Currently providing support and resources to caregivers in eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa
Most people don’t plan to become caregivers for another person in their life; however, many find themselves in that situation as a result of either an acute incident or a chronic illness. Whether providing care at home or having responsibility for a neighbor or for someone in a care facility; down the block or miles away, caregivers face many challenges – physical and emotional – and place their own health at risk.
Tools for Caregivers is based on the highly successful Chronic Disease Self-Management Program developed at Stanford University’s Patient Education Center. Unlike many respite programs which provide paid and volunteer individuals to give relief to caregivers for a certain period of time, Powerful Tools for Caregivers is devoted to teaching the art of “self-care.” During a six-week course, participants discover how to thrive as individuals while managing caregiving responsibilities. Data from class participant evaluations indicates: Significant improvement in behaviors: increased exercise, use of relaxation techniques and health self-care; improved emotions, including reduced anger, guilt, and depression; increased self-efficacy; and increased use of community services.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers has undergone extensive testing in rural and minority communities. Because the program utilizes a variety of different teaching techniques including small and large group discussion and making action plans, caregivers are able to individualize the program and adapt it to their culture.
In Nebraska and southwest Iowa, Powerful Tools is a program of Executive Service Corps Inc., a nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen nonprofits and individuals through coaching, consulting, and education. Instructors are specially trained leaders and caregivers who have successfully adopted the techniques they teach.