Classes help family caregivers care for themselves

Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources is offering “Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” a free six-week series of classes with a goal of giving unpaid family caregivers the skills and confidence needed better care for themselves while caring for others. 

The classes will be offered Thursday afternoons from 1 to 2:30 p.m. July 12 – Aug. 16 in the Board Room at the Puyallup Library, located at 324 S. Meridian in downtown Puyallup. Topics to be addressed include taking care of yourself, identifying and reducing personal stress, communicating feelings, needs and concerns, communication in challenging situations, lkearning from our emotions, and mastering caregiving decisions.

“Many of us help older, sick or disabled family members and friends every day,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager Aging and Disability Resources, a county program. “We know we are helping, but we don’t think of ourselves as caregivers. We are happy to do this and feel rewarded by it, but if the demands are heavy, we can also become exhausted and stressed. ‘Powerful Tools’ provides guidance and training to help caregivers with their number one task – self-care.”

Participants will receive a copy of “The Caregiver Helpbook” and learn how to reduce stress, communicate effectively, and deal with their emotions in a healthy way, Van Valkenburg said.

Participants are being asked to attend all six sessions. Space is limited and reservations are required by calling 253-798-4600.