KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Nonprofit Caregiver Organization Hosts Family Caregiver Symposium And Training In Phoenix

Dr. Pauline Boss
(Photo by Kathy Ritchie - KJZZ)
Dr. Pauline Boss is the author of Loving Someone Who Has Dementia. She coined the term, Ambiguous Loss... It's a loss that is ongoing, complicated and is often experience by people who care for someone living with dementia.

In Arizona, there are roughly 325,000 caregivers, providing more than $370 million in unpaid care, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Many of these caregivers had to learn on the job, making them experts in a way. Now, these caregivers are learning how to use their experience to help others.

Caregivers and experts in the field of dementia and caregiving gathered at the Church of the Beatitudes on Thursday in Phoenix for a caregiver symposium hosted by Duet, a local nonprofit.

Here, caregivers learned how to navigate some of the challenges they face on a daily basis — like stress. Last year, Duet partnered with Dr. Pauline Boss, author of "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia," to talk about ambiguous loss, a type of grief the many caregivers of people with dementia experience. Ann Wheat is with Duet

"When they got a hold of Dr. Boss’s book, and we were able to break it down and discuss it in our groups, it was transformative for them. Really life changing and many will tell you it saved their lives."

This year, they brought Dr. Boss back.

"So, this is an opportunity to give wings to this precious new resource."

What she means is, "People will become trainers of other people. Experienced caregivers will become trainers of less experience caregivers and this is the way to teach," said Dr. Boss.

She said it’s important for caregivers to hear from other caregivers about what they faced. Besides attending an afternoon training, volunteers received a binder with videos, scripts and cue cards to facilitate their own group. 

KJZZ was a sponsor of Duet's Family Caregiver Symposium

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.