New Virtual Program for Family Caregivers to Help Community With Challenges

The caregiver needs help, too.

A virtual program called [Care]Giving & Taking: Making Time for You, started by Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit and Jewish Senior Life of Metropolitan Detroit, has proved successful that it is being expanded in partnership with Gesher Human Services to support more family caregivers in Michigan.

The initial program ran from January through April 2022, with four sessions involving up to 37 participants in a session. The new program offers seven sessions, and it is hoped will offer programming to a larger community, addressing the frequent challenges of caregiving plus the importance of self-care. The series will start on October 25, and then will be held on the third Tuesday of every month, through April 2023. Programs will run from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. and will be recorded for later viewing for those unable to attend at that time. Some programs will be devoted to valuable resources, while others will focus on the personal wellbeing of the caregiver themselves.

The first 125 registrants can also pick up a gift bag containing items applicable to all sessions such as resources, self-care items and fun tools to help engage participants during the virtual events. 

The program is funded by a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Legacy Fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and a grant from the Jewish Federation of North America. The project was made possible by the partnership of The Dorothy and Peter Brown Jewish Community Adult Day Program, a day program for adults living with dementia, Gesher Human Services, Jewish Family Service and Jewish Senior Life.  

To register click here or at the events page at brownadultday.org. For an image of bags which will be provided to caregivers click here.

Topics being offered include:

·       Oct. 25: Caregiving and social isolation

·       Nov. 15: Hospice 101 and how hospice can be beneficial the earlier it is engaged

·       Dec. 20: Tune into yourself! Caregiver wellness and empowerment through music

·       Jan. 17, 2023: Estate planning essentials

·       Feb. 21, 2023: Embracing the wellness warrior within through movement, mindfulness, and motivation

·       Mar. 21, 2023: Fall prevention – reduce fear of falling and increase physical activity

·       Apr. 18, 2023: Nourishment and self-care: The art of dough making

Director of the Brown Program, Debi Banooni, said the expanded program was being offered as Michigan’s caregivers face another isolating winter, made particularly tough during the last two years because of the pandemic.

“We are concerned about caregivers who put their heart and mind in looking after the ones they love but spend too little time taking care of themselves that they end up with their own health problems,” said Banooni. “Our program is about providing contacts, resources and options and reminding people that they are not alone.”

Director of Residential Marketing and Community Relations at Jewish Senior Life of Metropolitan Detroit, Tracey Proghovnick Edelstein, added: “Providing these programs is imperative as most of us will either be on the giving or receiving end of the caregiving journey at some point in our lives. It’s so important to be prepared and know others care about what you are going through.”

For more information contact Emily Gordon, Caregiver Support Program Coordinator at Jewish Family Service, at egordon@jfsdetroit.org or by calling 248.970.2779. Participants do not have to commit to attending every program but can pick and choose which are most applicable to themselves and their families. To find out more about the Brown Program, which is run by Gesher Human Services and Jewish Senior Life of Metropolitan Detroit, go to brownadultday.org.

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