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Strategies offered on elders' resistance to help

By Kimber Williams | Emory Report | Jan. 14, 2014

Emory employees struggling with caring for elderly loved ones are encouraged to attend "Understanding and Navigating Resistance: Helping Elders and their Families" — a free program offered Thursday, Jan. 23, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Classroom 203.

Co-sponsored by the Emory Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) and the Emory WorkLife Resource Center,  the presentation will feature Nancy Kriseman, LCSW (licensed clinical social worker), who will discuss challenges and strategies in dealing with resistance around eldercare — from a parent unwilling to give up his or her car keys to dealing with a sibling who hasn’t accepted the impact of a parent’s illness, says Robin Huskey, FSAP manager of education and outreach.

For the elderly, resistance can be a "normal way" to cope with change or transition, attempt to stay in control of their lives or exert independence, according to Kriseman. But for elders with dementia, resistance can develop as a set of behaviors that results from being asked to do something they may not understand.

Struggles with resistance can also emerge within families where members may be in denial over the declining health of a loved one, experiencing conflict or just feeling completely overwhelmed and exhausted.

The FSAP workshop will help participants find ways to more effectively cope with resistance and navigate around it, Huskey says. The program is part of a series of workshops that will be offered this spring to support working family caregivers.

This fall Emory also announced the debut of a new employee benefit for adult caregiving. The Professional Care Management Program is intended to help support the needs of benefits-eligible Emory University employees caring for an aging, sick or special-needs adult.

To register, visit www.fsap.emory.edu. For more information about services and programs for adult caregivers, call Huskey at 404-727-4328.