Do you help take care of an adult with chronic conditions? If so, you are not alone. Over 43.5 million family caregivers in America provide a vast array of emotional, financial, nursing, social, homemaking, and other services on a daily or an intermittent basis. 

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is an educational series designed to provide the tools you need to take care of yourself.  If you take good care of yourself, you will be better prepared to take good care of your loved one. As a participant you will learn how to: reduce stress, improve self-confidence, better communicate your feelings, balance your life, increase your ability to make tough decisions, and locate helpful resources.

Classes consist of six, 90-minute sessions held once a week. Two experienced leaders conduct each class. Interactive lessons, discussions, and brainstorming help you take the “tools” you choose and put them into action for your life. Powerful Tools for Caregivers sessions are scheduled every Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. starting March 8 and Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. starting March 10 for six weeks. Classes will be held at The Edge Building on campus at Life Church in Cookeville, TN for the next six weeks.

If you are a caregiver of a loved one with dementia, we encourage you to also participate in a companion program called TN M.I.N.D.S. (Music Intervention Navigating Dementia Symptoms). This program is sponsored by the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD) and the Upper Cumberland Area Agency on Aging and Disability (UCAAAD) as a FREE intervention pairing Powerful Tools for Caregivers with individualized music for those living with dementia. Individualized music can help manage behavioral and psychological symptoms associated with dementia including decreasing depression and increasing socialization. During the same six-week period as the Powerful Tools for Caregivers caregiver sessions, your loved one with dementia can work virtually with our trained TN M.I.N.D.S volunteers to create a personalized playlist. 

At the end of the six weeks, you will have finished the Powerful Tools for Caregivers class, and your loved one with dementia will be supplied with their own personalized playlist and music equipment to keep. TN M.I.N.D.S. participants will be asked to complete some additional questions for program evaluation at class registration, post-class, and a three-month follow-up. 

Resource, technical assistance, and support will be provided. The UCAAAD is also partnering with local musicians to provide mini-concerts to those participating in the TN M.I.N.D.S. program each week.

There is no cost for the Powerful Tools for Caregivers class or the TN M.I.N.D.S. companion program as long as you attend each meeting.  For more information or to register, contact Clare Farless, or Sara Martin, or call 931-432-4111.

The Area Agency on Aging and Disability (AAAD), a division of the Upper Cumberland Development District connects older adults and adults with disabilities in the 14-county Upper Cumberland region with services and resources to improve their quality of life.