The Center on Aging and Disability Policy (CADP) at Mount Saint Mary College was selected in 2017 by the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) to implement the ProActive Caring Stress Reduction initiative for family caregivers of individuals with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities. ProActive Caring Stress Reduction is a FREE six-week training comprised of three in-person sessions and three podcasts. Informed by Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Positive Adult Development (PAD), training models developed by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, it aims to teach effective coping mechanisms for short- and long-term stressful situations. The program provides training to family caregivers of individuals across the lifespan, from birth to end of life.
MBSR is a strategy for increased coping and decreased reactivity to physical and emotional difficulties. MBSR sessions introduce caregivers to mindfulness practice in the form of sitting meditation, body awareness, and mindful movement. PAD is a cognitive-behavioral approach training to help caregivers manage stress by reducing negative thinking and enhancing more effective problem solving.
In 2018 the CADP partnered with Community Service Providers to offer ProActive Caring Stress Reduction directly to family caregivers. Going forward, in 2019 and 2020, we are moving to a Train-the-Trainer model in order to provide the training to more family caregivers and to expand the project across the New York State.
Train-the-Trainer conferences are intended to train teams of clinical and peer facilitators to conduct ProActive Caring Stress Reduction classes for family caregivers.
Benefits to participating Community Service Providers include:
- Free training for members of your staff and family advocates.
- The opportunity to provide family caregivers with evidence-informed support training.
- The opportunity to assist caregivers with stress reduction and teach them effective coping mechanisms for both short- and long-term stressful situations.
- Free curriculum materials, along with any updates made to the curriculum.
Responsibilities of Community Service Providers will include:
- Identifying teams of staff and family caregiver facilitators who agree, after being trained on model implementation, to deliver at least two trainings in the six-month period following the Train-the-Trainer event.
- Promoting the availability and benefits of the trainings, so they reach the maximum number of caregivers, including caregivers in unserved and under-served communities.
- Hosting the caregiver trainings and, if possible, providing refreshments and childcare support.
The Agency Team:
Underlying the ProActive Caring Program is the belief that family caregivers are experts in caring for someone with a disability. Accordingly, peer facilitators are a vital part of the ProActive Caring team, and every ProActive Caring Stress Reduction course is co-led by a clinical facilitator and a peer facilitator.
Unlike clinical facilitators, whose time is reimbursed by the agency for which they work, peer facilitators will receive stipends from the ProActive Caring program. Other benefits to family caregivers who serve as peer facilitators include the opportunity to learn strategies for stress reduction and self-care and the opportunity to support other caregivers.
A ProActive Caring Train-the-Trainer conference will be hosted by The Parent Network of WNY at Daemen College in Amherst, NY, on June 18, 2019, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Train-the-Trainer Conference Registration and Information
For information about ProActive Caring Train-the-Trainer conferences in other regions of New York State, please join our mailing list to receive flyers when available.