Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

March 20, 2014

'Coping with Caregiving' series to offer tools, advice

The Andover Townsman

---- — The Center at Punchard launches a valuable education series next month for those caring for loved ones at home.

The four-week “Coping with Caregiving” series meets Thursday nights at 7 starting April 3 through 24 at The Center at Punchard, 30 Whittier Court. Admission is free with registration.

The center has lined up four experts to offer vital information about the challenges and rewards that come with caregiving as loved ones’ needs increase. The speakers, including two Andover residents, will touch on various aspects of the caregiver’s journey.

They include Dr. Suetta Tenney, one of the few geriatric general practitioners in Andover. She has initiated a “visiting doctor” service as well as a hands-on approach to medicine that encourages many approaches to wellness.

Tenney has recently completed a mind-body wellness training and will be offering caregivers in Andover a free, eight-week session on the principles of mind-body medicine starting in June. The program will include instruction in meditation as well as a chance to interact confidentially with others who are undergoing the same challenging situation.

To allow caregivers to attend the program, The Center at Punchard will schedule this summer’s Screening Room showings so they coincide with Tenney’s program to allow caregivers to attend while their loved ones take in a movie.

The “Coping with Caregiving” series will conclude with an overview of The Center at Punchard’s adult day program called Senior Connections. The service offers loving, personal care to seniors who require daily assistance, including some who might otherwise be left at home alone. The program includes lunch and a host of activities aimed at stimulating and engaging participants. Transportation is also provided.

The schedule for “Coping for Caregivers” is:

April 3: Kelley MacDonald, MSN, of Home Health Foundation, presents “A daughter’s tips for the Caregiver,” offering personal and professional insight on the caregiver’s journey.

April 10: Longtime Andover physician Dr. Suetta Tenney, whose practice cares for many Andover seniors and their families, will explore the pitfalls and rewards of caring for one’s aging relatives and friends.

April 17: Heather Carroll, who leads programs and advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association, presents “Changes in Memory: Normal Signs of Aging vs. Alzheimer’s.”

April 24: Senior staff from The Center at Punchard present an overview of support services provided through the center, including Senior Connections, as well as other community-based supports to assist seniors in maintaining their independence and safety.

For more information on the series or to register for any of the offerings, call 978-623-8321.