Family Caregiver Counseling
The Family Caregiver Counseling Service provides brief, solution-focused counseling to unpaid primary caregivers throughout King County. Speaking of the support she received from our counselors, one participant says, "What helped me the most was knowing that someone was there for me and understood how difficult it is to care for an elder. The counselor understood my need immediately and got me emergency respite care. As a result, I can carry on with my responsibilities. I had time to readjust my life to better care for my mom."
We provide one to six sessions in the home of the caregiver or at any other location in King County. There is no charge for the service, because it is funded by Aging and Disability Services through two grants: the National Family Caregiver Support Program and the Dementia Partnership Project. Because of the demand for this service, we may have a waiting list.
Our two counselors, Connie Wurm and Katherine Hanson, have Master's degrees in counseling. One counselor was described by a caregiver as "compassionate, with a sense of humor and with the ability to give practical suggestions tailored to my personality and situation." Another caregiver said, "The counselor was wonderfully warm, caring, and intuitive. She helped me quite a bit."
Counseling sessions focus specifically on the caregiving role and normally include problem solving, self-care, stress or anger management, and positive change. One caregiver involved in the program was overwhelmed with caring for her elder father and her disabled spouse while working full time. The caregiver counselor was able to help her determine how to afford a gym membership for her own stress and to assist the caregiver in following through on a difficult decision about her father's care.
For further information or to make a referral, call (206) 923-6300 and ask for the Intake Office. In addition to Caregiver Counseling, the Geriatric Regional Assessment Team also offers Substance Abuse intervention and Crisis Services for elders, as well as private pay consultation on aging and mental health issues for family members.
Karen Kent is Clinical Supervisor for the Geriatric Regional Assessment Team, Evergreen Healthcare