and you will probably need help. That’s why, in addition to the informational booths, we’re offering a variety of 30-45-minute workshops to address important issues. You can learn how to create your own care support team from Claire Culbertson, Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources. View a short narrative film illustrating common caregiver pitfalls, and then discuss how to avoid them. Learn everything you need to know about Medicare and Medicaid, and gain skills in becoming an advocate for someone in a nursing home.
“The most difficult thing for caregivers to do is make time for themselves,” says Cortney Doescher-Hino, lead case manager for the North/Eastside Senior Coalition. “They come home from work and begin their unpaid job of providing care. Even with the best of resources they’re exhausted. We’ll demonstrate a sure-fire technique guaranteed to give caregivers time for themselves.”
Doescher-Hino will also facilitate an on-site support group, and respite will be provided to enable caregivers to attend.
But what’s a Fair without fun and prizes? We’ll have plenty. Everyone who completes a workshop and visits the exhibitor room is eligible for a drawing. The grand prize this year is a two-night stay at the Heidel House. Other drawing prizes include a half-day spa experience, concert tickets, dinner and a movie tickets, a Trader Joe’s gift basket, and many more goodies. After visiting the informational booths, play Caregiver Jeopardy, for which the category themes are caregiver resources. Answer the question correctly (in the form of a question, please) and you get a prize. Anyone who registers in advance will receive an extra raffle ticket. For details, visit www.nescoinc.org or call 243-5252.
The Family Caregiver Resource Fair is a program of the North/Eastside Senior Coalition (NESCO), funded by the Dane County Family Caregiver Support Program and American Family Insurance. A special thanks to the East Madison/Monona Senior Coalition for their assistance.
Diane Walder, an independent communications consultant, is a volunteer with NESCO.