Information and resources that support your role in caring for a loved one.

Like all caregiving situations, grandparents raising grandchildren can face many challenges and stress-inducing circumstances. Support groups can help deal with those issues, and a convenient option to get such support by telephone will be available next month.

The Morning Connection, a six-week telephone support group for grandparents and kinship (non-parent) caregivers who are raising their grandchild or relative child, will take place on Thursdays at 10:30 to 11:30 on March 2 through April 6. This is a program of Elder Services of Merrimack Valley, Inc., but is open to all grandparents and kinship caregivers.

Register now and get a chance to connect with other grandparents who understand the joys and struggles of raising grandchildren as well as the opportunity to learn about available resources. Each session will feature a different speaker to discuss resources available to kinship caregivers. There will also be time to connect with other caregivers and receive support dealing with the stress of caring for children as a grandparent or relative when their parent is not able to do so.

The support group will feature guest speakers each week, covering the following topics:

Thursday, March 2 – Colleen Pritoni, Program Coordinator, The Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Thursday, March 9 – Lisa Rose, SHINE Program Director, Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc. Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone (SHINE) counselors are certified and help people navigate the complex Medicare insurance system.

Thursday, March 16 – Lucilia Prates, MA Senior Medicare Patrol Program Director. The Senior Medicare Patrol Program works to reach and educate Medicare benificiaries, family members, caregivers and professionals to promote consumer engagement to prevent, detect and report healthcare errors, fraud and abuse and other deceptive marketing practices.

Thursday, March 23 – Maggie De Los Santos, Family Partner, Family Services of the Merrimack Valley will speak about volunteer programs; Big Friends, Little Friends for children with special needs or in need of support. She will also speak about additional programs for families.

Thursday, March 30 – Elaine Arsenault, Outreach & Recruitment Specialist for Recruitment, Training and Support Center Federation for Children with Special Needs provides information, support and assistance to parents, grandparents and other caregivers of children with disabilities.

Thursday, April 6 – Cynthia Hession-Richard, LSW, CDP Caregiver Advisor, The Family Caregiver Support Program, Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.

For more information or to register, contact Cynthia Hession-Richard at 978-946-1445.

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