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Powerful Tools for Caregivers

The UW-Extension partners with Legacy, Inc. a nonprofit aging institute, to offer a six-week course for caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other disabling conditions. The class helps caregivers build communication skills, lower stress, set goals, make tough decisions, and communicate with family members and medical providers. Participants use relaxation and planning tools while learning to cope with anger and guilt, access community resources and solve problems.

Caregiving Relationships for People Who Care for Adults

A program implemented by the University of Wisconsin-Extension, in partnership with the University of Illinois-Extension, to offer a train-the-trainer workshop for professionals working with family caregivers. The curriculum focuses on reducing emotional pressures and strengthening relationships between caregivers and care receivers.

Using 15 one-page brochures, participants learn about loss, facing fear, family dynamics in distance caregiving, taking care of yourself, elder care services and other topics. The curriculum can be used with groups or individually.

Adult Children and Aging Parents: Conversations Between Generations

The University of Wisconsin-Extension has adapted the Iowa State University curriculum “Adult Children and Aging Parents: Conversations Between Generations”, for Wisconsin. Karen Goebel (Professor Emerita School of Human Ecology), Chris Kniep, Judy Knudsen, and Mary Brintnall-Peterson (Professor Emerita University of Wisconsin Extension) adapted it for use in Wisconsin. This curriculum focuses on the needs of whole families, and seeks to help families talk about and plan for changing needs in later life, increase family problem-solving skills and strengthen family relationships between generations. Adapted to reflect Wisconsin laws, “Adult Children and Aging Parents” helps participants explore questions about later-life legal, financial and housing needs and about understanding their family relationships. This curriculum can be taught in single-topic workshops or as an education series. The Class Leader and Master Trainer links are password protected because of UW-Extension’s license agreement with Iowa State University. Passwords are shared during Class Leader and Master Trainer trainings.

What Every Adult Child Should Know: Protecting Your Retirement & Other Financial Information for Family Caregivers

The University of Wisconsin-Extension has adapted the National Endowment for Financial Education program, “What Every Adult Child Should Know: Protecting Your Retirement & Other Financial Information for Family Caregivers”, for Wisconsin. Edie Felts Podoll, Karen Goebel (Professor Emerita School of Human Ecology), Mary Fran Lepeska (Professor Emerita Ozaukee County), and Mary Brintnall-Peterson (Professor Emerita University of Wisconsin Extension) adapted it for use in Wisconsin. The program was developed to help family caregivers understand the type of financial information and documents needed so they can perform their caregiving duties, while also thinking about their own future. The program is designed to help family caregivers and future caregivers understand their financial situations, how their finances will change, and how best to communicate about caregiving and financial issues with family members. This program is designed for family caregivers of older adults, but is also useful for individuals caring for a disabled or seriously ill family member. The worksheets for financial information can be developed by the caregiver as well to analyze their own financial situation in preparation for a time when they may need care themselves.

Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?

This educational learning package was developed by University of Minnesota to help families make more informed decisions when transferring non-titled property to the next generation. It is designed for professionals working with older adults and family members who could be planning ahead for transferring non-titled property. These professionals might include: attorneys working on estate planning and probate issues, social service professionals working with aging individuals, funeral directors, those in faith communities, housing administrators and social service providers involved when transitional housing is needed, and community educators. It may also help family members and personal representatives who are in the process of making decisions about transferring non-titled property after death.

Six key concepts taught include understanding the sensitivity of transferring personal property, determining what you want to accomplish, what “fair” means, identifying special objects to transfer, distribution options and consequences and managing conflict. The curriculum can be used as a short program with a 13 minute video or as long at a 2 ½ hour program. Background information and supplemental materials are on the UMN web site (www.yellowpieplate.umn.edu). This site also includes information on ordering the curriculum.