Caregiver workshop offered for the first time

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Care giving can be a taxing endeavor. Learn how to cope with the stress at the workshops!

When it comes to battling cancer, the health and well-being of the patient’s caregivers may not come first to mind.  However, taking care of patients can be a stressful and taxing endeavor many aren’t prepared for. New workshops from the University of Colorado Cancer Center entitled, Filling Your Tank: A Workshop Designed to Enhance the Well-Being of Cancer Caregivers, may help ease some of the worries that come with taking care of a cancer patient.

“We wanted to offer this workshop because the Cancer Center is committed to providing innovative, compassionate and comprehensive cancer care to all cancer patients served in the oncology field,” says Jennifer Caspari, PhD, psychologist with the division of hematology at University of Colorado School of Medicine.

There is an increasing need for psychological support for caregivers in order to ensure that they are able to give proper care to patients as well as themselves.

“The workshops are designed as a way to offer more psychosocial programming and support to cancer caregivers with the goal of enhancing stress management coping skills and promoting well-being, self-care, and quality of life of cancer caregivers,” explains Caspari.

Caspari, Sayrd Annon, LCSW, oncology social worker in the Diane O’Connor-Thompson Breast Center at the University of Colorado Hospital, and two advanced graduate students will be facilitating the workshops.

“The workshops will address four domains of quality of life: physical well-being, psychological well-being, social well-being and spiritual well-being,” says Caspari. “They will also provide psycho-education, stress management skills, problem solving skills and facilitation of emotional support between caregivers.”

There will be two wellness workshop: An initial workshop on March 8 with a “booster” workshop eight weeks later on May 3 for the same group of caregivers.

The workshops are open to adult caregivers of adult cancer patients from the Denver Metro area. There are 40 spaces available and participants will be asked to commit to both workshops. Registration is required.  Participants can call Vicki Mackie at 720-848-0249 or email her at vickimakie@uchealth.org. The workshops will be held at the University of Colorado Hospital, Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion, second floor, room 2005/2006. Full breakfast and free chair massage will be provided.

“Our aim is to provide caregivers with coping skills that are feasible to implement given their busy schedules and overall decrease stress and enhance quality of life,” says Caspari. “The workshops provide an opportunity to talk with other caregivers, receive support and engage in relaxation and rejuvenation.”

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About the author: Taylor Bakemeyer

Taylor Bakemeyer is the communications intern at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Contact her at Taylor.Bakemeyer [at] ucdenver.edu.

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