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Care connection: providing support for those dealing with dementia

Cynthia MeyerFollowing the unexpected passing of Wayne Caron, Ph.D. assistant professor in the Department of Family Social Science in 2007, faculty scrambled to keep a vibrant program he had established in 1999 functioning. Cynthia Meyer, Ph.D. and Liz Wieling, Ph.D., both from the Family Social Science Department have helped maintain the Family Caregiving Center that now bears Caron's name.

The Wayne Caron Family Caregiving Center supports people with dementia and those who care for them. According to Meyer, there is nothing like it in the Twin Cities. Most of those served by the center are referred by University of Minnesota Physicians, Dementia and Memory Disorders Clinic, the Alzheimer's Association, local therapists, or through word-of-mouth.

One of the primary services offered by the Wayne Caron Family Caregiving Center is a free Saturday morning group support group. On average, 20 to 30 people attend each week. Some have dementia and others are their caregivers. The first hour of the Saturday group is instructive and is typically led by graduate students from Family Social Science. These students as well as interns and undergraduate students volunteer under supervision of Meyer and others. While Meyer had worked with caregivers in the past, she says she has developed a new found passion for issues faced by families dealing with dementia as a result of her work with this program.

Learn more about services provided by Wayne Caron Family Caregiving Center.

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