Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Thu, 21 Jul 2016 20:49:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What is the best way to approach someone with dementia? Tue, 12 Jul 2016 16:12:01 +0000

Arkansas first responders tell us what they learned during a UAMS dementia training class.

July 2016 Caregiver Tip of the Month – Managing swelling Mon, 11 Jul 2016 13:36:17 +0000

Swelling, also called edema, is most often the result of poor or weak circulation and is usually seen in the feet and legs, although it can occur in any part of the body. Swelling is common in older adults with limited mobility and people who are overweight. For caregivers, it is important to recognize and promptly report swelling of the extremities to your health care provider, especially if it is a new problem. New onset swelling can sometimes be a sign of a serious health problem.

If swelling is an ongoing problem, it is helpful for caregivers to measure the affected extremity routinely, and record the measurement in a handbook. Try to measure the extremity at the same time each day, so you can accurately monitor if the swelling is getting better or worse with treatment or medication. Weighing daily can also be helpful in monitoring fluid retention. A change of 3-5 pounds in a 24-48 hour period can indicate a serious problem and should be reported to the doctor as soon as possible.

Eating foods with high salt levels often can worsen swelling, which is generally worse at the end of the day. Your health care professional can write an order for a dietary consultation. Dieticians can help you evaluate the benefit of making dietary modifications, teach you how to read nutritional labels and  suggest alternative food and snack choices.

Swelling can sometimes be minimized by activity and changing the positioning of the legs routinely. Elevating the legs up on a stool or recliner chair once or twice a day is helpful. Legs should never be left to dangle from the wheelchair. Swelling can often occur or be worse on the side of the body affected by a stroke. Again, proper positioning of the arm or leg can help prevent the pooling of fluid in the extremity. If you have trouble keeping the extremity safely elevated, try using a nonskid mat between the pillow and the extremity or between the pillow and the base of support. Nonskid place mats can be purchased at several discount stores and are often inexpensive.  

Water pills, although helpful, pull fluid from throughout the body and can sometimes lead to dehydration and unnecessary hospitalization. Use of medications such as Lasix should be monitored carefully in an older adult, and unless the person is on a fluid restriction, replacement fluids should be offered routinely . Self-adjustment of fluid pills is not encouraged.

For other ways to manage swelling, consult your health care provider.  

This caregiver tip is provided by the staff of the UAMS Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Program, your source for information and training on caregiving in Arkansas. For more information on classes or available outreach offerings, visit our website at

Free Family Caregiver Workshop June 29 – Fayetteville Thu, 16 Jun 2016 15:19:30 +0000

The Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Program of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will hold a free family caregiver workshop June 29 for those who would like to learn about caring for an adult with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Free Family Caregiver Workshop June 17 – Benton Mon, 06 Jun 2016 15:06:28 +0000

The Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Program of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will hold a free family caregiver workshop June 17 for those who would like to learn about caring for an adult with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Dementia Friendly Communities for Arkansans Thu, 02 Jun 2016 15:20:09 +0000

Our Education Coordinators are preparing for dementia friendly communities for Arkansans.
Read more at UAMS Health

Blazing a Trail in Hot Springs, AR Fri, 27 May 2016 19:13:22 +0000

As we come to the end of Older Amercians Month, we like to thank two of our staff at Schmieding Home Caregiver Training for continously blazing a trail to educate caregivers in Hot Springs, AR. (pictured – Tamara Gordon and Valerie Claar)

Free Family Caregiver Workshops for Arkansans Tue, 17 May 2016 16:33:10 +0000

There is still time to register to attend one of our free Schmieding Family Caregiver Workshops coming up in Pine Bluff, Texarkana and Jonesboro.  This workshop provides an overview of information on dementia and caregiving for anyone helping to provide unpaid care for an older adult with dementia at home.  Time is alloted for lecture, hands-on demonstrations, and individual questions.

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May 24 – Texarkana

May 26 – Pine Bluff, AR

June 28 – Jonesboro, AR


Chance encounter sparks career path through UAMS Schmieding program – Kalli’s story Thu, 12 May 2016 15:16:09 +0000

Kalli began her experience with the Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Program – Little Rock quite by chance. She had just moved to Arkansas and secured a job as a checker at the local grocery store. One day a shopper noticed that she was not having a good day and after a short conversation, the shopper invited Kalli to her church. This intuitive shopper eventually became a friend, confidant, and mentor with whom Kalli shared her dream of obtaining her CNA license and going to nursing school.

Touched by Kalli’s dream, the mentor searched the internet, found our program, and scheduled a time for Kalli to visit with our administrative coordinator. Kalli decided to attend our program, but she could not cover the full cost of the tuition. Once again, her mentor helped by covering a portion of the tuition so that Kalli could begin the first of three CNA preparatory classes! After completing the entire 116 hour program, Kalli attempted to return her mentor’s initial investment; the mentor simply responded that her family considered it an investment into her future and it was their gift to her.

When asked about her experience with the Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Program – Little Rock, Kalli says, “I was in high school when I first took a certified nursing assistant class as an elective. I had always wanted to become a nurse and help others, but the other students didn’t take it seriously; the other students made the class unpleasant. This was not my experience with your program. During the clinical experience, it was great that we were not to be assigned to work with the aides at the facility; it was nice to be able to do our care as we had learned it in school. Also, we were taught to be good caregivers no matter where we decided to work [nursing home or home care].”

“Before this program, I just wanted to get a job. After this program, I realized that I really wanted to take care of people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or a dementia and do it the right way. My experience with this program reinforced my desire to provide great care and served to increase my desire to continue with my dream of becoming a registered nurse.”

Kalli is currently working with clients who have dementia. She states that she is using the information that she gained from the Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia class and sharing it with primary caregivers. She recalls the following: During an interview, a daughter shared that her dad had a meltdown at church. Kalli responded, “It could have been a response to an environmental trigger like a crowd or noise.” The interviewer was impressed and wanted to know more about the school where she received her training.

Kalli’s interesting path to our program has resulted in a new paraprofessional career for Kalli and a drive to provide patient, skillful, and knowledgeable care for our vulnerable and courageous seniors who have dementia.

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The Last Things a Caregiver Needs to Hear – and the First Fri, 18 Mar 2016 18:12:36 +0000

Have you ever said the wrong thing? Of course you have. You’re human. And when it comes to speaking to caregivers, conversations can be especially fraught.

Statistics Canada tells us more than eight million Canadians provide care to a chronically ill or disabled loved one. That’s a lot of people that are going through caregiving journeys, and if you are not one of them, you may find yourself putting your foot in your mouth unknowingly.

…read the full story at  The Globe and Mail

UAMS/Schmieding Working to Promote Respite Statewide Fri, 19 Feb 2016 19:09:54 +0000

Beginning this April, Arkansas residents will have an opportunity to participate in free Respite training around the state.  The programs, funded by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, are being offered by the UAMS Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Staff for the purpose of building a statewide cadre of volunteer respite providers.

For those who are not familiar with Respite, it can be described quite simply as the act of providing a break from caregiving so the caregiver/family member can have time do something fun, necessary, or otherwise impossible due to the responsibilities of caregiving.

Respite care is among the most critically necessary and beneficial family support services and 64% of Arkansas Caregivers say they need it!  Unfortunately, right now only about 10% of these caregivers actually receive it.  There are many barriers to getting respite, one of them being the lack of people willing to volunteer as respite providers.  This is where the UAMS/Schmieding Program staff hopes to make a difference.

Throughout the next two years staff from the UAMS/Schmieding Home Caregiver Training program will organize respite training classes at eight different locations throughout Arkansas.  Working with church groups, civic organizations and anyone else willing to partner or help get the word out.

Family caregivers provide over $450 billion dollars’ worth of care every year saving thousands in Medicaid dollars which would otherwise be needed to pay for institutional care.  Isn’t it time we help support them?

If you have extra time, are a student needing volunteer hours or maybe you would like to start a respite program with your church, we encourage you to attend one of these trainings.  You will find an entire community of people who are involved in helping others.  Providing respite in your community can be done one day a week, or one weekend a year or whatever suites your personal goal of giving.  Volunteer respite providers experience the joy of helping others, make new friends and learn caregiving skills which can come in handy when caregiving for family members.

Dates and locations and registration information for Respite training are available on the Choices in Living Website or interested parties can call the AR Choices in Living Center at 1-(866)-801-3435.