Aging Well

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Caregivers

According to the AARP Public Policy Institute’s report,Valuing the Invaluable: 2015 Update, in 2013, North Dakota had 62,100 family caregivers who provided 58 million hours of unpaid care valued at $860 million.

These caregivers are spouses, partners, adult children, other family members, neighbors and friends.  Family caregivers provide a range of daily activities, such as transportation, personal care, managing finances, grocery shopping and much more.  Finding ways to support North Dakota’s family caregivers and bridge the gaps where they may be struggling, is an aim of the Powerful Tools for Caregivers program.

NDSU Extension Service provides statewide coordination for this national program disseminated by Powerful Tools for Caregivers, an independent, non-profit organization based in Portland, Oregon. Over the course of six weeks, family caregivers learn about tools needed to take care of themselves as they care for an older adult. If family caregivers learn to take good care of themselves, they will be better prepared to take good care of their loved ones. Caregivers learn how to: reduce stress, improve self-confidence, better communicate their feelings, balance their lives, increase ability to make tough decisions, and locate helpful resources. 

The Powerful Tools for Caregivers program was recently expanded to serve the population of caregivers of children with special health and behavioral needs as research indicates caregivers experience many common concerns and stresses addressed by this program.  Class leaders will now be able to conduct both the classes for caregivers of adults with chronic conditions and the classes for caregivers of children with special health and behavioral needs.

For more information about the Powerful Tools for Caregivers program or to learn about upcoming local workshops, contact Jane Strommen at jane.strommen@ndsu.edu.

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