Are you caring for a loved one with dementia? If so, you know what a difficult job it is.

The Maine Savvy Caregiver, a 12-hour training program for caregivers of people with dementia, will be offered Fridays, June 15, 22 and 29, and July 13, 20 and 27, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Waldo County General Hospital’s Education Building, Northport Avenue, Belfast.

The free Savvy Caregiver training is designed to build:

• Attitude: develop a sense of confidence in caregiving and learn how to care for yourself.

• Skills: learn to easily interact and communicate with the person, and how to manage challenging behaviors.

• Knowledge: learn what dementia is and how it affects the person and their behavior.

This training is a research study and caregivers need to complete surveys before and after the training to evaluate the program.

It is also important that you plan to attend all six classes.

The training will be taught by Ashley Hoffmann BSW, of Spectrum Generations, who says she “can relate professionally and on a personal level” to those who are family caregivers. “My pet peeve is when people say they understand and they have no idea,” she says. “I really do understand.”

Her grandfather was suffering from cancer and dementia when he came to live with Ashley and her mother while Ashley was in college. She says he changed “from the sweetest man on earth and became evil and mean — that was hard to learn to deal with.”

Ashley says before that experience, she had always said she would work with children but that changed her mind and the elderly became her passion.

She has worked in nursing homes in Pennsylvania and is now the director of Adult Day Care for Spectrum Generations and is also a Family Caregiver specialist.

To register for the training or for more information, call 1-800-282-0764 ext. 127 or 338-1190.