Information and resources that support your role in caring for a loved one.

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 help. Fortunately, there are educational programs that can help family caregivers learn to better take care of both their loved ones and themselves, including one in Marlborough beginning later this month.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a FREE, six-week educational program designed to help family caregivers and led by trained and certified instructors. The workshop is designed to 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 or friend, and whether your loved one lives with you, in their own home, or resides in an assisted or supportive living facility.

For communities in the BayPath Elder Services, the classes are led by BayPath Caregiver Specialist Alicia Rego and Caregiving MetroWest Program Manager Douglas Flynn, who are both trained and certified as Powerful Tools for Caregivers Class Leaders. After a recent workshop 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.”

“I have tools to use and know I am not alone now,” added another.

“I am more aware of my needs and the possibility of help,” said a third respondent.

The next offering of this course will take place in Marlborough, on Wednesdays from 12 to 2 p.m., beginning on May 23 and ending on June 27. The workshops will be held in the Marlborough Supportive Housing Community Room at 250 Main Street, Marlborough, MA.

Registration is required. For more information or to register, call 508-573-7239 or email arego@baypath.org.

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