Local Community Resources Not Skipping A Beat Supporting Family Caregivers

Carol Kinsel, Owner of Senior Care Solutions, meets with dear friends and colleagues of key organizations that offer invaluable support to our community. Carol is joined by: Denise Davis, Program Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association, Northern California and Michelle Nevins, MBA, Executive Director, Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center.This conversation highlights important resources for our devoted family caregivers to stay connected anytime, and especially during this pandemic. To view the video interview please click here:  https://youtu.be/liVh1Ar7V9Y

How COVID-19 Has Changed How You Serve Our Community:

Alzheimer’s Association: All of our support groups are now offered virtually, either on the telephone or through Google Meets. Chapter wide, we have over 100 support groups facilitated virtually by our amazing volunteers, so if a family caregiver would like to attend, there is a support group happening almost every single day. We moved most of our education programs to a live-meet as well. Our website also has many education programs that have been taped, so if someone wants to view “Know the 10 Signs” or “Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body”, these popular classes are available on our website https://burniva.com/.

Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center: The biggest change is that our staff is all working remotely. We are still in contact with our clients via the telephone, and some clients participate via Zoom. It’s wonderful to report that many are doing pretty well and are thankful for the contact they’re receiving from their family consultants. The voice on the other end of the phone is the most important to our clients at this point. We’re moving some of our education training online, but we are still here and serving our clients.

Senior Care Solutions: Our staff is working remotely and serving clients on a daily basis. We are seeing a lot of people plan ahead and getting important documents in order. Many are preparing for next steps for their loved ones, for when things are a bit more comfortable to make changes. We are also hosting our monthly caregiver support groups on Zoom.

Helping Individuals Adapt to Technology:

Alzheimer’s Association: We sent email reminders out about our support groups. A nice feature in Google Meets is that the facilitator can share a screen with the end-user and walk through how to use the platform. With a little time and patience, individuals have felt really good about it and participated. Technology isn’t perfect, but it is about the care and support and connecting with peers – being able to see familiar faces you used to see in person in group meetings.

Del Oro: There’s has been hesitation with technology with some of our clients, but most of the technology is pretty user friendly. For our Zoom meetings, we spend the first few minutes orienting folks to their screens, where to find things and how they can participate in the group. We co-hosted a support group and initially scheduled an hour thinking that would be plenty of time, but the group ended up going for another hour because people are eager for connection and support.

How Staff Are Adapting:

Alzheimer’s Association: Our main goal with the shelter-in-place orders is to keep our clients, volunteers and staff safe. Our team is doing well acclimating to the technology, and we’re spending a lot more of our time on the phone – staying in touch with family caregivers and persons with the diagnosis. With telephone connections, you miss out on body language, gestures and have to focus much more on active listening.

Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center: Our staff can’t wait to be back in the office and see each other in person. As a small, relationship-oriented team, we miss that in-person camaraderie. Working remotely is not easy, and right in the middle of all of this, we’re in the process of upgrading to new technology. So there’s a lot of change happening, and the staff remain positive and resilient as we go through this!

Senior Care Solutions: Our tight-knit work family misses each other. We are used to brainstorming all day long together. We still do that, but it’s done differently now. We’re meant to be adaptable creatures and as we walk through this time, we need to put our fears to the side and know that we are going to come out of this!

Resources Offered:

Alzheimer’s Association: All of our programs are being brought virtually, and our 24/7 Helpline is also available. We offer information and support via our toll-free telephone number, as well as care consultations – talking to a consultant about resources and planning of care. We provide our caregiver support groups for those caring for a family member or dear friend. We also have small funds for a respite grant and we are able to offer respite hours through in-home care. Our education classes are available on our website, and all are being brought live now too. www.alz.org | (800) 272-3900

Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center: We still offer our package of services, and I think the most important one right now is the family consultation – the ability to connect one-on-one with a family consultant about their caregiving situation – how it’s going, understanding their most immediate needs, how they’re coping or not coping, and their mental and physical wellness. Additionally, respite care is available, and though we were previously able to offer respite at adult day care or an assisted living facility, it’s only in-home care that is currently being provided to eligible caregivers. We’re also offering support groups and we’ve taken all of our education online – upcoming events are posted on our website and social media. www.deloro.org | (916) 728-9333

Our Message to You:

Alzheimer’s Association: Don’t be afraid to reach out – the support groups are a great way to connect with peers. Although we are sheltering in place – we’re physically distancing, that doesn’t mean we can’t connect. Also, I would include your circle of care – a neighbor with whom you can communicate by phone, family members, siblings, a dear friend, someone at church or synagogue, reaching out and just checking in with each other and see how you’re all doing.

Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center: Don’t isolate with your caregiving situation! You may be at home to stay safe as part of COVID-19, but don’t forget how important it is to be in community. Please reach out – we’re here and we want to talk to you and help support you the best we can.

Senior Care Solutions: If you’re anticipating making a change for your loved one, such as in-home care or placement out of the home, now’s the time to plan – to do your due diligence and take this down time to educate yourself. Our staff is definitely there to support you.

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, we have found ways to adapt and continue to offer you our services. We are eager to hear from you and support you in your journey.

Senior Care Solutions invites you to get in touch with us in the following ways:

Phone: (916) 965-5565 | After Hours or on Weekends:(916) 821-2273

Email: info@seniorcs.com

Complete an online Inquiry Form here.

Interview content adapted by Taryn Benson, MHA

We Offer Our Services For FREE

Our experienced Family Consultants specialize in assessing individual needs and determining the best resources and solutions.

Learn more