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Powerful Tools for Caregivers is back for the summer

WORTHINGTON — Taking care of a loved one is stressful enough on its own, even without the everyday pressures of working and paying bills.

About five years ago, Brenda Kruger knew exactly that stress felt like. She was taking care of both her late mother and husband, who was on dialysis (both died this year), all while managing Brenda’s Gas & Grocery in Dundee and raising a daughter.

“The number one thing for a caregiver is you give to everybody but you never take time for yourself,” Kruger said. “I always give, and I forgot to help myself.”

Kruger took part in “Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” a course offered by A.C.E. of Southwest Minnesota, to learn how to better balance her life and get additional support.

“It’s learning how to take a few minutes for yourself, and ways to find out how to take care of them so you don’t get overstressed,” Kruger said.

The class is back this summer. Classes will be offered on June 13, 20, 27 and July 11, 18 and 25. Each session runs from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the West Learning Center.

The six-part goal of the class is to reduce stress, improve self-confidence, add balance, improve communication, increase ability to make difficult decisions and locate helpful resources.

One of the keys talked about is taking even a few minutes every day to just relax. That could be as simple as going for a walk with the dog or having a cup of coffee.

“The stuff we go through is basic, but it’s being told in a different context,” said Joanne Bartosh, A.C.E. coordinator. “Caregivers don’t realized they’re caregivers, they don’t realize how much work they’re putting in.”

Those interested can call A.C.E. at 295-5262 or email ace.nobles@co.nobles.mn.us.

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