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Caregiver Series Offers Coping Strategies and Tips for Providing Quality Care

Caring for a loved one can be a difficult job. You may have a range of responsibilities that can often feel overwhelming, and it can take a serious toll on your own health and well-being. Washington Hospital has launched a new Family Caregiver Education Series that can give you the information and strategies you need to cope while providing the quality care your loved one deserves.

Caregiving comes in many forms. You could be taking care of someone with a chronic disease, dementia, or other disabling condition. Maybe it’s an aging parent or spouse. There are many reasons you might be providing care to someone you know, which could include everything from shopping and household chores to providing assistance with all the daily tasks of living, including dressing, bathing, and eating, as well as managing medical care and legal affairs.

“As a caregiver, you want to be there for your loved one, but sometimes it can be challenging,” said Lucy Hernandez, community outreach project manager at Washington Hospital. “The Family Caregiver Education Series covers a range of issues that are common among those who are caring for someone. It’s a comprehensive program and caregivers are encouraged to attend all the sessions. But that’s not required. You can choose the sessions that work best for you.”

The free six-week series will be held Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. beginning on August 4. Subsequent sessions are scheduled for August 11, 18, and 25, September 1 and 10. They will be held at the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium, 2500 Mowry Avenue (Washington West), in Fremont. You can register online at or by calling 800.963.7070.

Taking Care of the Caregiver. The first session will focus on self-care so you can stay healthy and able to care for your loved one. Caregiving can be both physically and emotionally demanding, so it’s important that you take good care of yourself. “If you don’t make sure you get what you need, like enough sleep, proper nutrition, and a break once in a while, you put your own health at risk,” Hernandez said.

Advocacy for Caregivers. Many caregivers also have to advocate for their loved ones when it comes to health matters and other issues. This session will help you learn to navigate the medical system and work with health care professionals.

Day to Day Aspects of Caregiving. The third session covers some of the issues that arise on a daily basis. This could include managing medications and eating schedules or when it’s time for a loved one to stop daily activities like driving.

Managing Family Dynamics. Family members don’t always agree on the care your loved one should be receiving and negotiating some of these differences can be tough. The fourth session tackles the issue of family dynamics.

Legal and Financial Affairs.
The fifth session is about handling legal and financial affairs. This could include medical coverage, wills and trusts, and advance directives, which state your loved ones wishes for medical care, including any life-sustaining treatments, and who will make care decisions for them if they aren’t able.
“This session will help caregivers understand what their loved one’s health care insurance covers and how these legal documents work,” Hernandez said. “Legal matters can be intimidating.”

Panel Discussion. The final session will be a panel discussion that includes many of the expert presenters. Attendees will have the opportunity to get their questions answered and make sure they have all the tools they need to provide quality care for their loved ones.

“We know there are many caregivers out there who could use this information and support,” Hernandez added. “If they aren’t able to attend all of the sessions, they can see them on InHealth.”

InHealth is Washington Hospital’s cable access channel on Comcast 78. It airs a variety of health and wellness programs produced by Washington Hospital. You can also view InHealth online at

For information about other programs and services at Washington Hospital that can help improve your health and well-being, visit