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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. 
Visit Caregiving MetroWest
Our Community Partner
As always, we would like to express our gratitude to  Avidia Bank our Community Partner, whose generous support helps increase and enhance our efforts to support and assist area family caregivers.  Read more
New role added
Social Media Coordinator
Hi! I am Debra McDonagh, and I am excited to hold the newly created role of Social Media Coordinator for BayPath Elder Services and CareGivingMetroWest.org.  

I will be maintaining our website, revving up our social media posts, and will be managing our blog by writing and collecting interesting stories, facts, and tips on caregiving. Additionally, we will be bringing the CaregivingMetroWest.org newsletter to you on a monthly basis. 

Having had a personal experience as a family caregiver, I am gratified to know that in a small way, I can both assist older adults and caregivers through my efforts to maintain the resources on our website and by posting useful information on how we can support your journey.

I am available  at our offices 508-573-7204 or dmcdonagh@baypath.org  to answer questions or take suggestions as to the type of posts you would be interested in! 
Website Highlight
CaregivingMetroWest.org offers a lot of information and support for caregivers to learn HOW TO BE A CAREGIVER.










In each issue of this newsletter we will highlight an aspect  of our website tools and resources. 

In this issue, the first of 2019, we start by linking you to our:

Providing key insight to help you begin your caregiving journey.

Being a caregiver is an experience that is unique for all individuals. We offer guides and checklists that help you navigate all that caregiving entails and we start with the basics:

Before you can get the help and support you need while caring for a loved one, you must first recognize the role you have taken on.

A brief rundown of what to expect and what you need to prepare for over the course of your caregiving journey.
It is easy to lose sight of self-care when you are caring for a loved one, but you must maintain yo ur own well being as well.

As health declines in your loved one, the caregiver will cycle through several phases, we provide a list to help you prepare

Caregivers are constantly attentive of the needs of the loved ones they are caring for, but all too often can neglect their own needs. We provide a self-care list that helps you fit these tasks into your day. 
We have formulated  a worksheet that will help you figure out just what tasks you can maintain for your loved one and where you need help.

Information and resources for help with unique issues and concerns facing LGBT caregivers and anyone caring for a loved one in the LGBT community.
How can you help provide care assistance if you live far away? We have many tips for how you can stay engaged and provide well needed support from any location.
 
Sometimes the best advice comes from someone going through something similar to your own situation. Here is personal advice from a young professional caring for her elder parents.

Information, resources and support available to grandparents who have taken on the role and responsibility of raising their grandchildren.
Stay Connected
CaregivingMetroWest.org
is on Facebook,

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and on Twitter,

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and now on Pinterest,

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.

Click map to see a full list of
New MetroWest Memory Cafés
New and ongoing memory cafés for MetroWest caregivers 
Memory cafes are a unique resource for  caregivers  and the loved ones they are caring for who have  Alzheimer's  or another form of  dementia . Fortunately, they are also becoming available in more places, especially for caregivers in MetroWest.

Here is a listing of some of the ongoing memory cafes in our area:

Lincoln Memory Cafe

The Commons in Lincoln

1 Harvest Circle, Lincoln, MA 01773 

Fourth Thursday of each month

9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Contact:

Amy Gagne at 978-505-3779 or amy@rightathomecare.com. 


 
Create a Better Day Cafe

Pleasantries Adult Day & Consulting Services 

195 Reservoir St., Marlborough

4th Sunday of the month

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Contact: 

Regina Wolf-Fritz at 508-481-0809 or  

 

Apple Cafe

Northborough Free Library

34 Main Street, Northborough

Second Monday of the month 

12:30-2:30 p.m.

Contact: 

Carol Marie DeRienzo at 774-285-2456 

carol@solacern.com.


A Brighter Day Memory Cafe

Callahan Center 

535 Union Ave., Framingham

Third Thursday of month

10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Contact:

Karen Block from JFS of MetroWest at 508-875-3100, x400 or  

 

Time Out Cafe  

Welly's Restaurant

153 Main Street, Marlborough

Third Sunday every other month 

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Contact: 

Trish Pope at 508-485-6492


Worcester Memory Cafe

Worcester Senior Center 

128 Providence Street, Worcester

Third Tuesday of each month

2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Contact:

Deb Dowd-Foley from Elder Services of Worcester Area at 508-756-1545 or ddfoley@eswa.org.


 

For a complete listing of the memory cafés serving MetroWest caregivers and their loved ones, check out our new Memory Cafes page.









To Caregivers:
Even though your actions may not change the world, they do mean the world to the person you care for.
March, 2019
The Caregiving Chronicles 
If  Depression  could talk, what would it say? 
The Caregiving Chronicles, our regularly updated blog caregivingmetrowest.org, has put together a series of articles that focus on the stigma of depression and why individuals with this diagnosis often hide how they feel rather than openly discuss it or seek help. 


Historically, when someone had seemed to be continually lethargic or sad for no tangible reason, or if they showed little interest in daily activities, it was not viewed as an illness. It was not uncommon for that person to be treated as if they are feeling sorry for them self or even told they should just "snap out of it."

Even today, mental illness still carries a certain stigma and makes many people with depression suffer in silence, forcing a smile on their face. A large  majority of people with depression feel both hopeless and helpless. 

The Caregiving Chronicles editor engaged in an open discussion with an individual over 60, who suffers from persistent major depression.  Click here to see what was shared.

The Caregiving Chronicles sat with Michelle Birdwell, BayPath's Elder Community Care (ECC) Triage Coordinator, and engaged in a Q&A session where Michelle shared with us how, as a caregiver, how we can identify the signs and symptoms of depression within our loved ones.
Part III: How you can support someone with depression.  (To be posted: 3/25/2019)

The Caregiving Chronicles Editor, Debra McDonagh, can be reached at dmcdonagh@baypath.org.
New Social Media Tools
You can now find caregiving tips on our social media pages! Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!
We have expanded our social media reach for Caregiving MetroWest and now have a consistent presence on Facebook and Twitter, a nd now have a presence on

Our Pinterest boards offer fun and informative lifestyle guides and hacks such as cooking for one, easy at-home exercise, nutrition advice, "brain" games for better memory, and other useful inspiration that is relevant to aging and to caregiving. It is a fun tool to share with someone under your care. 

Below is an example of just one of our informative Pinterest boards. Click here to follow us in Pinterest!  


The Wellness Wall
 
BayPath Caregiver Specialist Karen Trilligan offers advice, tips, thoughts and insights for family caregivers on The Wellness Wall.

Check out her latest tips on:

In the post, Karen has sourced numerous ideas to engage your loved one in fun stimulating activities that let you take part in together. Activities range from baking ideas, to easy crafts, and listening to music. The goal is to  offer a person with a form of dementia, a positive and fun experience that will stimulate their brain activity.

Participating  in thought-provoking tasks is a very important step in helping your loved one maintain an interest in the world around them. By doing them together you are also keeping them socially engaged. Both brain stimulation and human interaction have been directly linked to slowing down  individual  memory loss. 

You can contact Karen Trilligan, with for caregiver support at 508-573-7239 or ktrilligan@baypath.org.
.
Caregiving Tip of the Month 
Caregivers need self-care too. 
Often times, when a loved one is sick, all of the attention is on that person and the caregiver's work, devotion, and commitment goes unnoticed.  

Therefore, as a caregiver it is very important to be honest with yourself and admit you need a break or even some time away. This is essential so that you can continue to provide quality care and not burn yourself out.

Four reasons Caregiver's should go on vacation:
  1. Helps to reduce stress - While on vacation, your stress and anxiety levels will go down and it will continue to last when you return. A recent study found that, "after taking time off from work, vacationers had fewer stress-related physical complaints such as headaches, backaches, and heart irregularities, and they still felt better five weeks later."
  2. Helps to keep your heart healthy - According to Framingham Heart Study, "in a 20-year study, researchers found that women who took vacation once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack than women who took at least two vacations per year."
  3. Helps you sleep better - Not sleeping well is often the result of high stress and eating poorly. Taking time away will allow you to focus on yourself, take the stress away, eat better, and get some much needed rest.
  4. Helps recharge your energy levels - Taking a break will help you feel replenished and recharged so that you return better, stronger, and increase your effectiveness as a caregiver.
Some common thoughts caregivers have when deciding to take a vacation:
"I feel so guilty leaving my loved one at home."
"Can I afford to take a vacation?"
"Who will take care of my loved one?"

It's important to try and challenge those guilty thoughts.
Not taking a vacation can have a negative impact - taking extended periods of time without a break can lead to high stress, lack of productivity and creativity, and hurt your relationships.

The BayPath Information and Referral team can assist you in identifying an alternative care plan while your away as well as identify available respite services that can support your loved one while you take care of you!  
Call BayPath Information and Referral: 508-573-7200

This Caregiving Tip has been provided by:
Courtney Cassels, CDP, an Options Counselor here at 
BayPath Elder Services, Inc. 
(508) 573-7231  |  ccassels@baypath.org

Busy Spring for Alzheimer's Association
MetroWest Alzheimer's Partnership hosting a series of informative events in coming months   
The Alzheimer's Association, and in particular the MetroWest Alzheimer's Partnership, has a series of events for both family and professional caregivers scheduled for this spring.

Some of the events in our area include:

Alzheimer's Community Forum: Learn about Alzheimer's, Dementia and Memory Loss
The Alzheimer's Association is here to help. Learn about programs and services offered by the Association to help you live with or care for someone with dementia. Bring a friend who has been affected by the disease. Share your thoughts about how we can help people in your community.Light refreshments will be provided.
Wednesday, March 27, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Franklin Senior Center - 10 Daniel St., Franklin, MA
Registration required. Call 800-272-3900 or by clicking here.

As people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia's progress in their journey and the ability to use words is lost, families need new ways to connect. Join us to explore how communication takes place when someone has Alzheimer's, learn to decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia, and identify strategies to help you connect and communicate at each stage of the disease. 
Wednesday, March 27, 2019,  1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Orchard Hill Assisted Living -  761 Boston Post Rd,  Sudbury, MA 
RSVP 978-218-3010 

Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters
Alzheimer's and other dementia's cause memory, thinking and behavior problems that interfere with daily living. Join us to learn how to recognize common signs of the disease; how to approach someone about memory concerns; the importance of early detection and benefits of a diagnosis; possible tests and assessments for the diagnostic process, and Alzheimer's Association resources.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at  1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Dover Town Library - 
56 Dedham St, Dover, MA 
Registration required. Call 800-272-3900 or by  clicking here .
-or-
Thursday, April 25, 2019, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Franklin High School - 218 Oak St, Franklin, MA 
Registration required. Call 800-272-3900 or by  clicking here.

2019 AlzTalks Series: Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Late Life & in Early Alzheimer's Disease 
Dr. Jennifer R. Gatchel, M.D., Ph.D. , Assistant Psychiatrist in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Instructor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School will present on this topic at the Alzheimer's Association Worcester Office
Thursday April 18th, 2019, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
(5:30 p.m. Reception | 6:00 p.m. Program)
100 North Parkway, Worcester, MA 01605
Free to attend. Please Register . Free parking on site.

The Science of Hope: Progress toward a world without Alzheimer's Disease 
Presented by the MetroWest Partnership, an affiliated Partnership of the Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter .
Saturday April 27, 2019, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Callahan Center: 535 Union Ave., Framingham, MA
To reserve your spot call 508-532-5980

A Map Through the Maze - Conference for Alzheimer and Dementia Care Providers
A practical based Alzheimer's and dementia care conference, offers professionals a unique opportunity to learn current and cutting edge information on a wide range of Alzheimer's related care topics. 
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 
DCU Center,  50 Foster Street,  Worcester, MA

For more seminars in your area click here: 
Caregiving MetroWest | CGMWinfo@baypath.org | http://www.caregivingmetrowest.org
 
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