Caregivers often feel physically, emotionally and financially drained while caring for a loved one with a chronic condition. They may feel as though they have lost their identity or are ill-equipped to help their loved one. “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” is a self-care educational program to help participants build skills that caregivers need to take better care of themselves as they provide care to others.
“This is not a support group – it’s a training course about how to not lose yourself while caring for someone with a chronic condition. We teach participants coping mechanisms, communication methods, and identifying certain traits in themselves and their caretaker,” Andrea Applegate, class facilitator, said.
The free, six-week course is offered by Sarah Bush Lincoln and made possible through a grant from WomenConnected, a philanthropic giving circle at Sarah Bush Lincoln, and the Volunteer Guild.
First session of classes meets from 11 am to 12:30 pm, on Tuesdays beginning August 3 through September 7, in the SBL Diagnostic Imaging conference room in the Health Center. Participants should enter through Entrance A. The second session of classes meet 9 to 10:30 am, on Tuesdays beginning November 2 through December 7 in the same location.
The course helps family caregivers reduce personal stress, improve self-confidence and change negative self-talk, communicate their needs to family and healthcare or service providers, communicate effectively in challenging situations, recognize the messages in their emotions, deal with difficult feelings and make tough caregiving decisions.
“You can look at it as two hours to reflect on yourself. And you can use these tools to try to bring back some normalcy to your life,” Applegate said.
Course facilitators Stacia Goings and Andrea Applegate explained that the course is interactive and discussion-based, and helps participants use the tools to put specific plans into action. Participants will receive the book, “The Caregivers Helpbook,” developed specifically for the class.
Class size is limited. Please call 217 238-4524 to reserve your seat, or register online at www.sarahbushlincoln.org/calendar. Face masks are required for the safety of the community.