Iowa State provides assistance to growing number of family caregivers
People across Iowa are learning to thrive, not just survive, as they provide care to their loved ones who are chronically ill, aging or have a disability.
“Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” a six-week series of classes provided by Human Sciences Extension and Outreach, gives participants the tools they need to address the challenges of caregiving.
Participants learn skills to reduce stress, improve caregiving confidence, establish balance in their lives, communicate needs, make tough decisions, and locate helpful resources. They create weekly action plans to help them achieve these objectives.
“These tools are taught in a safe and supportive atmosphere,” said Donna Donald, a human sciences extension specialist serving southern Iowa. She said the goals of the program align well with the mission of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to keep people healthy.
Nancy Adrian, administrative assistant at Washington County Extension, is one of more than 125 trained class leaders across the state. To become certified, leaders go through an intensive two-day training, taught by master trainers and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach family life program specialists.
“Iowa is a state with a large aging population," said Adrian. “Most caregivers are unpaid, and more than half manage a job while assisting their loved ones,” she added. “Caregivers can find it hard to stretch themselves to try and meet everyone’s needs. And it can take a toll on them.”
“Powerful Tools for Caregivers gives participants resources and tools to help them deal with and take care of themselves while they take care of their loved ones,” said Adrian.
For more information on Powerful Tools for Caregivers, contact Nancy Adrian at Washington County Extension at 319-653-4811.