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CaregivingMetroWest.org
is a national award-winning website devoted to family caregivers of elders. The interactive site provides easy access to the comprehensive information, local resources and support you need. 
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In the Community
BayPath, Caregiving MetroWest offering Savvy Caregiver course at Callahan Center  
The BayPath Family Caregiver Support Program, Caregiving MetroWest and the Framingham Council on Aging are offering the Savvy Caregiver Program at the Callahan Center this summer.

Savvy Caregiver is a FREE, six-week training series for family and friends who are active caregivers of a loved one with Alzheimer's or a related dementia.

The course will meet weekly on Monday's from 1-3 p.m. from July 9 through August 13 at the Callahan Center (535 Union Ave, Framingham, MA).

The workshop will be facilitated by certified instructors Alicia Rego , the BayPath Elder Services Caregiver Specialist, and Douglas Flynn , the Caregiving MetroWest
Program Manager. They will help participants understand the impact of dementia on both the person being cared for and the caregiver, learn skills to manage daily life and help you become an expert in caregiving for someone with Alzheimer's by learning the skills you need.
 
For more information or to register for the workshop, call 508-532-5980. Class size is limited and registration is required.
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SAGE introduces hotline for LGBT older adults  
SAGE,  the country's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults, has introduced a National LGBT Elder Hotline.

If you have concerns over health and housing, anxiety over today's political climate, worries about infringements upon your civil rights in your community or workplace, woes over a relationship or just are feeling lonely, highly trained LGBT volunteers are available to speak with you and address any topic you care to share.

Operated by the GLBT National Help Center, the SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline is open Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.

Call toll free 1-888-234-SAGE (7243) to reach the hotline. You can also email SAGE@GLBThotline.org to get in touch with them. 
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Caregiving MetroWest serves the following communities:

Ashland, Bellingham, Dover, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Medfield, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millis, Natick, Needham, Norfolk, Northborough, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland, Wellesley, Westborough

Memory Café Reminder
Upcoming and ongoing memory cafés for MetroWest caregivers 
There are now a number of memory caf és offered in the MetroWest area. These cafes offer an opportunity for people caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or another dementia a chance to get some needed relief while still spending time with their loved one and other caregivers in a relaxed and welcoming setting.
 
Here is a listing of some of the ongoing memory cafes in our area:

Create A Better Day Café
- Fourth Sunday of each month from 1-3 p.m. at Pleasantries Adult Day and Consulting Services (195 Reservoir Road, Marlborough, MA). Call
Tammy Pozerycki at 508-335-1968 for more information.
 
Comfort Food Caring Café - Fourth Monday of each month from 12-2 p.m. at the Sudbury Senior Center (40 Fairbank Road, Sudbury, MA).
Call Tammy Pozerycki at 508-335-1968 for more information.
 
Apple Cafe - Second Monday of the month from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at Northborough Free Library (34 Main Street, Northborough, MA). Call Carol Marie DeRienzo at 774-285-2456 or email carol@solacern.com.

A Brighter Day Memory Cafe - Third Thursday of month, 1-2 p.m. at Temple Beth Am (300 Pleasant Street, Framingham, MA). Call JFS of MetroWest at 508-875-3100 x400 or email kblock@jfsmw.org.

Our Time Memory Cafe - Second Tuesday of each month, 1-3 p.m. at Hopkinton Public Library (13 Main Street, Hopkinton, MA). Call Pat Srodawa at 508-497-0108.

Needham Memory Cafe - Second Wednesday of the month from 1-2 p.m. at Treat Cupcake Bar (1450 Highland Ave., Needham, MA). Call 781-444-2266.

Time Out Cafe - Third Sunday every other month from 1-3 p.m. at Welly's Restaurant (153 Main Street, Marlborough, MA). Contact Trish Pope at 508-485-6492.

Sunshine Cafe - Second Tuesday of the month from 12:30-2 p.m. at Westborough Senior Center (4 Rogers Road, Westborough, MA). Call Alma DeManche at 508-366-3000.

Worcester Memory Cafe
- Third Tuesday of each month from 2-3:30 p.m. at  Worcester Senior Center
(128 Providence Street
Worcester, MA). Contact Deb Dowd-Foley at 508-756-1545.
 
For a complete listing of the memory cafés serving MetroWest caregivers and their loved ones, check out our new Memory Cafes page.
May, 2018
Rewarding Partnership 
New community partner Avidia Bank helps fund BayPath Family Caregiver Support Program 
BayPath Elder Services, Inc.  and Avidia Bank have announced a new three-year partnership to help us continue to deliver needed information, resources and support to   family caregivers  throughout MetroWest.

Avidia is donating $105,000 over the next three years, becoming a community partner with Caregiving MetroWest and the entire Family Caregiver Support Program at BayPath.

We are extremely grateful for Avidia's generous support and look forward to being able to help even more area caregivers with the added resources this partnership provides.

Mark O'Connell, president and CEO of Avidia Bank, stated that "although Avidia has been supporting BayPath for many years, I am very pleased to see this particular project come to fruition. We believe that such a partnership benefits both organizations by helping BayPath meet the needs of local caregivers and fulfilling Avidia Bank's commitment to the well-being of underserved communities."

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Avidia Bank in our Caregiver Program," said BayPath Elder Services, Inc. Executive Director   Christine Alessandro. "Both Avidia and BayPath share a commitment to our communities, and their support will assist us in achieving a greater level of service and outreach to caregivers and others."

Read the complete   press release  (pdf) for more information about this exciting new partnership.
(l-r) Avidia Bank President and CEO Mark O'Connell, BayPath Elder Services Board of Directors President Carol DeRienzo, BayPath Executive Director Christine Alessandro and Avidia Senior Vice President of Marketing Mike Allard show off Avidia's generous donation to become a community partner for BayPath's Family Caregiver Support Program.
Helping Caregivers Care for Themselves
Powerful Tools for Caregivers course coming to Marlborough, six-week training starts May 23 
While providing care and comfort to a loved one can be rewarding, caregiving is also a challenging endeavor.  Family caregivers  are thrust into roles in which they lack familiarity, experience or training, all while upending their own lives and schedules. 

Caregivers can find themselves suddenly serving as nurses, chefs, chauffeurs, financial advisers, and dozens of other roles to help their loved ones through an illness or chronic condition. But learning how to do some of the specialized tasks asked of them, while also figuring out how to balance those duties with the demands of their own lives to avoid becoming overcome by stress and burning out takes help. Fortunately, there are educational programs that can help family caregivers learn to better take care of both their loved ones and themselves, including one in Marlborough beginning later this month.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a FREE, six-week educational program designed to help family caregivers. It is led by trained and certified instructors. The workshop is designed to help you take care of yourself while caring for a loved one. You will benefit from this class whether you are helping a parent, spouse or friend, and whether your loved one lives with you, in their own home, or resides in an assisted or supportive living facility.

For communities in the  BayPath Elder Services , the classes are led by BayPath Caregiver Specialist  Alicia Rego  and Caregiving MetroWest Program Manager  Douglas Flynn , who are both trained and certified as Powerful Tools for Caregivers Class Leaders. After a recent workshop in Hudson, participants praised the program in their post-workshop surveys.

"The individual topics are exactly what caregivers deal with and [the class] leaders are so knowledgeable," wrote one respondent. "I'm more equipped to take specific actions. It prompted me to initiate [getting]  respite  for myself and [to hold] another family meeting."

"I have tools to use and know I am not alone now," added another.

"I am more aware of my needs and the possibility of help," said a third respondent.

The next offering of this course will take place in Marlborough, on Wednesdays from 12 to 2 p.m., beginning on May 23 and ending on June 27. The workshops will be held in the Marlborough  Supportive Housing  Community Room at 250 Main Street, Marlborough, MA.

Registration is required. For more information or to register, call 508-573-7239 or email arego@baypath.org.
Alicia's Tip of the Month
Meet Alexa!
Another post for all my tech savvy  caregivers
 
Have you met Alexa? She is one of the first smart speaker home   assistive deviceson the market and can be a wonderful tool to use in the home of our elderly loved ones.

How you ask? Well, Alexa has the capability to turn on lights or other home devices with using just your voice ("Alexa, turn on the lights"). She can also play their favorite music on demand as well as set reminders, date/time/weather checks anytime (as many times as someone say with   dementia  may want to ask this) and tell you the local or national news.  

Alexa also has a "drop in" feature to other Alexa devices - if you, the caregiver, also have a device your loved one can connect with you like a phone call by just saying "Alexa call ____." Not to mention she tells jokes and plays games!

No, Amazon is not paying me for this (I wish!). I actually do believe having an Alexa, or one of the other smart speaker home assistants, can be a great sense of security, a companion, fun and interactive device for someone who may be isolated.

Read more about how this device is a great option for caregivers   here.

Read about how this product was a great addition from someone with dementia himself   here.

And as always, feel free to contact me or your local Caregiver Specialist for more products like this that may be helpful for you and your loved one!
 
(BayPath Caregiver Specialist Alicia Rego offers advice and affirmations with her monthly tip in our newsletter. Check out all of Alicia's tips, thoughts and insights for family caregivers on The Wellness Wall or contact her directly for caregiver support at 508-573-7239 or arego@baypath.org.)  
Learn More About Dementia
Educational opportunities for Alzheimer's caregivers abound in May in MetroWest    
May is shaping up to quite a month for area caregivers looking to learn more about Alzheimer's and related dementias.

On May 22, the Elder Community Collaborative will host "Meet Me at the Movies ... And Make Memories" at  Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School (215 Fitchburg Street, Marlborough, MA), the first dementia-friendly high school in Massachusetts.  This free interactive film program is open to all and designed for people living with memory loss, their friends and loved ones.

The program begins with registration and seating at 9:30 a.m., with the program starting at 10 a.m. and a complimentary lunch served at 11:30 a.m. To RSVP, contact   Debbie Brown  at   dbrown@assabet.org  or 508-263-9881.

On Thursday, May 17, Bridges by EPOCH Memory Care Assisted Living at Sudbury is hosting an educational discussion and book signing with   Greg O'Brien, author of "On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer's." O'Brien details his personal journey of hope and faith through early onset Alzheimer's and his family's fight against the disease.

The talk will be held at UTEC Main Hall (35 Warren Street, Lowell, MA). You can bring your loved one to enjoy an activity with Bridges' life-enrichment team will you attend. Seating is limited. RSVP by calling 978-261-7007 or emailing cgerante@bridgesbyepoch.com.

On May 22, The Meadows at New Horizons in Marlborough will host a continuing education class on " Alzheimer's Disease  ...   Diabetes  of the Brain?" Type 3 diabetes, a term coined by researchers   Suzanne de la Monte, MD  and  Jack R. Wands, MD, is becoming known as a new form of diabetes which causes Alzheimer's like pathological changes in the brain leading to cognitive impairments.

The session will run from 8-9:30 a.m. at The Meadows at New Horizons (420 Hemenway Street, Marlborough, MA). Breakfast will be served in the Broadmeadow Dining Room and CEUs are available for nurses and social workers. 
Happy Fourth!
Where has the time gone? Our little website has now been around long enough to finish a college degree, span a full Olympiad between Summer Games or even last the length of an entire Presidential administration. Yep, Caregiving MetroWest has just turned 4 years old.
 
CaregivingMetroWest.org celebrated the fourth anniversary of its launch on May 16. Our interactive website with comprehensive resources and information on all aspects of caregiving was introduced to the public on this date in 2014, and has since been utilized by more than 63,000 unique visitors and won a National Aging Innovations Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging in 2016.
 
Thank you to all who have visited the site. We hope that we have helped you in your caregiving journey and we look forward to providing information, resources and support to family caregivers for many more years.

Thank you for taking the time to look through our newsletter, and please check out our website, CaregivingMetroWest.org. Have information about a resource that would be useful to MetroWest caregivers? Any other thoughts or feedback on the site? Let us know

Sincerely,

Douglas Flynn
Caregiving MetroWest Program Manager
BayPath Elder Services, Inc.

Winner of a National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)
Aging Innovations Award, placing second nationally in 2016.

BayPath Elder Services, Inc. is a member of the MetroWest ADRC, a partnership with HESSCO and the MetroWest Center for Independent Living. The Family Caregiver Support Program has been made possible in part by funding from the Older Americans Act, as granted by BayPath Elder Services, Inc.