Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Caregiving is not for the faint of heart.  If you are currently a caregiver for a relative or friend, you may be experiencing increased stress, anxiety, or depression. These symptoms commonly appear in individuals who manage the daunting task of caring long-term for another human being. You likely are already taking care of your own family, which is a full-time job on its own. Between providing for growing children and caring for an elder or loved one with disability, you may not find free time to relax, explore personal interests, or engage in social opportunities, which can have negative effects on your health. Assuming the role of caregiver increases the risk that you will neglect your own well-being and allow stress to consume your life.

If you find yourself in this situation, know that there are tools and training which can help you cope and restore balance to your life.  One such opportunity is the Powerful Tools for Caregivers (PTC) Workshop, which helps caregivers not just to survive, but also to thrive in their caregiving role.

The Powerful Tools for Caregivers Workshop, which has been offered nationwide for over twelve years, was developed over a three-year process of material development, refinement, and effectiveness evaluation.  Over 2,200 Class Leaders in 36 states have been trained to teach the program.  At Elder Law of East Tennessee, we have three Class Leaders on staff.  They describe the program as one that gives participants immediate relief because the tools that are taught are easy to implement.  And while it is not a support group, participants benefit from hearing about each other’s experiences and discovering that they are not alone.  “Watching people hear that they aren’t the only ones in their situation is powerful,” says ELET Class Leader Jill Shoffner.  “When they hear someone else’s story that they can relate to, you can see the lightbulb switch on.  You can tell it brings them a lot of relief.”

The PTC Workshop ELET offers to current and past clients is a set of six classes spanning the course of six weeks. To provide as many opportunities for caregiver support as possible, Elder Law of East Tennessee is proud to offer PTC classes multiple times per year.

How do I know when I should attend the PTC Workshop?

You should enroll in the PTC Workshop if you are currently acting as a caregiver for someone in your life or expect to assume a caregiving role in the near future. It is important that you do not wait until you feel completely overwhelmed by your caregiving situation to pursue this opportunity. The PTC program will provide you with the information you need to thrive in your caregiving position. However, it is not a support group. Each week, the structured classes build on one another. Participants who attend all six classes will gain the most from this program.

What benefits will I receive from these workshops?

The PTC program will fill your caregiver tool box with the skills and resources to successfully navigate your caregiving role before you burn out.  It is designed to focus on you as the caregiver and address the hardships you will likely encounter in your position caring for your loved one. It will help you reduce stress, improve self-confidence, develop effective communication skills, restore balance to your life, learn how to approach and make tough decisions, and locate helpful resources. The tools learned each week are immediately applicable, and our clients report feeling a great deal of immediate relief, hope, and encouragement that only grows with each week.

You are also likely to learn from other attendees, who may be experiencing similar situations and feelings. In the past we have witnessed participants banding together to overcome their individual issues and drawing comfort from the realization that they are not alone in their struggles. At the end of the six weeks, participants are sorry to see the class end and often chose to continue being informal supports and resources to one another on an ongoing basis. You can find descriptions of each class here.

When is the next opportunity to take the PTC Workshop?

The PTC Workshop is offered by our firm several times per year. The next session will begin on October 4, 2016, and continue through November 8th, meeting once per week on Tuesdays. A morning and an evening session will be offered (9:30 am – 12:00 pm or 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm respectively). These classes are free but do require registration due to a limited class size. To register, contact Connie Taylor at 865-313-2030 or Connie@elderlawetn.com. For more information regarding our upcoming PTC program opportunities, please visit the event webpage here.

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