November is National Caregiver Month. I know this is only September but it we are looking ahead because there is a wonderful event coming, and we want everyone to have the opportunity to plan ahead to attend.

A core group of local professionals and agencies like Elder Options, the Alzheimer’s Association, Home By Choice and the Senior Healthcare Centers have hosted a community Caregiver Event over the past 15 years. Perhaps some of you have attended. The goal has always been to bring our caregivers together to honor, educate and offer an experience of care and support. For the past few years the Caregiver Conference lead has been through Elder Options.

This year’s event is called Creativity in Dementia Care: using visual art, spoken word poetry and storytelling. It will be hosted by our very own local expert Tom Rinkoski who also leads the Savvy Caregiver classes. It will be held on Thursday, November 12 from 8:30 a.m. til 2 p.m. at the UF Conference Center. Please see the information for details/RSVP inside.

This workshop is a great opportunity for caregivers to practice the 4 R’s of coping. According to Helen Hunter, ACSW, LSW, GCM in Today’s Caregiver these R’s are reorganize, rethink, relax and release. By focusing on creative elements of visual art and sharing we can add an additional “R” and hopefully find new ways to relate our caregiving experiences, to share our stories and to find comfort and care in the experience of the day. I am looking forward to seeing you there!

Cheryl Robinson, LCSW