AMES, Iowa -- The frustration, depression and even anger that may affect family caregivers can obscure their decision-making, upset other relationships and impact their health, says Kim Brantner, a human science specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Providing care for aging parents, a spouse or loved one, or other family members can be a stressful responsibility and overwhelming experience. ISU Extension and Outreach offers “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” to help family caregivers find the support they need.
“The nationally acclaimed ‘Powerful Tools for Caregivers’ program helps individuals learn skills for decreasing stress and restoring balance in their lives,” said Brantner, who specializes in family life issues.
“Powerful Tools for Caregivers” is a series of six weekly sessions aimed at helping individuals who are caring for their loved one, family or friends. Classes are offered by certified trainers who conduct the weekly series.
“Caregivers receive tools to help reduce personal stress, communicate better with loved ones and health care professionals, increase their ability to make difficult decisions and balance their lives better,” said Brantner. Class participants receive information about local resources and identify solutions to common caregiving problems.
The program provides information, support strategies, communication techniques, stress reduction ideas and resources to assist family caregivers with their concerns related to caregiving.
“If you take good care of yourself, you will be better prepared to take good care of your loved one,” Branter said.
A number of communities across the state are offering local “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” classes. Check the “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” website or contact an ISU Extension and Outreach county office to be directed to an extension human sciences specialist for more information.