Caregiver Support

VPAS offers a wide variety of programs, workshops, support groups and activities for family caregivers. Share experiences, tips, problem solve together, gain insight and connect with others in similar situations.

Click on the links below for more information about events we are hosting!

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It can be difficult attending a support group in person if you are unable to leave your care partner alone at home.  Here is a virtual solution providing interaction with other caregivers, resources, tips, ideas, and a safe outlet for sharing of feelings. Join us for one or both of these weekly sessions! 

Mondays at 3:00 p.m. with Joyce Nussbaum, VPAS Harrisonburg/Rockingham Senior Services Director.

Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. with Heather Lawrence, VPAS Caregiver Support Coordinator.  Register below or call 540.615.5341.

Virtual Caregiver Support Groups

Prefer to meet with folks face to face? Here is an option for an in-person monthly support group, providing interaction with other caregivers, resources, tips, ideas, and a safe outlet for sharing of feelings.

Ongoing every 4th Tuesday of the month from 3:00-4:00pm

Location: Sunnyside Retirement Community, 3935 Sunnyside Drive, Harrisonburg, VA

Register below or call 540.615.5341 for more information.

Caregiver Support Group - Sunnyside

A support group offered by the Alzheimer's Association in partnership with VPAS at two locations.

Here is a safe place to:

  • develop a support system
  • exchange practical information on challenges and possible solutions
  • talk through issues and ways of coping
  • share feelings, needs, and concerns
  • talk about community resources

Second Thursday of the month at 1:00pm at Summit Square, 501 Oak Avenue, Waynesboro.
Register here or call 540.615.5341 for more information.

A support group offered by the Alzheimer's Association in partnership with VPAS at two locations.

Here is a safe place to:

  • develop a support system
  • exchange practical information on challenges and possible solutions
  • talk through issues and ways of coping
  • share feelings, needs, and concerns
  • talk about community resources

First Friday of the month at 10:30am at Community Mennonite Church, 70 S. High St., Harrisonburg, VA
Register here or call 540.615.5341 for more information.

VPAS and Massanutten Regional Library will co-host a Memory Partners Open House on March 7th for older adults living with dementia and their care partners.

The event will provide stimulating activities for those living with dementia as well as an opportunity for care partners to meet, share ideas, and network. Programming will feature socialization, games, Tai Chi, refreshments, live music, raffles, book displays and more!

Registration for the Open House on March 7th is not required and there is no cost to participate. Reserved parking is available for this event only, in the library's  employee parking lot, located directly behind the Central Library, off the Federal Street alley between Bruce Street and Newman Avenue. 

Date: March 7 from  10:00-11:30 a.m.

Location: Massanutten Regional Library Central Library location - Harrisonburg

Call or email Heather Lawrence for more information: 540.615.5341  heather@vpas.info

A safe space for caregivers and people living with dementia to attend together. There will be social time with other care partners, optional games, activities and refreshments, and Tai Chi for Memory exercise.  For more information or to let us know you're coming, call 540.615.5341.

First Thursday of the month, 10-11:30 a.m. - Massanutten Regional Library, Central Library, 174 S. Main St., Harrisonburg - Register here

A safe space for caregivers and people living with dementia to attend together. This ongoing group will provide social time with other care partners, optional games, activities and refreshments, and Tai Chi for Memory exercise.  For more information or to let us know you're coming, please Register Below or call 540.615.5341.

Date: Second Thursday of the month beginning March 14, 2024

Time: 10:00 -11:30 a.m.

Location: Waynesboro Public Library, 600 S. Wayne Ave., Waynesboro

Memory Partners - Waynesboro Public Library

Engage in discussion on topics relevant to family caregivers and care partners of persons living with dementia in early stages. This presentation will focus on addressing fears and provide education and empowerment to better cope with the challenges of dementia caregiving.

Starting with education and role plays, the presentation will be followed with 3 round-table discussions including: 

  • The Emotional Weather Report
  • Responding to Changing Dementia Behaviors and Situations
  • Creating Comfortable and Engaging Conversations about Dementia and Your Caregiver Role with Family, Friends, Neighbors and Associates. 

March 6, 2024 (snow date March 13) from 9:00am-12:00noon at the Bridgewater Presbyterian Church, 110 East College St., Bridgewater, VA 

Complete the form below or call 540.615.5341 for more information.

Registration: Prepare to Care: Navigating a Dementia Diagnosis March 6, 2024

These unique dementia care partner events will provide education and respite for the care provider alongside a guided art experience for the care receiver. The sessions will occur simultaneously in nearby spaces, creating a safe, enriching and empowering opportunity for both care partners.

For the Care Provider: The Alzheimer's Association will present programs to help caregivers understand the many facets of Dementia. Attendees will learn about some of the common triggers for behaviors associated with dementia, how to assess the person’s needs, and how to intervene effectively.

For the Care Receiver: VPAS will present "Opening Minds through Art", a national arts program developed for those living with dementia. Artists are partnered with trained volunteers who will guide them through the process of creating abstract art. This program is person-centered and seeks to affirm the autonomy of each individual who participates.

All sessions take place at the Bridgewater Church of the Brethren, 110 East College St., Bridgewater, VA

  • "Dementia Conversations" - April 10, 2024 - 2:00-3:00pm  Register Here
  • "Effective Communication Strategies" - June 12, 2024 - 2:00-3:00pm  Register Here
  • "Understanding and Responding to Dementia Related Behavior" - August 14, 2024 - 2:00-3:00pm Register Here

Call 540.615.5341 for more information.

Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is an internationally recognized arts program designed for those living with dementia and other cognitive concerns.  Some of the goals of OMA include:  learning about abstract artists and creating abstract art, building positive rapport between the volunteer and the artist, and offering time to engage in the creative process with autonomy and fun.  Volunteers are fully guided by the OMA facilitator throughout each art project, and all levels of artistic ability are welcomed. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, have an interest in art, and be comfortable working with older adults living with dementia or other cognitive concerns. 

*Volunteers must be able to commit to the OMA sessions taking place on March 26, April 2, 9 and 16.

Volunteer Training Date: March 19

Location: Maury River Senior Services, 2137 Magnolia Ave., Buena Vista, VA

Time: 1:00-3:00pm

Register below or call 540.471.5633 for more information. 

Opening Minds Through Art (OMA) Volunteer Training

Opening Minds through Art is an internationally recognized arts program designed for those living with dementia and other cognitive concerns. Some of the goals of OMA include:  learning about abstract artists and creating abstract art, building positive rapport between the volunteer and the artist, and offering time to engage in the creative process with autonomy and fun.  All levels of artistic ability are welcomed. 

Dates: Tuesdays on March 26, April 2, April 9 and April 16

Time: 1:30-2:30pm

Location: Maury River Senior Services, 2137 Magnolia Ave., Buena Vista, VA

This is a four part series. Register below or call 540.471.5633 for more information. 

Opening Minds Through Art (OMA)

The Virtual Dementia Tour is an in-person sensitivity training designed to help you understand what it is like to live with Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. Participants’ hearing, vision, and other senses are distorted to simulate the effects of the disease.

Individuals are guided through the tour by trained facilitators. Each tour takes approximately 45 minutes. 

Date: Saturday, June 8th with tours beginning at 9:00 and continuing throughout the day. 

Location: Weavers Mennonite Church, 2501 Rawley Pike, Rockingham VA 22801

For more information call 540.615.5341

Register and choose a time for your tour below. 

Virtual Dementia Tour

Dealing with Dementia is a four-hour workshop, paired with the comprehensive Dealing with Dementia guide, a detailed workbook designed to help you navigate the unique challenges of caring for someone with dementia. Learn how to better understand dementia, manage problem behaviors, handle stress, and find more time for yourself. 

Date: April 30 from 12:45pm - 4:45pm

Location: Massanutten Regional Library, Central Branch, 174 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg 

Register below or call 540.615.5341 for more information. 

Dealing with Dementia Workshop - Harrisonburg

Dealing with Dementia is a four-hour workshop, paired with the comprehensive Dealing with Dementia guide, a detailed workbook designed to help you navigate the unique challenges of caring for someone with dementia. Learn how to better understand dementia, manage problem behaviors, handle stress, and find more time for yourself. 

Date: May 14th from 12:00 - 4:00pm

Location: Waynesboro Public Library, 600 S. Wayne Ave., Waynesboro 

Register below or call 540.615.5341 for more information. 

Dealing with Dementia Workshop - Waynesboro

Voluntary and confidential contributions are always accepted and appreciated.