Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

January 10, 2013

Caregivers can find support in four-part series

The Andover Townsman

---- — People caring for loved ones with illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease may want to join a four-part series offered through the town’s BoomerVenture group.

Starting tonight, Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m., the BoomerVenture Campus will begin the four-week series entitled “Coping with Caregiving” at the Andover Senior Center, which is now being called “The Center at Punchard.” The center is at 30 Whittier Court, the bottom floor of the School Administration Building, which is to the rear of Town Offices at 36 Bartlet St. The weekly speakers will each address a different aspect of the caregivers’ journey. On the third week, Andover doctor Rob Schreiber will talk about “The Conversation Project,” an interactive eBook written by Ellen Goodman, a retired Boston newspaper columnist.

“Coping with Caregiving” will run on Thursdays, Jan. 10 to 31. A hot dinner will be provided each night at 6:30 with the presentation beginning at 7 p.m. The cost is $20 for the series. RSVP is required by calling 978-623-8321.

Four local experts explore important aspects of the Caregiving journey in the following order.

Jan. 10: Patricia Horgan, Alzheimer’s and memory impairment specialist at Atria Marland Place on Stevens Street will present “Coping with Change.” According to Boomerventure organizers, people will “identify and discuss the changes your loved one may experience as their disease progresses.” Horgan is described as an international speaker and writer in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with over 25 years experience in assisted living facilities, hospitals and nursing homes.

Jan. 17: Managing the details: Local Baby Boomer Jeanne Pustell, who has been a caregiver of aging parents while home-schooling children for many years, will present “Managing the Details,” and plans to “share her organizational tips for getting it all done – and staying sane!” People will leave with worksheets to help in the process.

Jan. 24: Rob Schreiber, medical director of Outpatient Primary Care, Community-based Programs, Innovation and Development at Hebrew Senior Life will discuss “The Conversation Project” an interactive eBook dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. “The Conversation Project” is a web-based tool developed by Ellen Goodman, retired Boston Globe columnist, to help caregivers understand the needs of their aging parents and to have the difficult discussion of end-of-life wishes. Schreiber, an Andover resident, is a former member of the Andover Senior Center’s Council on Aging board.

Jan. 31: “If I Knew Then, What I Know Now: Hindsight from a Daughter, Insight from a Healthcare Professional” will be offered by Kathleen Scribner, registered nurse and geriatric care manager with Eldercaresmart and Methuen Village. She will talk about caring for parents and in-laws through their 12 years of declining health and discuss role reversals, self-care and the health system’s response to the rise in Alzheimer’s.

For more information about the series call 978-623-8321.