Madison Senior Center staff has arranged for free training classes for individuals assisting in respite care and with Parkinson’s Disease. CONTRIBUTED

Senior center arranges training for respite and Parkinson’s Disease care

MADISON – Madison Senior Center is coordinating two sets of free training classes that can educate individuals about assistance in respite care and for Parkinson’s Disease.

Alabama Lifespan Respite is offering eight hours of free basic training to providers of respite care with its CareAcademy. Unskilled, in-home respite providers will be better prepared to deliver planned and emergency respite services to families. (alabamarespite.org)

Each new participant who completes all eight hours of training will receive a class certificate and will be eligible to receive a $25 education stipend.

Industry experts designed mobile-friendly classes in an easy-to-use video training platform. Classes are available with closed captioning in English and Spanish.

Examples of CareAcademy classes include working and communicating with an aging population, infection control, basic first aid, fall prevention, independent living and basic housekeeping. Participants complete classes at their own pace, MSC Director Levoneia Ayers said.

Classes open Feb. 1 and continue to Feb. 29. To apply, visit alabamarespite.org/apply-for-free-respite-provider-training. For more information, call Tracy Cieniewicz at 256-859-8300, email tracyc@ucphuntsville.org or visit Facebook/Alabama Lifespan Respite Resource Network or Instagram.

In other available training, Madison Senior Center will start the first Parkinson’s Care Clinic on Feb. 6 from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. “We’re partnering with Huntsville Hospital Foundation and the Parkinson’s Foundation,” LaWanda Mason, MSC Activities Coordinator, said.

Mason collaborated with Erin Edmundson, Program Director of Huntsville Hospital Parkinson’s Care Clinic, to provide a free Parkinson’s screening to Madison residents. Mason and Edmundson then discussed the need for a support group to raise awareness about Parkinson’s.

The group’s prime objectives are confirming no one feels isolated because “we’re all in this together” and understanding that MCS will offer support, Mason said.

Parkinson’s Disease, a progressive disorder, affects the nervous system and body areas that nerves control. Symptoms start slowly. The first symptom may be a slight tremor in one hand. Along with tremors, Parkinson’s can cause stiffness or slowing of movement. (mayoclinic.org)

Parkinson’s Disease symptoms worsen over time. Parkinson’s has no cure, but medications may improve symptoms.

In sessions, Brandi Ivey, Huntsville Hospital Care Navigator, will lead discussions on common issues for Parkinson’s patients, care partners and relatives. Participants are welcome to ask questions for guidance.

“Attending the clinic would be beneficial for everyone — care partners, family members and individuals with Parkinson’s. Being an attendee of the support group could be a way to reduce stress and connect with people who can relate to your experience,” Mason said.

“Through generous funding from the Parkinson’s Foundation and Huntsville Hospital Foundation, the Parkinson’s Care Clinic is offered free to Madison Senior Center members and the community at large,” Mason said.

MSC members are encouraged to pre-register at MyActiveCenter.com. Participants who are not MSC members can sign up at the center, 1282 Hughes Road, on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or access the membership packet on the City of Madison website, madisonal.gov.

The Parkinson’s Support Group will meet monthly on first Tuesdays from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. For more information, visit huntsvillehospital.org/parkinson-s-care-clinic.

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