I met with some colleagues recently and we discussed the fair number of challenges the pandemic in 2020 has offered us. Pleasantly, though, very little time was spent bemoaning the challenges and the majority of the time was spent excited about the possibilities and the solutions.

I am excited to share with you one very positive benefit. My colleague, Katrin Finch, who is the full-time MSU Extension family and consumer sciences agent in Cascade County has partnered with Jona McNamee, her predecessor and retired MSU Extension FCS agent from Cascade County. Together they are transforming an excellent program, “Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” into the virtual space. Their collaboration to teach this six-week series online allows anyone with an internet-connected device to take this truly powerful class.

The Powerful Tools for Caregivers program provides information and education for friends and relatives acting as caregivers for adults with chronic medical conditions.

Through the class, participants gain tools and knowledge to help support themselves in taking care of themselves so they can continue to be an effective caregiver. The classes offer tools in communicating with medical providers and other family members, how to find your joy during your caregiving journey and support from trained certified instructors as well as other caregivers in the class. The program is offered from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27 and Nov. 3, 10. To register, call or email Finch at 454-6980 or katrin.finch@montana.edu.

Please share this information with anyone you know who is in a caregiving role. While meeting in person for the caregivers class had been the normal mode of delivery for Powerful Tools for Caregivers, the opportunity to take the class online from the comfort of one’s own home without needing to schedule travel time or alternate care may be a huge advantage for several caregivers.

I am excited to know people will be able to access this knowledge from two highly skilled and knowledgeable educators. I have had the good fortune to teach with both of them and I know they have huge hearts for serving others, including caregivers.