LAS VGAS (KTNV) — Life can change in an instant. The pandemic taught us that. One minute you're fine, the next you're not.
But what do you do when a loved one can't care for themselves anymore or is terminally ill? 13 Action News anchor Tricia Kean tells you about a *free* class now providing Las Vegas locals some much needed assistance.
HAPPEN TO ANYONE
"We don't know it's coming. It can happen to you. It can happen to anybody," says Paula Milillo of Las Vegas.
She's a caregiver for Don, her husband of 21 years. Don had a heart attack about four years ago.
"No warning. No anything. The outcome of that has been some physical and cognitive delays," says Paula.
Paula says caring for a loved one is harder than anyone can imagine.
"So when it happens, what do you do? You start scrambling and you need resources. You need information," says Paula.
Paula got the help she needed through Dignity Health's free workshop, Powerful Tools for Caregivers, available online and in-person. Health Educator, Richard Davis, says the class is really about caregivers learning to care for themselves.
MOST IMPORTANT PERSON
"Because they often forget that they're in a sense, the most important person in the room, because they're the ones providing the care," says Davis.
Davis, who was a caregiver himself, says it's easy to feel overwhelmed. So instructors help you develop a step-by-step action plan to care for a loved one. They also go over a variety of community resources, plus help caregivers process their own feelings.
"Stress and depression and anger; very strong emotions can come up when your caregiving. You think, I can't have those emotions. I shouldn't have those emotions. But they're normal. They're natural. So we learn how to deal with our emotions in a constructive way," says Davis.
The workshop acts as a support group. Davis says hearing stories from others going through the same issues is therapeutic.
WHAT WORKS BEST
"Together we discover what's going to work best for me and my particular caregiving situation," says Davis.
Paula says that's the most rewarding part, making connections with other caregivers.
YOU'RE NOT ALONE
"Knowing there's other people out there going through things that I'm going through and then problem-solving things together," says Paula.
Registration for this free workshop, Powerful Tools for Caregivers, is now open. The class begins next Monday, June 21. To register call Caregiver Coordinator Tori Diego at (702) 616-4912.