What is Powerful Tools for Caregivers?
Following a brain injury, the survivor often needs to rely on a support network of caregivers. Caregiving brings with it a unique set of triumphs and challenges, and at times a caregiver can feel isolated.
The Powerful Tools for Caregivers (PTC) is a curriculum developed out of Portland, Oregon, and is a six-week class series where caregivers come together to help navigate the challenging world of caregiving. During the six weeks, caregivers are given tools that help them:
- Reduce stress
- Improve self-confidence
- Manage time
- Set goals
- Solve problems
- Better communicate their feelings
- Locate helpful resources
- Make tough decisions
Carly Endres, senior project coordinator for North Dakota Brain Injury Network (NDBIN), was certified as a class leader for PTC last fall. Since then, she has had the privilege of teaching one, face-to-face class with co-leader Molly Soeby, from North Dakota State University Extension. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they have moved to an online format and hosted one online course for caregivers of adults with chronic conditions. They are also teaching a class geared toward caregivers of children with special health and behavioral needs that began on June 15 (view the flyer).
Carly and Molly have seen the transformation this truly powerful course has on caregivers. From week one to week six, the attendees' physical and emotional demeanor changes for the better. Often, the class participants become close and keep in touch even after the course is finished.
Taking a Class
Once participants are registered for virtual classes, they are mailed a textbook and training materials at no cost due to the generous grant funding through the Aging Services Division of North Dakota's Department of Human Services. Lifespan respite monies can also be utilized at no cost to participants should they need help securing a replacement caregiver while they are attending class.
Typically, classes last an hour-and-a-half and meet once a week, for six weeks. Participants are expected to attend all six weeks, as classes build on each other. There are small reading assignments from the textbook each week that participants are encouraged to read to get them thinking about the topics for the next class.
Should you, or any of your family members, be interested in taking a course, check out NDBIN's upcoming events page to find a class.
For more information, contact Carly at carly.endres@UND.edu or call (701) 777-8004.