Pandemic Underscores Importance of Home Caregivers
Caregiving poses many challenges, including physical, emotional, time management and financial challenges.
For many, caregiving during a pandemic has increased these challenges and even created new ones. In Arkansas, there are an estimated 500,000 family caregivers, many of whom work full-time jobs and have other family responsibilities. Juggling these varied responsibilities is stressful and can be overwhelming. Many caregivers are looking for help.
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, the UAMS Schmieding Caregiver Training Program and the Centers on Aging offer help for caregivers through specialized training for paid caregivers, workshops for those who provide care for family members and one-on-one coaching sessions for those caring for a loved one with dementia.
Our mission is to educate individuals to care for older adults in the home, allowing as many people as possible to age in place. We have multiple education programs geared toward Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
The Reynolds Institute’s network of seven Centers on Aging also seeks to improve the quality of life for older adults and their families throughout Arkansas by providing older Arkansans with local access to specialized educational programs and clinical care.
These include exercise programs such as Tai Chi, Ageless Grace, Drums Alive, Walk with Ease and more. We also provide healthy eating, fall prevention and pain management education as well as chronic disease management programs. With sites in Springdale, Jonesboro, Pine Bluff, Texarkana, Fort Smith, El Dorado and Helena-West Helena, as well as in Little Rock, we offer programming around the state.
We are continually expanding programs and delivery methods as we adjust to guidelines made necessary by the pandemic. We have a variety of online programming and even offer some in-person resources that follow all Centers for Disease Control guidelines. We are dedicated to improving the lives of older adults in Arkansas.
AmyLeigh Overton-McCoy, Ph.D, GNP-BC, APRN
Director, UAMS Centers on Aging