Powerful Tools for Caregivers classes help caregivers take better care of themselves while caring for a friend or relative.
There are over 4,500 trained Class Leaders teaching the class at different locations around the United States, as well as in Canada and Korea. The curriculum is available in English, Spanish, and Korean.
In the six weekly classes, caregivers learn self-care tools to:
Increased Exercise, Relaxation, and Medical Check-Ups
Reduced Guilt, Anger, and Depression
Increased Confidence in Coping With Caregiving Demands
Increased Use of Local Services
The Powerful Tools for Caregivers program is an evidence-based education program offering a unique combination of elements.
The PTC curriculum was developed over three years of pilot testing in Portland, Oregon and offered since 1998. Originally developed to reach caregivers of adults with chronic conditions, Powerful Tools for Caregivers has expanded the program to include classes for parents of children with special needs. Six class sessions held once a week are led by certified, experienced class leaders. Classes range in size between 8-15 caregivers.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit program, sustained by collaborations with community-based organizations. Community and government agencies, healthcare facilities, cooperative extension services, and faith-based organizations host the classes, provide trained Class Leaders, and/or fund the class materials.
The PTC class curriculum meets the highest-level criteria of evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion programs per the Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living. The PTC class series received a 2007 National Family Caregiving Award.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers gives you the skills to take care of yourself while caring for someone else.
By taking care of your own health and well-being, you become a better caregiver. Six class sessions held once a week are led by experienced class leaders. Class participants are given The Caregiver Helpbook to accompany the class and provide additional caregiver resources.
The class will give you tools to help:
- Reduce Stress
- Improve Self-Confidence
- Manage Time, Set Goals, and Solve Problems
- Better Communicate Their Feelings
- Locate Helpful Resources
- Make Tough Decisions
Our 6-week PTC class has been shown to have a positive impact on caregiver health.
Research studies find high rates of depression and anxiety among caregivers and increased vulnerability to health problems. Caregivers frequently cite restriction of personal activities and social life as problems. They often feel they have no control over events, and that feeling of powerlessness has a significant negative impact on caregivers’ physical and emotional health.
In the years since the program began, extensive research, evaluation and revision has been done to ensure its continued value and success. The 6-week PTC class has been shown to have a positive impact on caregiver health for a diverse group of caregivers including:
- Diverse ethnic communities
- Adult children of aging parents
- Caregivers of children with special health and behavioral needs
- Caregivers in both rural and urban communities
- Spanish and Korean speaking caregivers
References & Recognition
In 2012 the Powerful Tools for Caregivers program was deemed to have met the highest-level criteria of evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion programs by the Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging. To access a listing on the NCOA web site go to the NCOA website’s AoA Title III D web page and scroll to page 18.
Boise State University Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (2018), “Using Quantitative Methods to Assess Program Effectiveness.” Jordy LePiane, Yonnie Chyung. Research Poster
Western Institute of Nursing Research Conference (2015), “The Management of Emotions in Caregivers of Special Needs Children.” Carla M. Hagen, Melissa N. LaRue. Research Poster
Western Institute of Nursing Research Conference (2014), “Confidence and Awareness of Personal Health in Caregivers of Special Needs Children.” Carla M. Hagen, Melissa N. LaRue. Research Poster
Western Institute of Nursing Research Conference (2013), “Improving the Confidence Level of Caregivers of Children with Special Needs.” Carla M. Hagen, Melissa N. LaRue. Research Poster
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (2010), “Impact of a psychoeducational program on three types of caregiver burden among spouses.” Marie Y. Savundranayagam, Rhonda J.V. Montgomery, Karl Kosloski, Todd D. Little.
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics (2008), “Community-based “powerful tools” intervention enhances health of caregivers.” Chang Won Won, Sally Sizer Fitts, Susy Favaro, Pat Olsen, Elizabeth A. Phelan.
Educational Gerontology (2005), “Empowering Family Caregivers: The Powerful Tools for Caregiving Program.” Linda Boise, Leslie Congleton, Kathy Shannon.
Alzheimer’s Care Quarterly (2003), “Powerful Tools for Caregivers: Improving Self-Care and Self-Efficacy of Family Caregivers.” Daniel Kuhn, Bradley R. Fulton, Perry Edelman.