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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
Callahan Center offering evening support group forcaregivers in May 
The Framingham Council on Aging will be offering a new evening Caregiver Support Group at the Callahan Center.

This support group is a drop-in group and will be held on the the second Tuesday of each month from 6-7 p.m. and facilitated by Assistant Social Services Supervisor Cheryl Lavallee MSW, LICSW.

The first meeting will be on Tuesday, May 8, and the group will run through October. It is open to caregivers from all MetroWest communities. For more information, contact the Callahan Center at 508-532-5980.
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Blaire House presenting educational event for memory issues on May 3 
Blaire House of Milford's recently expanded Adult Day Health Center is offering a free educational event for people with memory issues or those caring for them on May 3.

"Seven Steps to Managing Your Memory" will feature a talk by  Dr. Andrew Budson, author of the book by the same name. Budson will explain how individuals can distinguish changes in memory due to Alzheimer's versus normal aging, what medications, vitamins, diets and exercise regimes can help, and the best habits, strategies and memory aids to use, in seven simple steps.
 
The talk will take place on Thursday, May 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Memory Care Program building at Blaire House (20 Claflin Street, Milford, MA). The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served, but space is limited so please RSVP to   Megan Murphy  at 774-217-4118  by April 26. 
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A Brighter Day Memory Cafe now meeting at Temple Beth Am
A Brighter Day Memory Cafe is moving to a new day and location in April.

The Cafe will now be held at Temple Beth Am (300 Pleasant Street, Framingham, MA) and will be held on the third Thursday of each month from 1-2:30 p.m.

To learn more about the Cafe or reserve a free spot, please call Karen Block at 508-875-3100 x400 or email   kblock@jfsmw.org.
 
The Cafe is presented by JFS of MetroWest, with co-sponsors Heritage at Framingham and the Callahan Center.
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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 508-481-0809 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 Anne Manning at 978-443-3055 to RSVP.

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. 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.
April, 2018
More Memory Cafes a Boon to Caregivers 
Looking at the rise of memory cafes in the area and how they are helping family caregivers   
Memory cafes are one of the most unique - and most beneficial - resources for family caregivers and the loved ones they are caring for who have Alzheimer's or another form of dementia.

Memory cafes are also one of the fastest growing resources available for caregivers here in Massachusetts. It was just seven years ago that Tammy Pozerycki, the owner of Pleasantries Adult Day and Consulting Services in Marlborough, created the first memory cafe in the Bay State with the Create A Better Day Cafe. Now there are over 70 in the state, including nearly a dozen in MetroWest.

Pozerycki recently sat down with Caregiving MetroWest's Caregiving Chronicles blog to discuss the growth of memory cafes in the area and why they are so helpful to caregivers and care recipients alike.
 
"A memory cafe provides a welcoming, accepting and supportive environment where a caregiver can bring their loved one with memory loss to enjoy refreshments, entertainment and conversation and create a new social network of friends," said Pozerycki. "And they're free, which is wonderful."

Pozerycki also encouraged caregivers who may be a bit hesitant to attend a memory cafe to give it a try and see the benefits firsthand.

"I think for the caregiver there's bit of anxiety-provoking at first due to the stigma of the disease and the reactions they may get other places," said Pozerycki. "But once they attend a cafe it's like they can breathe a sigh of relief. They can feel the comfort, relief and joy of the person they're caring for. I've seen caregivers arranging to meet up outside of the caf
es. It's like creating mini support networks.

"I find that once they attend, they return," added Pozerycki. "Once they experience what it's like, they're sold. You just have to try it once."

To read all of Pozerycki's insight on memory cafes and their impact on MetroWest caregivers, check out the full entry on our Caregiving Chronicles blog
Helping the Next Wave of Family Caregivers
Advice for growing ranks of younger caregivers 
Caregiving is a universal concern. Family caregivers come from every race, religion and socioeconomic status.

And while the need for care may be for primarily older adults, the family members and friends providing that care can be of almost any age. And recent trends have shown more and more younger adults taking on roles in helping to care for elders in their family.

That trend has been reflected in the significant rise in traffic to our section with Advice for Young Caregivers on CaregivingMetroWest.org. Since the start of this year, only our homepage, the Caregiving Chronicles blog, clickable MetroWest map and support groups pages have been visited more than our young caregivers page.

Fortunately, that page is a particularly useful, informative and easy to read section, supplied with insight and first-hand experience from former BayPath Director of Client Services Liz Tretiak, who now serves as the Director of Elder and Human Services for the town of Littleton.

Here's a sample of Tretiak's advice:

"Hello Young Adult Caregivers in Your 20s & 30s,  

"Are you out there? This is an open letter to you all. Are you sitting there wondering 'What Happened?' and 'How did I get here?' like I am? I bet you've noticed by now that life is unpredictable and ever-changing.

"What we once considered our normal day-to-day life has changed. What happened to my routine? Everything is upside down and backwards. We're now essentially parenting our parents - this can't be normal, can it? This all has left me asking, 'How do we navigate our "
'new normal'?' How can we as young adults suddenly caring for our parents not just  survive, but  thrive  in this new landscape?"

Read all of Tretiak's insight on our Advice to Young Caregivers page.


Alicia's Tip of the Month
Resources for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
Are you a grandparent raising a grandchild?

There are many resources for this type of 
caregiver  that I feel are not shared or known as well as they should be!

I wanted to pass along a few links for grandparents who may be looking for support as well as other resources and information!

Support groups  can be found here on the  Support Groups page on our Caregiving MetroWest website.

The Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren also has a   website  dedicated to resources, information and events just for you!

You can also contact GRG Coordinator  Colleen Pritoni directly for questions by email at   colleen.pritoni@state.ma.us or by phone at 617-748-2454.

 

(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.)  
Avoiding Financial Exploitation
Latest Q&A discusses issues for older adults and caregivers related to financial exploitation   
In our latest Caregiving Chronicles Q&A, we discuss the important issues involving the financial exploitation of older adults, what caregivers should know about these issues, and how to prevent them with Juanita Allen Kingsley of the Natick VNA.
 
Kingsley opened the Q&A by discussing exactly what the term financial exploitation means and why seniors are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse?

"Financial abuse is the unauthorized use of an individual's property, money or pension. It can involve unauthorized changes to an individual's will or improper obtaining of   power of attorney," said Kingsley.

"Every year seniors lose up to $36.5 billion from various types of financial abuse and exploitation. This is a serious matter and one that deserves attention, particularly for those diagnosed with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. These cognitive conditions make older adults even more susceptible to scammers and criminals.

"If no relatives live nearby and no friends regularly check in, it's easy for strangers to step in and befriend an elderly person for financial gain. As elders become less able to maintain their homes, more service providers may have entry into their homes and property to perform tasks that they used to do themselves. Whenever possible, close friends or relatives of an older person should be present during a contract signing or when home repairs are done to decrease the risk of contractor fraud."

To read the rest of Kingsley responses, check out the full Q&A
on our Caregiving Chronicles blog. And feel free to check out the blog's archive for past Q&As and all of our informative posts. 
Educational Events Coming Up
Northborough, Sudbury and Marlborough hosting events for Alzheimer's caregivers    
If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, there are some educational events upcoming in the area that could be helpful.

On Saturday, April 28, the MetroWest Alzheimer's Partnership will host a panel discussion, " Alzheimer's Disease: Conversations with Caregivers," in Northborough.

The event will be held at the Northborough Senior Center (119 Bearfoot Road, Northborough, MA), with registrations and refreshments at 9:30 a.m., the speaking program at 10 a.m. and questions and answers at 11 a.m. A panel of former caregivers will provide insight and helpful strategies for people caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer's.

To reserve a spot, call the Alzheimer's Association 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.

Just two days later, on Monday, April 30 in Sudbury, the I'm Still Here Foundation will present a free Alzheimer training for family caregivers

The informative training session features Hearthstone Alzheimer Care's award-winning "I'm Still Here" approach, which provides a proven method for increasing quality of life while reducing the behaviors that caregivers often find challenging. In this four-hour innovative training session, caregivers will learn how to use Hearthstone's time-tested methods to create strategies for successfully caring for and engaging their loved one at home.

The training is free for anyone caring for their loved one at home, and will be held at the Sudbury Senior Center (40 Fairbank Road, Sudbury, MA) from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Lunch will be served, but seating is limited, so please RSVP to 978-443-3055 or   senior@sudbury.ma.us.

Finally, on Tuesday, May 22, the Elder Community Collaborative in Marlborough will host "Meet Me at the Movies ... And Make Memories" at  Assabet Valley High School.

This free, interactive film program is open to all, designed for people with memory loss, their friends and loved ones.

The event with be at Assabet (215 Fitchburg Street, Marlborough, MA), the first dementia-friendly high school in Massachusetts. Registration is at 9:30 a.m., with the program beginning at 10 a.m. and a complimentary lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. at the school's Epicurean Restaurant.
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.