Q: Earlier this year my husband was diagnosed with a neurological condition. We were told there would be ongoing deterioration still we both tried to have a positive attitude when we received the news. Unfortunately being confined to home and all the challenges the pandemic has created we have become depressed and stressed. I had heard about several workshops your agency offers about caregiving and chronic conditions. I thought we could really benefit from the information provided. Now that these are not being offered in the community is there anything else you would suggest that could be helpful for us?
A: COVID-19 has presented challenges for all of us. The good news is we have found ways to continue many of the evidence-based programs we have offered for years in a completely different format.
While the workshops are no longer being held “in person” that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on gaining useful information. As long as you have access to a device connecting with the internet you have the opportunity to participate in virtual workshops.
We definitely look forward to a time when we can resume our normal schedule for community workshops.
Some people have realized the virtual workshops actually have several advantages. The first being while they may reside in the Merrimack Valley they have the option of signing up for a virtual workshop held in the Greater Boston area or the western part of the state without ever having to physically travel to the site.
The virtual workshops allow more people to attend due to time constraints with other responsibilities. Participants some times prefer receiving the information in the comfort of their own home.
The programs are so valuable that our partners at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation support them across New England.
The process is rather straight forward. Once a person signs up for a workshop materials are mailed out before the first session. The facilitator also provides directions to make sure everyone has the ability to sign into Zoom and understands how the program works.
There are several Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs starting in July. To find a schedule go online at healthyliving4me.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional workshops will be available in the near future.
Are you struggling caring for an older adult or having difficulty locating resources? Our experienced staff are available to offer assistance. Call 1-800-892-0890 (for the 23 cities and towns of the Merrimack Valley) or 978-750-4540 (for the 5 towns in the North Shore).
Do you have a question? We encourage inquiries and comments from our readers. Direct correspondence to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joan Hatem-Roy is the Chief Executive Officer of Elder Services of Merrimack Valley and North Shore.