Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Power Tools Course

I have been impressed by the number of conferences and classes that exist to help caregivers find resources for their aging elders and care tools for ailing seniors to live more independently. There are fewer opportunities for caregivers to learn to care for themselves.

One of the classes that does focus on the caregiver's needs is "Powerful Tools for Caregivers". This class is a six-week educational program developed by Legacy Health System's Caregiver Services and provides family caregivers with the skills and confidence to better care for themselves while caring for someone with a chronic illness. Class members receive The Caregiver Helpbook as a take-home reference. Legacy Health reports that many class participants have fewer feelings of anger, guilt and depression and increased confidence in coping with the demands of caregiving. After attending you're also more likely to use community services that can help ease your burden. It's all good.

The topics covered during the program are:
  • Taking Care of You;
  • Identifying and Reducing Personal Stress;
  • Communicating Feelings, Needs, and Concerns;
  • Communicating in Challenging Situations;
  • Learning From Our Emotions; and
  • Mastering Caregiving Decisions.
The wonderful news is that many local councils, support groups and organizations are now arranging for this course to be offered around the country. Check with your local AARP chapter, Area Agency on Aging, caregiver support group or on the Internet to find out if there will be a class offered in your area. The course fee is small--usually between $10 and $25 for six weeks--but no one is turned away because of cost.

This is a great opportunity to learn some techniques for coping with stress, become more confident and find better balance in your life. If you learn of a session near you, I encourage you to attend.

Blessings on your caregiving day!

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