Caregiving poses many challenges, including physical, emotional and financial.

For many, caregiving during a pandemic has increased these challenges and even created new ones. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 26% of Arkansans age 45 and over are caregivers, many of whom work full-time jobs and have other family responsibilities. Juggling these varied responsibilities is stressful, overwhelming and isolating.

If you are a caregiver, you are not alone, and there are resources to help.

The UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, the UAMS Schmieding Caregiver Training Program and the UAMS 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 by providing older Arkansans with local access to specialized educational programs and resources.

These include caregiver support groups and such exercise programs 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 offer both in-person and online options that follow all CDC 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