A no-cost course in mindfulness training for caregivers of people with dementia will be held on Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. from Oct. 7 to Nov. 11 at Gardiner Home Education Center in Phoenix.
The classes are offered by Hospice of the Valley, a not-for-profit agency that provides hospice and palliative care. Gardiner Home, 1522 W. Myrtle Ave., is devoted solely to dementia patients. The mindfulness program is underwritten by a grant from the Grayhawk Classic Residents’ Foundation at Vi at Grayhawk.
Mindfulness training has been studied scientifically and found to improve physical symptoms—such as chronic pain, high blood pressure, shortness of breath and insomnia—and to decrease emotional and psychological distress such as anxiety and depression.
Don Lopiccolo of Phoenix took a course with his wife, Norma, earlier this year. Norma was diagnosed with dementia several years ago. Don found the classes made both of them more relaxed. Mealtimes that used to be stressful became more pleasant, he said.
“Now my wife and I sometimes sit in chairs at our bay window and do some meditating,” he said. “It helps me a great deal.”
Mindfulness training was developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, a physicist trained at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The course is now offered by medical centers, health-care organizations and other sites around the world.
To inquire about classes or to register, contact: MindfulnessTraining@hov.org or 602-636-5300.