Last fall, the Shawano County Aging Unit sponsored classes for caregivers called Powerful Tools for Caregivers. It was a six-week session to help caregivers take care of themselves while taking care of a loved one.
“It was a class to teach caregivers to be better by taking care of themselves,” said Heidi Russell, director of aging for Shawano County Human Services Department.
She resurrected the caregiver course, which hadn’t been available for a few years. She said the people who come to it become a tight community.
In December, Russell started a support group, Mug Club for Caregivers, which will meet on the first Tuesday of the month. The focus is to learn coping skills, along with finding resources and talking to others who are also caregivers.
“People are learning if they don’t take care of themselves, they can’t take care of someone else,” Russell said. “When you are a caregiver, you never take the time to plan for yourself.”