The need for care isn’t just for older people. The unfortunate reality is that people of any age may require long-term care, defined as care lasting at least 12 months. When accidents happen, a short hospital stay may be the immediate aftermath, but what is the next step?
Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources is offering “Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” a free six-week series that provides unpaid family caregivers with the skills and confidence needed to provide better care for themselves while caring for others. Participants will receive a copy of “The Caregiver Helpbook,” which is developed specifically for this class.
“Powerful Tools for Caregivers” will be offered Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the South Hill Branch Library, located at 15420 Meridian E., in Puyallup. Classes run from June 6 through July 18, but there is no class on July 4. Participants must commit to attend all six sessions. Topics addressed include:
- Taking care of yourself
- Identifying and reducing personal stress
- Communicating feelings, needs and concerns
- Communication in challenging situations
- Learning from our emotions
- Mastering caregiving decisions
Most of all long-term care is provided at home by unpaid family caregivers such as spouses, parents, adult children and other close relatives. Caregivers help with everything from buying groceries to managing medications. Caregiving is not easy and there are rarely breaks. It can result in emotional, mental, and physical health problems when the caregiver is tremendously invested in providing good, quality care to a loved one.
“Caregiving is the unheralded backbone of health care,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “We are often thrust into caregiving by circumstances out of our control. We are glad to do it and feel rewarded by it, but over time we can also become exhausted and stressed – the dangerous downside of caregiving.”
“Powerful Tools for Caregivers” is a free series and open to the public. Space is limited to 15 participants who must register in advance by calling 253-798-4423. For more information about the classes, call the Aging and Disability Resources Center at 253-798-4600.
Bob Riler, Pierce County Human Services - Aging & Disability Resources
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