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Caregiver Training Workshops

 ​The starting point of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton/Photo by Douglas Flynn

While providing care and comfort to a loved one can be rewarding, caregiving is also a challenging endeavor. Family caregivers are thrust into roles in which they lack familiarity, experience or training, all while upending their own lives and schedules.

Caregivers can find themselves suddenly serving as nurses, chefs, chauffeurs, financial advisers, and dozens of other roles to help their loved ones through an illness or chronic condition. 

But learning how to do some of the specialized tasks asked of them, while also figuring out how to balance those duties with the demands of their own lives to avoid becoming overcome by stress and burning out takes some help.

Fortunately, there are educational programs that can help family caregivers learn to better take care of both their loved ones and themselves.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a six-week educational program designed to help family caregivers. It is based on the highly successful chronic Disease Self-Management Program developed by Dr. Kate Lorig and her colleagues at Stanford University’s Patient Education Research Center.

This program will help you take care of yourself while caring for a relative or friend. You will benefit from this class whether you are helping a parent, spouse, friend, someone who lives at home, in a nursing home or around the country.

For communities in the BayPath Elder Services, the classes are led by BayPath staff and volunteers who are trained and certified as Powerful Tools for Caregivers Class Leaders. 

After one of the classes recently held in Hudson, participants praised the program in their post-workshop surveys.

“The individual topics are exactly what caregivers deal with and [the class] leaders are so knowledgeable,” wrote one respondent. “I’m more equipped to take specific actions. It prompted me to initiate [getting] respite for myself and [to hold] another family meeting.”

Other comments included:

- “I have tools to use and know I am not alone now.”

- “I will take better care of myself. I have a better understanding of emotions.”

- “I am more aware of my needs and the possibility of help.”

BayPath will soon be offering additional Powerful Tools for Caregivers workshops. Exact times and location will be updated here when finalized.

For information on all upcoming classes at BayPath Elder Services, contact us at 508-573-7239. 

The other ASAPs in the area – HESSCO, Springwell and Tri-Valley – also offer Powerful Tools for Caregivers classes. To contact Tri-Valley's Caregiver Specialist, call 508-949-6640, while HESSCO's Caregiver Specialist can be reached at 781-784-4944 and Springwell's Caregiver Specialist at 617-926-4100.

Savvy Caregiver

The Savvy Caregiver Program is also a FREE six-session training series for family and friends who are active caregivers of a person with Alzheimer's or a related dementia.

While this workshop also includes strategies and resources to help family caregivers care for themselves, unlike Powerful Tools for Caregivers the Savvy Caregiver program focuses primarily on helping the caregiver deliver the best possible care to their loved one.

Taking care of a person living with Alzheimer’s or related dementia is specialized work. To do this work successfully, caregivers need special skills, knowledge and a positive attitude that helps them to care for themselves.

The Savvy Caregiver workshop will help you become an expert in caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s or related dementias.

Savvy Caregiver will help you:

- Understand the impact of dementia on both you and the person you are caring for.
- Learn the skills you need to manage daily life.
- Take control and set goals. 
- Communicate more effectively.
- Strengthen family resources.
- Feel better about your caregiving.
- Take care of you.

BayPath staff and volunteers have also been trained and certified to teach the Savvy Caregiver workshop, and have led workshops in Hudson, Southborough, Sudbury and Framingham.

"This has been a wonderful opportunity, a chance to learn and ask questions," wrote one participant in the post-workshop survey. "Thank you for making this program available. The manual is a good tool that can be shared with other family members.

"I try to process 'my challenging times' with my mom through her eyes, understanding what life is like for her right now," added the same caregiver about the changes she has made as a result of the Savvy Caregiver training.

For information on other upcoming classes at BayPath Elder Services, contact us at 508-573-7239. You can also contact Tri-Valley's Caregiver Specialist, call 508-949-6640, HESSCO's Caregiver Specialist at 781-784-4944 and Springwell's Caregiver Specialist at 617-926-4100 for information about Savvy Caregiver workshops in the communities they serve.

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BayPath Elder Services, Inc

Caregiving MetroWest is a no-cost program of BayPath Elder Services, Inc. and was made possible in part by grants from the MetroWest Health Foundation.

Avidia Bank

BayPath Elder Services, Inc.'s Family Caregiver Support Program and Caregiving MetroWest are grateful for the generous support of our community partner, Avidia Bank, which helps us continue to give area family caregivers the information, resources and support they need.