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Wednesday 29 March 2017
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Edel Caregiver Institute: Helping caregivers so they can better help their loved ones

Hospice Savannah is a program for the terminally ill which includes services for care and support of patients at home, in a nursing home or assisted living facility or in Hospice House. Usually abstaining from extraordinary measures to lengthen life, they focus on pain and symptom control and emotional support for the loved ones.

Hospice Savannah concentrates on the patient and their loved ones; The Edel Caregiver Institute concentrates on the caregiver.

Caring for a loved one with any type of illness or disorder is not planned and many times the caregiver is at a loss for what they need to do. Caregivers can be friends, relatives, in-laws, spouses – anyone who provides assistance to another, in whatever capacity and whatever their relationship, with no financial benefits. The Edel Caregiver Institute offers support for non-paid, non-professional family caregivers. Again, its primary focus is the caregiver, not the care recipient. The care recipient is rarely hospice patient. It is usually someone who has been diagnosed with a long-term chronic illness such as Congestive Heart Failure, Dementia, Pulmonary Disease, etc.

The Edel Caregiver Institute opened its doors a year ago, with a vision of helping families. In fact, the Institute has helped over 300 families to date.  With a-state-of-the -art facility nestled off Chatham Parkway, they offer an array of classes and programs for caregivers.  Within their skills lab, they provide hands-on training with medical equipment from oxygen tanks to Hoyer lifts.  The skills lab is able to assist 12-15 people per class and can be disease- specific. Basic nursing skills are also taught to caregivers.

Taking care of a loved one stricken with disease or a disorder, such as Autism, can take an emotional and physical toll on the one providing the care. The Edel Caregiver Institute delivers wellness for the caregiver, including nutrition education and exercise. It also offers help with navigating the medical world through the assistance of eight retired physicians on hand who are available to go with patients and caregivers to doctor appointments to communicate information. Dementia coaches are also available. They are placed in the homes to help with problem solving and offer hands on help.

The Edel Caregiver Institute is a not for profit organization that relies on funding from the United Way, donations and fundraisers. All services offered by Edel are free of charge. Please see the website for complete information regarding all the classes and support offered.




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