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Do you help take care of an adult with one or more 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. Caregiving can be a stressful responsibility leading to poor health, mental distress and less life satisfaction for the caregiver.

It can be challenging for caregivers to find the support that they need, says Cindy Thompson, a human sciences specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

ISU Extension and Outreach offers educational resources for family caregivers. Powerful Tools for Caregivers is an educational series designed to provide 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 care receiver. As a participant you will learn how to: reduce stress, improve self-confidence, better communicate your feelings, balance your life, increase ability to make tough decisions and locate helpful resources.

A Telehealth Powerful Tools for Caregivers of Adults with Chronic Conditions series is scheduled for six Mondays from 6:30-8 p.m., starting Jan. 25. A second series is scheduled for six Tuesdays from 1-2:30 p.m., starting Feb. 2. The course will provide you with the tools you need to take care of yourself.

The program costs $35 per person or $40 per couple, and registration can be found online at https://bit.ly/2L8o5Gp.

“Caregivers who thrive, rather than just survive, understand that by taking care of themselves they are better able to provide meaningful care,” said Thompson, who specializes in family life issues.

Cindy Thompson is an ISU Extension and Outreach Human Sciences Specialist housed in the Fayette County Office and serving most of northeast Iowa. Her education and experiences in the field of early childhood and parenting education have developed her passion to empower and strengthen the well-being of children, families, and the communities in which they live. You can reach her at (319) 334-8013 or cpthom08@iastate.edu.

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