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‘Powerful Tools for Caregivers’ class starts Aug. 8

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News from Area VI Agency on Aging

Family caregivers are the foundation of long-term care nationwide. An estimated 65.7 million Americans, roughly one-third of the adult population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend. The estimated value for their services, were they paid, is $375 billion a year, which is almost double that which is spent by the government and private individuals on homecare and nursing homes. Besides their priceless value to those they care for, the economy could not withstand replacing them with paid workers.

But caregiving can take an enormous toll on those providing it. It is a matter of record that caregivers often become incapacitated or die before their care receiver. Caregivers face much physical and emotional stress in this important life role.

If you are a caregiver, or know a caregiver, please consider that a caregiver’s well-being is vital to their ability to continue in their role. Yes, “take care of yourself,” but what does that even mean? The Agency on Aging offers a class to help caregivers ask for and find the help they need, and ways to “thrive instead of just survive.” Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a six-week class of 1.5 half hours once a week. A class will be offered this fall in Polson on six Tuesdays, Aug. 8- Sept. 12. Class time is 10 - 11:30 a.m. Class sessions will be held in the O’Maley meeting room in Providence St. Joseph Medical Center.

The fee for the class is $50, however a sliding scale according to income is used so many people pay much less or nothing. Participants receive a book and many other materials. If you need someone to stay with your care receiver so that you can attend the class, you can be reimbursed up to $180 to pay that person.

Every time you get on a plane they do the drill where they tell you that you must put on your own oxygen mask before you assist others. It’s vital to attend to your own emotional and physical well-being to be able to continue caring for your loved one. This class is designed to help you do that. Professional caregivers also find help from this class.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from Powerful Tools for Caregivers class, please contact Jane or Holly at the Area VI Agency on Aging, 883-7284 or 1-800-266-4188, for more information or to sign up. Class size is limited.

If you are in Lincoln, Mineral, or Sanders counties and want to see a future class in your area, call us and let us know so we can consider it for future planning.

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