Free SAVVY Caregiver programs coming to three area towns

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Caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or another dementia is a daunting, overwhelming endeavor. Caregivers need help to learn how dementia is affecting their loved one’s behavior. They need strategies for communication and knowledge about challenging behavior management. Caregiving can lead to loneliness and depression.

The Eastern Area Agency on Aging is sponsoring the popular SAVVY Caregiver training in Brownville, Corinna and Greenville beginning in May. The six-week SAVVY trainings are a total of 12 hours during May, June and July. These classes present the skills and knowledge to succeed in caregiving as well as provide an opportunity to develop a system of support among class members thereby alleviating the social isolation of a caregiver.

Brownville classes will be held on Fridays from 1-3 p.m. at the Community Church building on May 5, 12, 19 and 26 and June 2 and 9.

Corinna classes will be held on Wednesdays from 1-3 p.m. at the United Methodist Church on May 27, 24 and 31 and June 7, 14, and 21.

Greenville classes will be held on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon at the C.A. Dean Memorial Hospital board room on May 27, June 3, 10, 17 and 24 and July 1.

SAVVY Caregiver Program Leader Cheryl Crabtree will teach the classes. Crabtree completes her master’s in human relations from Husson University this spring. Participation in the care of her aging father demonstrated to her the unexpected demands of managing someone in cognitive decline. She has lived the experience of dementia care.

Crabtree has lead SAVVY classes in Milo and Dover-Foxcroft with positive results. Charles Buzzell of Milo expressed, “I never would have understood dementia the way I do if it had not been for Cheryl’s insights. Cheryl’s class covered medication management, anger management, fall prevention, finding less costly drugs, financial planning, legal document acquisition, asset management and exercise routines.”

Minnie McCormick said, “I found SAVVY with Cheryl very informative. She has a nice way of getting things across. It was comforting to be with others experiencing the same problems. I would recommend this program to anyone caring for someone with dementia.”

If you would like to register for the classes in either Brownville, Corinna or Greenville, please call the Eastern Area Agency on Aging at 941-2865.


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