SIU Medicine to host Savvy Caregivers Program in Jacksonville

By David Coy on February 16 at 2:03pm

You may have aging family members who are starting to become forgetful. Some may develop Alzheimer’s or a type of dementia. Greg Kyrouac, the Director of Education and Outreach Programs at SIU Medicine’s Alzheimer’s Center in Springfield, is hosting a six week course for people who are caring for Alzheimer’s patients. This free event at First Christian Church in Jacksonville, started on February 16th and will run every Friday until March 23rd. Kryouac says this is a great opportunity for everyone.

“The Savvy Caregivers Program is an education program for caregivers who have a family member who has Alzheimer’s or some other type of memory loss or dementia, with the whole idea is to keep people in their own homes as long as possible. Obviously nursing home care is costly and the longer we can keep people in their homes not only they are happy, but it costs the government and the state and families less money. So what the program does will help equip people who attend, help them get a better understanding of the disease and how to assess the abilities who they are caring for, day to day care and well as long term care and personal care. We also want to focus on the people taking care of themselves because that gets to be a real issue” said Kyrouac.

The program is made possible by a grant from the Illinois Department of Aging and the federal government. The grant is the second – three year grant that SIU has received. It’s a grant worth a million dollars over the next three years. It will help fund other programs as well as the savvy caregiver program. The six week course doesn’t limit the number of people who sign up. Kyrouac talks about some of the different aspects to the program.

One of the things we also do in the classes is to try and try to help people set some goals and how to make tough decisions. We have a little guide line that we teach about that and several people who have taken the class say it was very helpful when they were making a decision on whether should they move to an apartment instead of being at the house.” Kyrouac said.

Not only does this help educate the community but it also hits home for Kyrouac. His mother and grandmother have Alzheimer’s. He explains how this program gives him more insight.

“I think what it really does is give insights into understanding where the person is. The person you’re caring for. Just because they have Alzheimer’s or some kind of dementia, that doesn’t mean they not capable of doing anything. In fact that’s what this class does is help people understand just because they have this or have had it for several years they are still very capable of doing other things. Having that insight in itself is good. ” said Kyrouac.

The Savvy Caregiver program is every Friday through March 23rd at the First Christian Church at 2106 South Main Street in Jacksonville. It starts at 2pm until 4pm. You must preregister for the class. Call Greg Kyrouac at 217-545-7199 or you may email him at: