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UPCAP offers online caregiving workshop

Millions of people in the United States serve as caregivers for a loved one. For caregivers who would like a helping hand, the Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress, in partnership with the Lansing-based Tri-County Office on Aging, is offering a free, six-part caregiving workshop designed to provide individuals with useful tips and tools for caregiving.(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

MARQUETTE — Whether it’s helping an older adult, a person who has a disability or an individual who needs assistance after a medical procedure, caregiving is a skill many people will use in their lives.

For example, 43.5 million caregivers provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the United States in 2015, according to a 2015 report from the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. In that same year, 34.2 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months.

In a 2010 report from Dr. Joseph F. Coughlin, it’s stated that 39.8 million caregivers provided care to adults aged 18 and older with a disability or illness, accounting for 16.6 percent of Americans.

That’s why the Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress, in partnership with the Lansing-based Tri-County Office on Aging, is offering a free, six-part caregiving workshop designed to provide individuals with useful tips and tools for caregiving.

The weekly workshops, formally titled “Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” will be held via Zoom from 2-3:30 p.m. every Wednesday from Feb. 10 to March 17. An optional Zoom orientation will be held on Feb. 3 at 2 p.m.

UPCAP says the workshops are designed for nonprofessional, informal, family caregivers, according to a press release.

“Research studies find high rates of depression and anxiety among caregivers and increased vulnerability to health problems,” UPCAP stated. “Caregivers frequently cite restriction of personal activities and social life as problems. In addition, caregivers often feel a lack of control over events and a sense of powerlessness which can have a significant negative impact on their physical and emotional health.”

UPCAP officials added that the courses are designed to ease the stress of caregiving while learning skills such as decision-making, communication and more.

“The Powerful Tools for Caregivers online program will provide caregivers tools to help reduce stress and increase relaxation, make tough decisions, reduce guilt, anger and depression, communicate effectively, set goals and problem solve, and take better care of themselves while caring for a relative or friend.

“Caregivers will benefit from the class whether they are helping a parent, spouse, or friend living at home, in long-term care or across the country. The workshop focuses on self-care for the caregiver, not on specific diseases or hands-on caregiving.”

The workshops are free and everybody is welcome, but participants must register online and have access to a computer, tablet or smartphone with an internet connection and an email address in order to participate.

Class size is limited and the registration deadline is Sunday, Jan. 31.

Individuals can register at www.upcap.org. The registration link can be found under the “Events” tab.

Interested parties can also dial 211 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to receive assistance.

For more information, statistics and resources on caregiving, visit the Family Caregiver Alliance and the National Center on Caregiving at www.caregiver.org.

Ryan Spitza can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is rspitza@miningjournal.net.

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