Age Well at Home hosting special program for caregivers

Richard lovingly cares for his wife of 63 years as she slips deeper into the depths of dementia.

Janet checks in daily with her elderly parents to be sure their needs are taken care of.

Following her husband’s severe car accident, Mary was cast into the role of caregiver as her husband navigates life in a wheelchair. 

These scenarios are what one may first identify with when answering the question, “Who is a caregiver?”

However, caregivers can also be parents caring for a child with special needs, or siblings managing that care as those with special needs thrive into adulthood. Caregivers can also be members of a family learning to guide those with PTSD or other mental health issues through a new life journey. A caregiver can be an adult child living many miles from their aging parents yet still tries to manage their care.

Age Well at Home, formerly Help Our Neighbors, has taken on the task of helping the Chatfield area better identify who is a caregiver and what resources are available in the community to assist them.

Through a grant awarded by the Mardag Foundation, Age Well at Home, a branch of Active Aging Programs with Catholic Charities of Minnesota, will offer several months of education and wellness-driven events addressing the needs faced during a caregiving journey.

To kick off the implementation of the Mardag Grant, the community is invited to an event titled, “Caregivers Among Us” on Tuesday, Nov. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Legion Room at Chatfield Center for the Arts.

Robin Wolfram, who left her position as a news anchor at KTTC to care for her parents, will share insights from her journey. She will be joined by Jeff Littrell who cares for his wife with a rare disease; Dawn Kullot who parents a child with special needs; and Bernie Merchlewitz who will address the role of respite caregivers.

Along with the chance for speakers to share their stories, there will be a panel to answer questions.

A calendar of future planned classes and educational events will be presented to attendees as well as input taken for topics that those in the community feel need to be addressed.

This event will be recorded for replay on local cable television.

If one knows of a “caregiver among us,” please invite them to attend. Better yet, offer to come along for support or care for their loved one to make it easier for them to participate.

Contact Tina Kerns, Active Aging Programs Coordinator for Fillmore County, at 507-251-0520 with any questions.