Giving caregivers ‘powerful tools’ to manage

By Mike Puffer

Almost half of those identified as caregivers are also raising their own families.

At first glance, the numbers are overwhelming, until you pause to think about them. It is estimated that in North America, one out of every four households provides caregiving – millions of people taking on care services for a relative or friend over the age of 50.

With our aging population, more and more people find themselves in situations that they may never have imagined. Almost half of those identified as caregivers in our society are also raising their own family simultaneously, and two-thirds work either full- or part-time. The added pressure and stress of caregiving responsibilities are not easy to handle.

Columnist Mike Puffer.

Since care giving for an elderly or sick family member has become the new mid-life crisis for many people, it is more important than ever to pay attention to the needs of those giving the care to another person. Often, those who care for an aged parent or chronically ill spouse or friend feel that they are on their own with such a challenge. They don’t have to feel that way, however.

Community Care is pleased to collaborate with the Central East LHIN Self-Management Program to present an upcoming free series to give caregivers information, strategies and resources to support them in their caregiving roles. “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” is designed for the many people who provide care for a family member or loved one, and is part of the CE LHIN’s Self-Management Program.

The six-week workshop for caregivers is free and will be on Tuesdays from Oct. 2 to Nov. 6. The sessions will be held at Community Care’s 34 Cambridge St. S. (second floor) office in Lindsay, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Community Care’s Joan Skelton, Director of Community Support Services, will co-lead this series along with Catherine Hennings, former Community Care employee and current volunteer with the organization.

In the six weekly classes, local caregivers will develop a wealth of self-care tools that will assist them in reducing personal stress, communicating their needs to family members and healthcare providers, communicating effectively in challenging situations, recognizing their emotional needs, making difficult caregiving decisions, and much more.

Class schedule: Oct. 2 – Taking Care of You; Oct. 9 – Identifying and Reducing Personal Stress; Oct. 16 – Communicating Feelings, Needs and Concerns; Oct. 23 – Communicating in Challenging Situations; Oct. 30 – Learning From Our Emotions; Nov. 6 – Mastering Caregiving Decisions. Caregivers interested in the sessions are encouraged to sign up for the entire series, if possible.

Pre-registration for the Powerful Tools series is required. Call 1-866-971-5545 or visit

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