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FCA Classes, Workshops, and Retreats

Here are descriptions of some of the family caregiver classes and retreats that have been given by Family Caregiver Alliance.
Note: Not all classes or events are offered every year. 

Caregiver College

Do you help to care for a family member or friend who is frail, disabled, has a chronic illness or cognitive impairment? Then it’s back to school for you! Our popular Caregiver College for learning and sharing is offered in two ways: as a day-long program, or in a series of 4 classes on consecutive weeks. Class is open to anyone, is FREE, and includes valuable information and hands-on practice on transferring skills, incontinence care and toileting, bathing, hygiene, grooming and dressing, dental care, feeding and nutrition, dealing with behavioral issues, and caregiver self-care. Time is allowed for interaction with other caregivers and sharing of information in a confidential setting is encouraged.

Communicating with Health Care Professionals

It is quite likely that you as the family caregiver have found yourself gradually assuming, month-by month, the role of taking care of your loved one as dementia or other disabling illness has taken hold, and a first encounter with the health care system has left you confused and with a feeling of the system being very impersonal. This 1-day FREE workshop helps to clarify the current realities of the health care experience, teaches you how to identify and use more effective communication techniques with health care professionals, and to practice powerful communication tools and techniques in order to be a better advocate on behalf of your loved one.

Controlling Your Frustration

Providing care for an ill relative may be one of the most challenging experiences of a family caregiver’s life. With those challenges come emotions, both pleasant and unpleasant. This FREE class focuses on providing the caregiver with information on the different aspects of caregiving that are likely to trigger strong emotional reactions, such as understanding frustration, and being aware of the danger signals and how to control them. This class is also offered in Spanish.

It Takes Two

A Refreshing Approach to Understanding and Coping with Dementia Behavior

This is a free, 4-week class (one day a week for 4 consecutive weeks) to help the caregiver of someone with memory loss better understand and communicate with their family member by learning more about their ability to understand and communicate. Caregivers will learn new ways to respond to troubling behavior, and feel more confident and positive about their caregiving role. Come prepared for good company, laughter, information and communication.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

It’s not easy balancing your caregiving role and other parts of your life when you care for someone with a chronic health condition such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s or stroke. Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a FREE, six-week class (1 day a week) giving caregivers invaluable tools to help reduce stress, make difficult decisions, communicate more effectively in challenging situations, and most importantly, prevent caregiver burnout!

Throughout these weeks, Powerful Tools will show caregivers how to take care of themselves, make tough decisions, set goals and solve problems, help to reduce feelings of guilt, anger and depression, and communicate effectively with family members, doctors, and paid helpers.

Taking Care of SoMEone Else

A dynamic 2-hour workshop for YOU, the caregiver! The caregiving of your family member may extend over many years, and the tendency may be to set your life aside during this time. You are invited to stay open to change, to think about other ways you might be handling your caregiving situation, and how you can take action on YOUR OWN behalf by learning a few tools to help YOU take care of YOU!
Subjects covered are: steps to identify sources of stress and how to manage them, negative self-talk, inability to ask for help, and identifying what we can and cannot change.

Tech Tools for Caregivers

This webinar offers a practical overview of how technology tools may help family caregivers provide care for a frail or ill family member, partner, or friend at home. Technology products like smart phone apps, communication aids, in home sensors, and webcams can help make a home safer and reduce the caregiving workload. The webinar will include information on how to determine what your needs are, the costs of tech tools, privacy considerations, and ease of use.

There Must be a Better Way Than This

Offers tips for understanding and communicating with someone affected by dementia. Losing the ability to communicate can be one of the most frustrating and difficult challenges for people with dementia. As caregivers, we’re often at a loss as to how to talk with and respond to a loved one affected by dementia. This 1-day workshop teaches you new strategies to handle difficult behaviors and how to remain connected with your family member. Discussions will cover how dementia affects a person’s ability to understand and communicate; learn simple skills to handle troubling behavior; and feel more confident in your caregiving role.


Retreats are scheduled periodically (although have been on haitus since COVID) and are planned specifically for the family caregiver as either a 1-day or 2-day respite from caregiving for their loved ones.

1-day retreat

These FREE retreats (registration is necessary), are comprised of an educational component such as identifying and managing stress, tips for preventing caregiver burnout, and interaction with other caregivers in quiet and peaceful surroundings, with time built in for nature walks or alone time for personal reflection and relaxing. Lunch is provided followed by entertainment such as rhythmic drumming or a demonstration of relaxation techniques for the further enjoyment and benefit of caregivers. Call our Education Coordinator about registration as retreats fill up quickly. (You may ask to be placed on a waitlist for the next retreat).

2-day retreat

Planned for caregivers to relax and inspire! A special place for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation in a tranquil setting with people who share your concerns. Past themes have included: “An Exploration of Caregiving and Family Relationships”, “The Caregiving Journey: Changing Relationships”, “Anger, Intimacy and Grief: A Delicate Balance”, and “Grief and Loss: Creating Our Caregiving Future.” Also included on the program are massages, relaxation exercises, journal writing, hiking trails and entertainment, as well as delicious home-cooked meals!