MGI Offers Free Program for Caregivers

MGI Offers Free Program for Caregivers
Imagine if you lost a parent and suddenly needed to care for the surviving parent.  Or, if a parent developed an acute or chronic medical condition, or dementia or Alzheimer’s, and could no longer live on their own.  Perhaps they live in another state.  What if you lost your spouse?  Will you know what you need to do?  Do you know where to go to get the essential information you will need to cope with this?  Do you even know what the questions are that you need to ask and the skills you need to learn?
Recognizing the challenges that the growing number of caregivers face, Mystic Geriatrics Institute (MGI) has addressed those challenges by developing a multi-session program to help caregivers learn what they need to do, hopefully before they find themselves in a difficult situation.  
The program will be offered over two Saturdays in January – January 15th and January 22nd – and will be held at the Mystic Branch of the Ocean Community YMCA, 1 Harry Austin Drive, Mystic.  The sessions are FREE, but participants must register beforehand.  The program will run from 9:30-3:30.  Coffee and water will be available and a boxed lunch will be provided. 
The first day (January 15th) will cover the following topics: 

  • Loneliness/Isolation (Bonnie Pollard Johnson & Fr. Mark Santucci) – Both the caregiver and their loved one can feel the effects of isolation and it can have a negative impact on one’s health and wellbeing.  Learn how to recognize the signs of isolation and how to avoid its side effects and connect with resources.
  • Financial Matters (Matthew Spring, AIF, CFP) – Lack of financial planning can mean running out of money as health care costs and daily living expenses increase.  Financial insecurity can follow the loss of a spouse.  Know the qualifications and limitations of Medicare and Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, life insurance and long-term care insurance. 
  • Care of the Caregiver (Fr. Mark Santucci & Robin Ely, RN, DNP) – Learn how to identify difficult feelings that impact caregivers and discuss strategies to help caregivers deal with the negative impacts of care giving, as well as easy practices that can be added to your daily life to help you be happier as a caregiver, and identify and utilize spiritual resources.  
  • Legal Considerations (Jean Hendren Ceddia, Esq.) – Areas covered will include health care and long-term care planning; the importance of wills, living wills, advance directives, powers of attorney, conservatorships and guardianships; management, inheritance and administration of an estate; taxes, probate.
The second day (January 22nd) will cover the following topics:
  • Home Sweet Home (Sandra Sharr, Esq. & Dr. Shayla Adams, PT, DPT) – Most adults want to stay in their homes as they age.  Although major modifications can be costly, learn how some simple changes or inexpensive products will enable you and your loved one to “age in place.”   
  • Activities of Daily Living (Dr. Shayla Adams, PT, DPT) – Understand how to assess your loved one’s ability to complete activities of daily living (ADLs) to help ensure they live their best life. We will focus on answering the questions of what are Activities of daily living, why are they important and how/when they should be assessed.
  • Nutrition (Christopher Morren, MD, FACP) – This session will emphasize the importance of proper nutrition for the elder person, and ways to assess the their nutritional status and manage their diet.    
  • Elder Emergencies:  All Hands on Deck (Michael Feltes, MD, Geriatrician) – This presentation will focus on how to assess the elder in an emergency and how to tend to minor injuries and illnesses.  You will learn crisis care skills (choking, bleeding, pain, poisoning, CPR); the effects of brain changes (confusion, delirium, seizure, unconsciousness); and the importance of preparing a supportive network. 
MGI is a non-profit organization with a mission to make a significant difference in improving the lives of the elderly and to make our Southeastern Connecticut a center of excellence for elder well-being through education and collaborative efforts.

REGISTRATION:  COVID protocols will be followed.  Participants must present proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test.  Masks will be required.   Register through the MGI website ( or by calling (860) 857-2110.  Please specify whether you will be attending one day or both days.  If only one day, please specify either January 15 or January 22.
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