Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center launches online learning platform for caregivers
The Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center is thrilled to launch the CALM Connections online learning platform for dementia family caregivers.
Over the past decade of offering wellness programs to family caregivers, MADC’s Wellness Initiative has learned first-hand some of the challenges and barriers that caregivers face when caring for someone they love. While the team has offered a variety of in-person programs to those in and around the Ann Arbor area, sharing the skills developed in their programs in a new, virtual way was always an opportunity to provide more caregivers with the resources they need to thrive.
CALM Connections will make it possible for all caregivers to learn online, beyond the borders of the Ann Arbor area, and connect with the wisdom and experiences of others in a safe and private way. This is a truly unique initiative to support dementia family caregivers, and MADC is pleased to have the opportunity to share these resources with the larger dementia community.
Working to help caregivers feel connected and prepared
A long-term and sustainable approach to well-being includes navigating the inevitable rough patches and building the capacity to navigate through uncertainty, uncomfortable changes, feelings and difficult decisions.
CALM Connections aims to foster this approach by developing greater caregiver confidence to navigate the down cycles, while returning to self-care practices before, during and after these cycles conclude. It was created to bring the emotional and mental wellbeing needs of the caregiver to the forefront of daily life and care planning. When strong wellness habits are firmly in place, a caregiver is much better equipped to mitigate unnecessary distress and isolation which better supports their family and the person under their care.
Promoting connections, elevating community, eliminating barriers
The site content and features in CALM Connections are structured to support participants in learning, prioritizing and practicing skills for their wellbeing in their daily lives.
With doorways to live programming opportunities in each session, caregivers can choose their own wellness path and best dose of self-paced information and support without feeling pressure to officially “join” a group.
CALM Connections contains a library of sessions as part of an expanding learning curriculum. Sessions are organized around topics which provide each participant with layers of information and opportunities for reflection and practice.
Sessions include navigating the emotional terrain of difficult decisions, grieving through changes and loss, implementing, adjusting, and maintaining boundaries, as well as mindfulness-based approaches to care. Each session highlights practical skills while highlighting actionable next steps and clarity through complex issues. While caregivers are busy and overwhelmed, building these new habits and creating more space for self-care takes time and practice.
Each session includes audio recordings, handouts, videos, meditations and recommendations for further exploration in each topic area. Participants can also find additional program information for while highlighting actionable next steps and clarity through complex issues.