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Caregiver Support Service Available at Augustana Care Open Circle

November 30, 2017

Open_Circle_Caregiver_Consult.jpgAre you a family caregiver experiencing added stress and pressure while caring for someone you love who is older? At Augustana Care, we recognize caregiving is challenging and can often be overwhelming and stressful. Being a good caregiver takes a lot of dedication, patience and support. We understand the demands placed on caregivers and are committed to providing quality care to your family member and to you, the caregiver. That’s why Augustana Care Open Circle is pleased to offer care consultations through Open Circle Support Services.

Care Consultation helps caregivers gain knowledge, skills and tools tailored to each individual’s situation. "We help people identify options so they can care for themselves as well as others," says Augustana Care Open Circle Director Peggy Gaard. "Caregivers are the experts on their situation. Together we can identify what the critical issues are and help families find solutions." Targeted to the needs, goals, and values of caregivers, Care Consultation is a working plan developed via face-to-face meetings and includes the following: 

  • Identification of caregiver needs and values through a comprehensive, individualized assessment
  • Development of a caregiver-centered plan
  • Education and assistance with finding resources and additional services
  • Collaborative problem-solving
  • Ongoing coaching and support in meeting established goals
  • Facilitation of family meetings as needed

“I was able to step back during the sessions and take a look at how things were impacting me and how I could better cope. This has helped me in becoming more patient and a little less stressed. I would definitely recommend a care consultation to anyone and especially those new to caregiving,” says a caregiver who recently participated in a consultation. Participants benefit in the following ways:

  • Increased confidence in caregiving skills
  • Improved emotional well-being
  • Increased ability for self-care
  • Decreased feelings of being burdened

To learn more benefits, or to download the Caregiver Care Consultation flyer, visit:

The Augustana Care Open Circle Care Consultation service is available on a fee-for-service basis, using a sliding scale. Consultation packages are available and include a minimum of three sessions with the flexibility to add additional meetings. Family meetings for three or more people can also be scheduled. Those who care for individuals enrolled in the Alternative Care (AC) and Elderly Waiver (EW) programs can receive payment for care consultations with authorization from a case manager. For more information, please contact Carol Ashwood, MSW, LICSW, at 952-697-5370 or email at:

Augustana Care also offers a variety of services that can help meet the changing needs of those we serve. We increase people’s abilities to live independently through day services and home modifications; offer on-site clinics and educational presentations to enhance health and wellness; provide spiritual care to all faiths and traditions; and help residents find authentic connections with others through volunteering and other activities. We also offer a range of housing options, including independent and assisted living, as well as memory care. To learn how Augustana Care can help you, contact us today.

Clinical Social Worker Carol Ashwood is the caregiver consultant for Augustana Care Open Circle Support Services. Carol received her master’s degree in social work (MSW) from the University of Thomas/St. Catherine University and is a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW). Carol is certified as a caregiver consultant through the Minnesota Board on Aging. She is also a certified program coach for the REACH Community Program through the Memphis Caregiver Center.