Caregiver Education for You 

Education programs are offered throughout the year at FamilyMeans and other community sites. Contact FamilyMeans at 651-439-4840 for upcoming dates and locations and to register.

Virtual Reality Dementia Experience 

Caregiver with a virtual headset onFor individuals and groups, this virtual reality (VR) experience is an immersive learning tool that helps users view the world through the perspective of a person living with dementia.

  • Caregivers gain insight and better understand the impact of the disease. 
  • Community members, service providers, and business leaders develop an appreciation for dementia-friendly changes they can make.

How can you participate?

Request a dementia education session and VR demonstration for your group: $175 - $350.

Make an appointment for an individual VR session to experience it yourself and discuss it with a FamilyMeans expert: one hour, $40 (sliding scale for caregivers).

Contact us to discuss consultation, staff training, and workplace education possibilities.

Get started today by contacting FamilyMeans Caregiving & Aging Educator, Jenny West at or 651-789-4015!

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

This six-week series helps caregivers take care of themselves while providing care to someone else. Topics include self-care, reducing personal stress, communicating feelings in challenging situations, learning from emotions and mastering caregiving decisions. Attendees will benefit from this program whether helping a parent, spouse or partner, child or friend who lives nearby or far away.

Shaping Your Tomorrow : Dementia and MCI 

Education, planning, support for those living with dementia and someone important to them.

Shaping Your Tomorrow is designed to meet the needs of both the person with memory loss and a family member or friend. Each week introduces a specific topic for education, planning for the future, and learning from others on a similar journey. Rich discussions with the full group are followed by separate peer conversations: one for people with memory loss and one for their partners. 

  • An understanding place to gather and know you are not alone
  • A supportive learning environment to gain knowledge and ask questions 
  • A chance to talk with others about the dementia experience 
  • Detailed information to help plan and build confidence 
  • An opportunity to shape your tomorrow

Shaping Your Tomorrow : Parkinson's Disease

Shaping Your Tomorrow Living with Parkinson's Disease is designed to meet the needs of both the person living with Parkinson's Disease and a family member or support person. Each week introduces a specific topic for education, planning for the future, and learning from others on a similar journey. Shaping Your Tomorrow provides:

  • A supportive learning environment to gain knowledge and ask questions 
  • A chance to talk with others about your experience 
  • Resources and information to plan and build confidence 

Finding Meaning and Hope

This 10-week series helps family caregivers to learn how to regain hope and build resilience when dealing with the challenges of caring for someone with dementia or other cognitive impairment. In the Finding Meaning and Hope discussion series, you will learn skills that can help you navigate your caregiving journey with healing and hope. This 10-session series features videos and discussions based on the groundbreaking book, Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope While Coping with Stress and Grief by Pauline Boss, Ph.D., a leading expert on caregiver grief. You can learn more by watching the video trailer below

Finding Meaning and Hope and the Meaning & Hope Institute are programs of Duet: Partners In Health & Aging.

Caregiving Deep-Dive

Each quarter, one topic is the focus of an informational session for caregivers. Learn about topics such as technology options for aging in place, ways to use art and music in caregiving, understanding changes in Medicare, and more. 

Aging by Design - Exploring the Possibilities

Aging by Design is a class to help participants create personal paths to retirement, identify individual goals and explore changes as people age. The class breaks sensitive subjects into workable steps for the future.  

Upcoming programs

Education Programs for Your Group

Host a caregiving or aging education session at your workplace, faith community, civic organization or other group. Contact Jenny West, Community Educator, at 651-788-4015 or to make plans for your presentation. Programs can be modified to meet your specific needs.

Click Course to Expand for More Information

Compassionate Caregiving

Are you in fight or flight mode all of the time? Is your stress level through the roof? This seminar helps anyone who wants to sustain their hardiness whether caring for others or not. Determine who will be on your team that will provide you with support and continued assurance. Learn how to develop an outlook that will be a source of strength no matter what!

Communicating Effectively With Health Care Providers

Ever wonder if there is a way to improve communication with your family’s health care providers? This seminar will help anyone who wants to increase communication, get more out of office visits and create a team approach towards health care needs.

A More Balanced You

Do you find yourself stressed? Is your to-do list never ending? What keeps you from taking care of yourself? We all have the same 1,400 minutes in a day and, oftentimes, it is our own perceptions of things that can keep us stuck and unbalanced. Find ways to complete tasks that are important while keeping your busy life balanced at the same time.

My Parents are Getting Older - What Do I Need to Know? 

As parents age, adult children provide more support. What do you know about their health history, financial assets, and long-term wishes? It is important to gather the right information, initiate those difficult conversations, understand your changing roles and learn more about the resources that can help as your parent ages.

Being a Working Caregiver

6 in 10 family caregivers are employed. Are you trying to juggle work, home, family and caregiving responsibilities? This seminar focuses on the impact of caregiver issues in today’s working population. Collecting resources and accessing information early on, can help simplify the process and save you time.

The Power of Laughter

Could you incorporate more laughter into your life? Laughter affects human physiology by reducing pain, strengthening our immune system and decreasing stress. Learn some simple tools and laugh a little along the way. Increasing humor helps put life's trials and tribulations into perspective and allows us to take ourselves less seriously.

Caring from a Distance

Do you worry about your father falling when you are miles and miles away? Is your mother really taking her medication at the correct time with the exact dose and on an empty stomach? Are your thoughts occupied by your parents’ health status? “Distance” caregivers, from across the state to across the country, will be prepared for their role and benefit from gaining knowledge on local community resources to assist their loved ones from a distance.

Be Brave Enough to Start a Conversation that Matters

It’s difficult to know when your concerns should qualify for action and possible change when it relates to another person. How do you bring up concerns over housing, finances, health care advance directives and even death? By recognizing those concerns and knowing what steps may follow, you can prevent crisis and maximize communication with everyone. Start those difficult conversations sooner rather than wishing you had started them months ago.

I Wonder if Mom and Dad Should Move

Ever wonder when is the best time for your parents to downsize? Are you willing to wait for a crisis to occur? This seminar will help anyone who wants to begin the conversation, understand the difficulty of transition when you are old, and honor the significance of maximizing Mom and Dad’s independence. By starting the conversations now you will already be one step further than if you receive the 2AM emergency phone call.

Communicating When Dementia Interferes  

This workshop offers tips for understanding and communicating with someone affected by dementia. Learn strategies and skills to handle troubling behaviors and how to remain connected with your family member. Discussions will cover how dementia affects a person's ability to understand and communicate, and ways to feel more confident in your caregiving role.

Making Decisions Sooner Rather than Later…Your own Health Care Directive

Ever wonder why you would want to think about a scenario that wouldn’t allow you to communicate with those around you? Join us to learn how to identify key people in your life that should know about your thoughts and values. Gain understanding of the importance of expressing your wishes sooner rather than later. Learn about what is included in the Minnesota Health Care Directive. These are easy to complete forms that let you say exactly what your wishes are for the future. Every age is the right age to have a health care directive!

Slips and Trips – Keeping Your Home Safe

Your home is your castle, and it should be the safest castle around. Join us for a great discussion on implementing simple modifications to keep your home as safe as possible with you in it! Establish techniques now, which will keep you independent and having a plan so that you can age in place.

Who Gets What When I Am Gone?

Make sure the memories and the meaning travel on with your mementoes. Learn how to find ways to connect our dearest things with our dearest people. And while we are at it, what do we do with all the not-so-meaningful “stuff” we have accumulated throughout the years? Learn how to be proactive in dealing with a lifetime’s accumulation of possessions and explore helpful tips on how to get started.

When to Worry

Have you ever wondered if you are losing it? Join us for a conversation to better understand what may be “normal” memory loss verses signs of early dementia. Discuss tips on how to manage behaviors and various approaches that can be tried. Resources will be provided.


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What Else Might be Helpful?

Consider attending a Support Group or trying one of our online decision support tools.

Caregiver Companion Cardsprint at home cards that make it easy for caregivers to discreetly share with others that their companion has memory loss, and ask for their patience. These cards are especially helpful at restaurants and grocery stores, but can be used in many different settings.

Meet the Staff