Caregiving & Aging September 2021 Newsletter
Sep 10, 2021
Happy 35th Anniversary, Caregiving & Aging!
This year we celebrate 35 years of being a pioneer in the aging and caregiving field .
It all started back in 1986, when FamilyMeans made an important decision to add a focus on aging. Caregivers and families were struggling and a way to give them respite was the seed of our present day Caregiving & Aging program. Volunteers have always been the central part of the FamilyMeans respite programs. Day Out, our group respite program, is celebrating a 10-year birthday. Day Out has utilized volunteers and staff to provide engaging activity for care receivers while offering breaks for the caregivers.
Current Caregiving & Aging director, Beth Wiggins, states, “We learned that respite was the tip of the iceberg for what caregivers needed, so we added more.” Soon, caregiver coaching and consultation became the
backbone of the program and these services have reached over 1000 caregivers. Beth Wiggins started in 2012 during a new strategic planning period that called for more extensive aging services. Caregiving & Aging has now expanded into the community to make dementia more visible and reaches out to local businesses and organizations with Dementia Friendly @ Work training and dementia awareness. With the addition of unique education classes and cutting edge VR learning experiences about aging and dementia, FamilyMeans Caregiving & Aging is on the map as a place where both caregivers and care receivers thrive.
With the addition of the new role of Dementia Program Coordinator, services have been added for people with dementia and memory loss. New programming such as Community Connection and Journey Together groups for early stage dementia and memory loss have been created to reach out to the many people who are planning lives with a dementia diagnosis.
So many volunteers, staff, participants and community members have been touched by the Caregiving & Aging legacy. We thank all volunteers and those who have laid our foundation. Congratulations to our current staff who continue to serve those who are aging and those who are caregivers. It is a legacy that will continue well into the future.