BY JENNIFER SOLIS
---- — NEWBURY — A program addressing the needs and stresses of people caring for ailing or aging friends or loved ones begins in town next month.
“Powerful Tools For Caregivers” is a six-week educational workshop designed to empower people to take care of themselves as they help a parent, spouse, friend living at home, in a nursing home or across the country. The free program, offered by Elder Services of Merrimack Valley, Inc., runs every Tuesday, 6 to 8 p.m., from Oct. 15 through Nov. 19 at the Newbury Council on Aging, 63 Hanover St. The sessions enable caregivers to develop their own box of self-care tools based on the following topics:
Taking Care of You
Identifying and Reducing Stress
Communicating Feelings, Needs and Concerns
Communicating in Challenging Situations
Learning from our Emotions
Mastering Caregiving Decisions
Respite care may be available during the class times but must be requested in advance. This workshop is not intended for professional caregivers.
For more information or to register for classes, call Newbury Council on Aging at 978-462-8114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In other COA news, Margaret Jerome, 81, Newbury’s own “Biking Grammy,” surpassed her own fundraising goal to ride 2013 miles and raise $2,013 for the Newbury Council on Aging by year’s end. Instead, Jerome has already biked over 3,000 miles and raised over $2,500 so far this year. She will continue biking an average of 13 miles per day, frequently on the rail trail, and is accepting donations until Dec. 1. Checks may be made out to Margaret Jerome, with the phrase “Newbury COA donation” on the memo line and sent to the Newbury COA at 63 Hanover St., Newbury, MA 01951.
Senior citizens are reminded that the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Participants will be receiving information about the program and take time to review their Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan (HMO, PPO). This enrollment period is the only time a change in your plan will be allowed for 2014. Anyone needing help in understanding the choices available may contact the Newbury Council on Aging at 978-462-8114 to make an appointment with a trained SHINE counselor.