Six Week Class Teaches Tools for those Caring for a Loved One

Six Week Class Teaches Tools for those Caring for a Loved One

West Bloomfield, MI  – The Area Agency on Aging 1-B (AAA 1-B) is bringing its Powerful Tools for Caregivers class to West Bloomfield this March. The six-week workshop meets weekly and helps family caregivers build the practical coping skills they need on their caregiving journey.

The classes are designed to help people who are taking care of an aging or chronically ill loved one—perhaps a parent, grandparent, spouse, relative, neighbor or friend. They might be caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, someone who has had a stroke or has cancer, or an older loved one who is having trouble caring for themselves they way they used to.

Providing care for an aging or disabled loved one can be very rewarding, but it can be exceptionally demanding as well―both physically and emotionally. Caregivers can often feel like they are on call 24 hours a day. Depending on their loved ones condition, they can be doing anything from helping their loved one get to doctor’s appointments, making meals, dispensing medications, or helping their loved ones with day-to-day activities like getting dressed, personal hygiene and bathing.

The Powerful Tools for Caregivers classes are often taught by trainers who have cared for a family member themselves  The class series is designed to give caregivers the tools they need to manage stress, make tough decisions, and communicate effectively with the person they are caring for and other family members. The class uses role modeling and other hands-on exercises to help caregivers learn to:

Relax and reduce stress

Take better care of themselves

Reduce guilt, anger and depression

Communicate effectively with family members, doctors and in-home help

Make tough decisions

Set goals and problem solve

Be aware of community resources

“On average, caregivers spend about 13 days a month caring for a loved one, and their own health and well-being is often put on the back burner,” said Kristin Wilson, program manager, Nutrition & Wellness Services for the AAA 1-B. “The classes were developed to help caregivers deal with the issues they live with every day. It’s typical for caregivers to think of themselves last. This class will help them deal with the overwhelming emotions and the work of caring for another person. It gives them the tools they need to ensure their own health and well-being.”

The Powerful Tools for Caregivers class will be held at the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Activities Center located at 4640 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48323. Classes will be held on Fridays, from 1 to 2:30 p.m., beginning on March 3 and running through April 7. The class is offered as a series, and it’s suggested that participants attend all six of the classes.

The classes are offered at no charge, but a one-time, $25 donation is suggested to help support the program. Advance registration for the classes is required. To register for this class, please call 800-852-7795 and press “1” for Trainings. More information about the classes, along with other resources for family caregivers, is available on the AAA 1-B website (aaa1b.com).

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About the Area Agency on Aging 1-B
The Area Agency on Aging 1-B is a nonprofit agency responsible for services to more than 640,000 persons aged 60 and older residing in Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties. Through the provision of home care and community-based services, older adults and persons with disabilities are given options that can help maintain their health and independence in their homes and communities.

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