Caring Support for Family Caregivers

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Many Montgomery County, MD residents are taking care of a family member who is age 60 or older and is disabled or chronically ill. Several thousand seniors are raising a relative who is age 18 or younger. The Montgomery County Telephone Reassurance for Caregivers Program provides support, companionship, and information for family caregivers who frequently feel isolated, overwhelmed, and exhausted by their caregiving experiences.

A weekly 20 minute phone call from a trained, caring volunteer gives caregivers an opportunity to talk about their experiences, stay connected with the community, become more aware of the importance of self-care, and identify other resources that can make caregiving a little easier. Each caregiver is matched with one volunteer who gets to know and genuinely care about her/him.

Training for prospective volunteers will be held on Saturday, March 25 from 9:30 am 3:30 pm at Charter House, 1316 Fenwick Lane, Silver Spring. Topics covered during the training include caregiver needs and challenges, volunteer roles and responsibilities, effective listening/communication, community resources, and program policies and procedures. The program also needs volunteers to make presentations to recruit caregivers and volunteers; edit the quarterly newsletter; make follow-up calls to agencies, organizations, etc.; and provide program administrative support.

The Telephone Reassurance for Caregivers Program is one of the senior caregiver services offered by the Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services, Aging & Disability Services. The program is coordinated by the Montgomery County Volunteer Center. For additional information about the Telephone Reassurance for Caregivers program or to make a reservation for volunteer training, call the Montgomery County Volunteer Center at 240-777-2600.

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