WVU Hosts Free Workshop for Caregivers of Brain Tumor Patients

Friends and family members often find themselves providing home care to loved ones suffering from brain tumors.  Typically unprepared to face such a devastating situation, caregivers now have the opportunity to enroll in a free skill workshop through West Virginia University.

The workshop is Thursday, Oct. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the John E. Jones Conference Center at the WVU Health Sciences Center.  The event is sponsored by the National Brain Tumor Foundation (NBTF) and WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.

"Many families are unprepared for the often formidable task of caring for their loved one at home,” said Harriet Patterson, NBTF patient services program manager.  “This class teaches professional-level skills in care giving.”

Each year, more than 190,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Many are well enough to leave the hospital but need additional home care.  While families may be adept at caring for loved ones with common illnesses, new skills are required for those giving aid and comfort to people with brain tumors.

“Caregivers are the unsung heroes in this world,” Jennifer Craddock, MBRCC oncology social worker, said.  “Brain tumors impact the same areas of life as other cancers.  But, there are more cognitive changes, which can alter behavior.  Such changes contribute to additional stressors for caregivers.”

The workshops provide caregivers with basic skills and resources necessary to provide care while handling the stress commonly associated with the task.  In addition to learning new skills, participants will have the opportunity to meet other caregivers for sharing support and advice and widen their pool of available resources.

The daylong Caregiver Workshop features cancer specialists from WVU’s multidisciplinary Neuro-Oncology Clinic. NBTF representatives will also be on site. 

The workshop is open to all caregivers of brain tumor patients.  A caregiver can be a friend, partner, or family member. 

Advanced registration is required.  For registration or information, call Jennifer Craddock at (304) 598-4564 or contact the NBTF at (800) 934-2873, extension 103.

For more information on West Virginia University’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/mbrcc/.

- WVU -

For more information:
Sherry Stoneking, Cancer Center (304) 598-4564
jc/sls/cw: 08-16-07

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