Although caregivers play an increasingly vital role in society while making momentous contribution to the lives of the ones they serve, they are often overlooked -- particularly when it comes to acknowledging and managing their own needs and wellbeing. This is what makes the Powerful Tools for Caregivers (PTC) program so special. Having reached over 80,000 caregivers in 36 states since its inception 12 years ago, this program offers invaluable assistance to this largely overworked and underserved segment of the population.
Caregiving is a challenge, but there are ways to cope, connect, and thrive in the role.
According to a joint report by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP, there are approximately 44 million caregivers in this country providing unpaid care for other adults. Many of these do so while attempting to juggle their own demanding personal and professional lives. It's no surprise that so many of them experience emotional stress in the form of depression and anxiety, as well as physical health problems as a result of their caregiving duties.
But it doesn't have to be this way. Enter PTC.
Putting Caregivers First
Based on Stanford University's acclaimed Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, PTC was developed over an intensive three-year period. Every PTC course consists of six weekly classes, each designed to offer self-care tools individuals need to successfully navigate their lives as caregivers.
From reversing negative self-talk to facilitating the ability to communicate their own needs to everyone from family members to healthcare providers, PTC is aimed at ameliorating the challenging work of caregiving. Participants also receive tools for coping with hard feelings, understanding their own emotions, and making difficult caregiving decisions.
Initially supported by grant funding, the PTC program is now sustained by a collaborative network of community-based groups. Why has the program found such success? Because it works. In addition to its initial development period, PTC is constantly adapting to meet the evolving needs of contemporary caregivers in order to remain current and of value. Available in three languages, the program is associated with numerous positive impacts -- across everything from self-care and self-efficacy to management of emotions and use of community resources -- upon caregivers of all genders and ages, and from all walks of life.
Need more information about the Powerful Tools for Caregivers program, or proof that it actually works? In 2012, PTC received the highest level of distinction among health promotion programs for evidence-based disease prevention from the Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging.
PTC offers help and hope to caregivers who do the same for their aging loved ones.
While no resource can completely eradicate caregiver stress, the PTC offers something else: the tools to manage stress in the most effective, meaningful way. As the caregiving segment of the population continues to grow with the aging of the baby boomer population, PTC will continue to play a vital part in improving quality of life -- both for caregivers and the loved ones they serve. Mmlearn.org offers a large library of free videos for caregivers of older adults, covering topics pertaining to senior care. Whether you are a healthcare professional or a family caregiver, if you are caring for an older adult we know that you will find mmlearn.org an essential learning and guidance tool for all of your caregiver training needs.If you're looking for a comprehensive resource for family caregivers, check out our online Family Caregiver Guide.