Area caregivers learning to take care of themselves as they care for others is the focus of six-week course being offered through the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service.
"Powerful Tools for Caregivers" is being offered in response to research that indicates that three-fourths of caregivers do not get consistent help from family members, and that 30 percent of caregivers die before those they are caring for, said Betty English, Family Consumer Sciences agent for Columbia and Richmond counties.
Statistics reveal that 43 percent of caregivers of Alzheimer's patients fall into clinical depression that can linger for years, even after their loved one dies.
The classes, set to start July 6 and run through Aug. 10, will be held at the Columbia County Library on Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The course costs $30 per person and includes a book.
"This is an interactive program, with full participation that they will have tools to take back with them and put them into action for the participant, the person being taken care of and the rest of the family," said English.
Each weekly class will focus on a different aspect of caregiving and offer tips to help ease the stress of caring for a family member, English said.
"The target audience that we are trying to help is the individual who has a disabled person -- parent or child -- in their home 24/7/52," said English. "This program is totally focused on them, so they can have a reprieve, help them reduce stress, improve their self-confidence, communicate their feelings better with other family members, balance their lives, increase their ability to make tough decisions and locate helpful resources."
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