TARCOG’s Caregiver College to honor those diligent workers

MADISON – Caregivers face difficult, daily responsibilities to help someone else with everything from grocery shopping and doctor’s appointments to giving medication and baths – plus more. But who helps the caregivers?

The Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments or TARCOG is hosting its free, eighth annual Caregiver College as a daylong celebration of caregivers. The event on Nov. 17 will run from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Willowbrook Church, Madison Campus, 146 Jeff Road.

Registration is open until Nov. 10.

The Caregivers College coincides with November’s designation as National Family Caregivers Month. TARCOG’s event will celebrate and encourage those who care for others.

The 2023 theme is “#CaregiversConnect!” The goal is to allow family caregivers an opportunity to connect with professionals, fellow caregivers and community resources. The event intends to educate, encourage and give a break to family caregivers by empowering workshops and interactive sessions.

“The hope is that each attendee will walk away feeling supported by our community,” Sheila Dessau-Ivey said. She is Director of Aging Programs at TARCOG.

This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Nicole Ruggiano, is a Professor and Associate Dean of Research in the School of Social Work at the University of Alabama. Her research and advocacy work aims to improve health and social care for older adults. Currently, Ruggiano is testing technologies that support people with dementia and their caregivers. She leads multidisciplinary teams to achieve their research goals.

Lydia Weeks, Coordinator of TARCOG’s Alabama Cares Program and event organizer, expects 300-plus attendees.

To register, visit 2023caregivercollege.eventbrite.com.

In other activity, TARCOG has issued a statement related to the departure of Help at Home from Alabama. Help at Home is a large home-health, direct-care service. TARCOG wants its clients in this region to know their services will continue.

“We’re saddened by the news that so many Help at Home caregivers who have served thousands of North Alabama for many years will be losing their jobs,” TARCOG Executive Director Michelle Jordan.

“Our staff is working diligently to ensure that the people we serve in DeKalb, Jackson, Limestone, Madison and Marshall counties will continue to receive companion and personal care, as well as skilled and unskilled respite for caregivers,” Jordan said.

For more information, call 256-716-2663, email alabamacares1@tarcog.us or visit tarcog.us.

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