Caring for a loved one with dementia or another chronic disease has its unique demands and challenges. Many family members experience high levels of stress, which can be associated with physical and emotional health problems.
High levels of stress among family caregivers ultimately contribute to a decreased quality of care for the care recipient – typically the aging parent, spouse or life partner.
- Caregivers are at risk of depression and other mental and physical health problems
- Depression is now known to be a risk factor for dementia
- Are caregivers perhaps at higher risk for dementia?
- Who cares for the caregiver?
Dr. Ellen Buchman, a Family Physician with special interests in Dementia and Mindfulness-based practices approached me in the spring with the idea of developing a program that could help to address this important and growing need in the Toronto community.
What we have discovered is that current family caregiver programs in Toronto tend to focus on providing mutual support, psycho-education and/ or behavior management skills. None to our knowledge take an experiential approach to helping caregiver reduce stress and depression. We propose the idea of using the ancient wisdom of Mindfulness and the integration of psychotherapy, to support families members through this difficult life transition period.
We are starting our pilot project this fall and we will be hosted by the Toronto Memory Program.
For more information or to register please call (416) 386 – 9761 or visit www.torontomemoryprogram.com
There are more than 30 years of research demonstrating the effectiveness of mindfulness interventions for stress reduction with adults but little attention has been given to the applicability for caregivers.
As many of you know The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) curriculum is based on Dr. Jon Kabat – Zinn’s MBSR program at University of Massachusetts Medical Centre, which has been running since 1979. It is a behavioural medicine program designed to teach individuals effective methods of coping with stress in order to allow individuals to improve their own health and well-being.
Kabat Zinn defines Mindfulness as “The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience” (Kabat-Zinn (2003) Clinical Psychology: Science & Practice).
Through training in mindfulness meditation and gentle mindful movement, participants will learn how to use their innate resources and abilities to respond to stress more effectively with calmness and clarity. We are starting our pilot project this fall and we will be hosted by the Toronto Memory Program.
For more information or to register please call 416 – 386 – 9761 or visit www.torontomemoryprogram.com
The course consists of 8 weekly 2.5 hour sessions and one Sunday 6.0 hour session.
Location: All sessions will be held at the Toronto Memory Program 1 Valleybrook Drive, Suite 402
See flyer for more details Mindfulness For Caregivers