Caregiver Classes and Support Group

Caregiving 101 This free one hour class is designed to raise awareness of the importance of self-care and will explore the physical, emotional, psychological and social components of caregiving.  Caregiving can be a rewarding experience but also a difficult and draining job, especially if we are neither trained nor prepared for that role. Tips on how to deal with the many challenges of care giving will be offered, as will useful information on available community resources. Any person finding themselves in the role of family caregiver would greatly benefit from this free class.  (Go to calendar)

Caregiver Support GroupOur drop-in, one-hour support group provides a safe place to connect with other caregivers who truly understand what you are going through. Exchange practical information on caregiving problems and possible solutions; Talk through challenges and ways of coping; Share feelings, needs and concerns. You’re not alone.  (Go to calendar)

Understanding a Dementia DiagnosisThe four most prevalent forms of dementia are Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, and Frontotemporal Dementia. This two-hour class will explore the probable progression, treatment, and prognosis of dementia.  Additional time will be allotted for questions, discussions, support and learning from the instructor(s) and caregivers who understand the stresses of your situation.  (Go to calendar)


Family Caregiving A four-hour class designed to save caregivers time, money and heartache.

12:30pm – 1:45pm   The Financial Costs of Caregiving / Long Term Plans
Understand the economic impact of your caregiving and gain knowledge about helpful community resources including how to qualify for in-home assistance through State and Federal programs. The instructor will help you begin to imagine what the future holds for you and your care recipient and how best to prepare for it. We will discuss Advance Directives, long-term care insurance, and how to pay for nursing hKathy, Pat, Kristen, Cinda with hoyer liftome care if needed.

1:45pm – 2:00pm    Break

2:00pm – 4:00pm    Practical Caregiving Skills
Learn how to safely assist, perform personal care, and improve mobility for your care recipient in this hands-on session. We also teach the basics of infection control and wound care.

4:00pm – 4:30pm    Being A Healthy Caregiver
In this introduction to self-care, we discuss nutrition, journaling, advocacy, music therapy, and practice a deep breathing and relaxation exercise to help you unwind and de-stress.

Family Caregiving is offered on the 2nd Friday of each month from 12:30pm to 4:30pm.
You are welcome to attend one, two, or all three sessions… whatever works for your schedule.  (Go to calendar)

While this is a free class, we do ask for and accept donations. Pease register in advance by calling 912.629.1331 or by e-mailing info@edelcaregiverinstitute.org with your name and contact information.  Thank you.

All other classes are offered on a donation basis.

Wellness Classes

Caregiver Stress Relief / Restorative Yoga and Deep Relaxation – Restorative Yoga utilizes a variety of props such as bolsters, blankets, and blocks to support the body and allow the breath to move freely, encouraging the muscles to relax the mind to quiet. Within a short time, this practice encourages you to become submerged in a deeply relaxed state and drop into the silent space within. No previous experience is Kate and V restorative yoganecessary. Dress to move and stretch.
(Go to calendar)

Caregiver Stress Relief / Yoga and Meditation for CaregiversSchedule some relaxation time just for you! This one-hour class incorporates basic yoga poses, centering meditation, spiritual care and support. No prior yoga experience is necessary and teachers can accommodate everyone, whatever your physical abilities.
All equipment is provided, just wear comfortable clothing.  (Go to calendar)

Balancing Work and Caregiving: the Juggling Act – If you’re currently caring for a loved one, chances are you often feel overwhelmed by the difficulty of balancing these responsibilities, your home, and maintaining your job. This forty-five minute class will explore how to talk to your employer about your caregiving responsibilities and help you access community resources and helpful options. Additional time is allotted so you can engage with other caregivers and with the presenters.

Life Story/Journaling – A one-hour class teaching you the tools and techniques to record your loved one’s story as well as learn the healing benefits of recording your  journey as a caregiver.  Gathered tales are a gift to each generation that preserves them by remembering them and passing them on to future generations. Every life matters and every life has a story worth keeping. There will be ample time to engage with the instructor and with other caregivers.

Nutrition for Both Care Recipient and Caregiver – You may wonder what your day-to-day nutritional choices have to do with being a caregiver. The food that you eat affects your moods, overall health and immune system. When you experience the ongoing stress of caregiving, good nutrition becomes critical to maintain your health and well-being. In addition to nutritional guidance to help you feel strong and healthy, this one-hour class will address how your loved one’s nutritional needs may change as his or her disease progresses.

Education/Support Classes

Understanding a Cancer Diagnosis – A forty-five minute class taught by a qualified medical professional that explores cancer and the probable progression, treatment and prognosis of the disease. Additional time is allotted for questions, discussions, support and learning from the instructor(s) and other caregivers who understand the stresses of your situation.

Understanding a Cardio-Pulmonary Diagnosis – A forty-five minute class taught by a qualified medical professional that explores cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases and the probable progression, treatment and prognosis of heart or lung disease. Additional time is allotted for questions, discussions, support and learning from instructor(s) and other caregivers who understand the stresses of your situation. Additional time is allotted for questions, discussions, support and learning from the instructor(s) and other caregivers who understand the stresses of your situation. 

Understanding a Kidney Disease Diagnosis – A forty-five minute class taught by a qualified medical professional that explores the probable progression, treatment and prognosis of kidney disease. Additional time is allotted for questions, discussions, support and learning from the instructor(s) and other caregivers who understand the stresses of your situation.

Understanding Your Medications – Do you sometimes worry about the medications prescribed?  Are there too many?  Not enough? Is each doctor prescribing these medications aware of additional prescriptions from other physicians?  Are these medications working? Are they all necessary?  If these are questions you’ve asked yourself, then this class, led by a qualified pharmacist will be of great help to you.

Palliative Care 101 – Few people understand palliative care and how it differs from hospice care. Both provide pain and symptom management but they are very different medical specialties. This forty-five minute session explains the difference and how they can help. If you or someone you care for experiences pain or symptoms from their treatments or medication, you will want to attend this class.   Cowart 003

All consultations and classes are intended to be general in nature.
Specific diagnoses and treatments should always be provided by your personal physician.

Legal/Financial Classes

Advance Care PlanningHow do you have that awkward, uncomfortable and unsettling conversation about “what happens when…?”  This class will explain the importance of setting priorities, choosing an advocate, documenting choices and understanding the ethical dilemmas that often surround end-of-life care.  A Doctor of Public Health and an Elder Law Attorney will provide you with useful tips and tools and reasons for making medical decisions when you are healthy and not in a medical crisis.  Additional time is allotted to engage with other caregivers and with the presenters.

Understanding Nursing Home Medicaid and VA Pension – What is nursing home Medicaid and what does it pay for?  This forty-five minute class identifies who qualifies for a nursing home Medicaid waiver. Additionally, financial topics such as how to pay for in-home care, assisted living, or a nursing home.  Also explained is how Medicaid affects personal assets and what are the basic planning documents everyone needs to have.  As a veteran, you may  be eligible for a tax-free monthly stipend from the VA to help pay for long-term care.  Additional time is allotted to engage with other caregivers and the presenters. 

Understanding Medicare/Medicaid – A forty- five minute class explaining the benefits of Medicare and Medicaid as well as the steps necessary to qualify and or receive benefits. Additional time is allotted to engage with other caregivers and with the presenters.

Caregiving and Finances – Caregiving involves more than just medical issues. This forty-five minute class teaches you the six steps to setting a budget including getting organized, setting financial goals, income, expenses, debt and money time. We will share tips on finding programs that may help to pay for the costs of prescription drugs, health care, utilities, and other essential items or services.

Special Workshops

Dealing with Dementia Behaviors – A guide to empower caregivers, helping them smile more and scream less. This is a four hour workshop that will help the family caregiver gain a better understanding of the impact of dementia on care recipient behaviors.
Offered by the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving.

Diabetes Self Management – A once a week for four weeks interactive workshop providing information and techniques for better management of diabetic symptoms.

Preventing Diabetes – Diabetes is a serious disease.
The good news is that you can take steps to delay or prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Are you at risk for Diabetes?
Do you know the risk factors for diabetes?
Do you want to learn more about preventing diabetes?
Offered by the American Diabetes Association

Meet, Greet and Connect with Persons with ALS and Community Partners
The meeting will facilitate opportunities for individuals to share personal experiences and to learn strategies for preserving the independence and quality of life of persons with ALS (PALS), caregivers and other interested persons.
Offered by the ALS Association Georgia Chapter

Class Instructors

Richard S. Barid – Founding member of the Savannah, Georgia law firm Smith Barid, LLC  http://www.smithbarid.com/

Dr. Kathleen Benton – Director of Clinical Ethics at St. Joseph’s/Candler  http://www.sjchs.org/

Jon Cohen, RN, CHPN – Registered Nurse and certified in Hospice and Palliative Care Certified  http://www.hospicesavannah.org/

Jacque Cole, RPh – Pharmacist at LoCost Pharmacy http://www.locostpharmacy.com/

Kate Doran – Certified Yoga Instructor  http://savannahpoweryoga.com/

Jamey Espina, MA, LPC – Hospice Savannah, Inc.’s Vice President of Service Excellence http://www.hospicesavannah.org/

Tori Windsor-Foisy, MS – Case Management Supervisor at Coastal Regional Commission of Georgia / Area Agency on Aging  http://www.crc.ga.gov/

Constance Gabrielli – Certified Yoga Instructor  http://savannahpoweryoga.com/

Dr. Debra Hagerty, DNP, RN, NHA, FACDONA – Professor of Nursing; Armstrong State University  https://www.armstrong.edu/

Kate Jacobson – Certified Yoga Instructor  http://savannahpoweryoga.com/

Beth May – Certified Yoga Instructor  http://savannahpoweryoga.com/

Holland Morgan, MA – Master of Divinity, Bereavement Counselor for Full Circle Grief and Loss Center  http://www.hospicesavannah.org/

Richard Reeve – Director of Financial Education: Consumer Credit Counseling Service  http://www.cccssavannah.org/

Dr. Kathy Schaefer, PT, MBA, DPT – Professor of Physical Therapy; Armstrong State University  https://www.armstrong.edu/

Mark Schaefer, Esq – Founder of Elder Law Office of Mark Schaefer, P.C.  http://www.tcp-sav.org/

Einar S. Trosdal, III – Managing Director & Senior Portfolio Manager with Dividend Assets Capital  http://dacapitalsc.com/