College Student Builds Community Connections through “Cooking for Caregivers” at St. Paul Elder Services 

As part of her Health Care Administration program at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, Peyton Ford has the opportunity to coordinate leadership projects for St. Paul Elder Services. Through her collaboration with a local caregiver who utilizes the support of St. Paul Elder Services, the idea for “Cooking for Caregivers” was born.  

Addressing the Full Plates of Caregivers 

Being a caregiver comes with a lengthy list of responsibilities, one being figuring out what to make for dinner. “Our goal is to provide some relief from the day-to-day stressors of caregiving by providing resources and ideas for easy meal preparation,” Ford explained. While keeping meals easy to prepare helps lighten the load for caregivers, it is also important for the meals to be healthy. Peyton shared that the event provided an opportunity for caregivers to learn about meal prepping with nutrition in mind.

Learning the Ropes of Long-Term Care

Throughout her 12-month administrative experience at St. Paul Elder Services, Peyton has spent time in each department, learning all about the day-to-day operations and complexities that come with her future goal of being a licensed nursing home administrator. She was also tasked with leading three different projects. Learning more about the need for the “Cooking for Caregivers” event from a local family caregiver made this a natural choice, and a grant to sponsor the event from Thrivent made it all-the-more possible.

Building Connections 

Beyond a delicious dinner, 5+ freezer meals, and a crockpot and gift package, the caretakers who participated in Cooking for Caregivers could take that time to connect to St. Paul Elder Services’ registered dietician and one another. Peyton, having seen her own grandpa care for her grandma with dementia, knows that the event was and will continue to be of immense value for others like her grandparents. 

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