Learning to lend a hand to the aging

Most of us don’t get much preparation for becoming caregivers to disabled family members — it just happens. What do you do when your aging parent shows signs of dementia? Or breaks a hip? How can you sustain your own quality of life when you’re caught up in maintaining an older loved one’s day-to-day existence? Who can you turn to when it comes to planning for that elderly individual’s future?  How do you find help when taking care of your parent or spouse becomes too exhausting?

The Henderson County Council on Aging and the Healthy Aging Coalition of Henderson County will offer a lecture series, Community Resources for Family Caregivers, to run on four consecutive Tuesdays, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., starting Oct. 30. The series is designed to answer caregivers’ questions and help families connect to the resources they need to care for an aging family member.

• Oct. 3: Representatives from Park Ridge Home Health and Mountain Home Care will discuss home health-care choices.
• Nov. 6: Staff from the Alzheimer’s Association and Memory Care will talk about caring for family members with dementia.
• Nov. 11: Elder Law Attorney Caroline Knox will partner with Shelley Pew Brown from Pisgah Legal Services to discuss legal issues and planning.
• Nov. 20: The program will highlight respite care and adult daycare choices, presented by Carol McLimans, Family Caregiver Specialist with Land of Sky Regional Council, and Karla Reese, Pardee Pavilion Adult Day Care.

The lectures will be recorded and DVDs will be available in early 2008 for family members to borrow.

The cost is $10 per lecture (including a light dinner) or $30 for the series, and pre-registration is required. Sessions will be held at the Leila Patterson Center near Park Ridge Hospital in Naples, N.C. A limited number of scholarships are available through the Council on Aging. For more information or to register, call the Council on Aging at 692-4203.

—Cecil Bothwell, staff writer

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About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

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