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Free community program helps caregivers look after themselves while caring for a loved one

Posted at 9:31 PM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-17 08:44:15-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — "I do mom's medication management, so I make sure that she has everything she needs every day, and I take them to all of their doctor's appointments," said Allison Wiman.

Wiman is the Executive Director of Big Bend Area Health Education Center. She also takes care of both of her parents.

"They're 89 and 87 and they still live at home. I do all of their cooking so every night I make sure they have meals, I do some of their shopping for them," said Wiman.

Allison, like many others, has to balance both caregiving, work, and having a family. "If you aren't taking care of yourself and your health fails, or your well-being fails, of course it's going to make you a less-effective caregiver," said Wiman.

That's where Big Bend AHEC is stepping in. With the help of several community partners, they're launching a new program designed to give people the skills they need to put themselves first, while still caring for a loved one.

"This class is one that allows people to kind of put down that fear for a second," said Wiman.

It's called Powerful Tools for Caregivers. It's a free, 6-week class that will equip caregivers with skills on how to: communicate feelings, manage emotional burdens, problem-solve, improve self-confidence, and reduce stress.

Katharine Williams is the Aging Programs Coordinator at Big Bend AHEC and says it's "the best way they can stay being a caregiver for as long as they need to."

Allison also believes there is support and people that are willing to walk hand in hand with those of caregivers.

The Powerful Tools for Caregivers class will have two different free sessions open to the community. The first session will begin on Tuesday, August 23 and the second begins on Wednesday, August 31.

Both sessions will take place from 10 am to 11:30 am . Each session is 6 weeks long and there are both in-person and virtual options.

Call or email to register for either session. Contact info can be found in flyers below.