Thursday April 22, 2021

Virtual course provides ‘Powerful Tools’ for adult caregivers

A caregiver’s days are long, yet can seem cramped with appointments, meal prep, home chores and a variety of other tasks. Getting personal time, even for a moment, can feel difficult.

Cabarrus County Human Services offers a step in the right direction through a free virtual workshop that helps recharge the caregiver’s spirit and connects them with important resources. The spring Powerful Tools for Caregivers session begins May 5.

Susan Domann, a supervisor with Cabarrus County Human Services Adult and Aging Services, has hosted the program for 7 years. She believes the pandemic opened up two opportunities related to caregiving: the opportunity for more people to understand the impact of caregiving and Improvements in access to service through technology.

“Before the pandemic, the idea of caregiving was abstract to a lot of people,” Domann said. “When caregivers share their story, they tend to give a familiar list of responsibilities most can relate to… maybe a health update. But they often leave out their own struggle. There’s a new understanding and appreciation for their selfless acts of love and compassion. Most people can now identify with that.”

Whether you find yourself in the role in a traditional caregiver role or you are providing care because of the pandemic, the workshop is for you.

For the first time, the County is offering the six-week course virtually. Attendees can access through any internet-connected device. Those without an internet-connected computer, tablet or smartphone can join from computers at any Cabarrus County library.

Domann hopes improving access will help those who wanted to participate in the past, but weren’t able to make it work.

“If it means one more person can find a way to get help, then it’s worth it,” Domann said. “We’re all a lot more familiar with hopping on the computer for a meeting. We’ll have our cameras on—we’re making it interactive.”

Domann and her team understand the challenges of a long-format virtual meeting. “If attendees need to ask a personal question or want more information, staff members are available to connect outside class. We’ll have those one-to-one conversations and build relationships, just like we’d typically do in person.”

Registration is required, and respite may be available for the classes, which take place via a Microsoft Teams link on Wednesdays, 1:30 to 4 p.m., May 5 through June 9. To sign up, call 704-920-1887 by April 28.

Learn more about all the services provided by the Family Caregiver Support Program by calling 704-920-1400 or visiting cabarruscounty.us/departments/adult-aging-services.

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