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Powerful Tools for Caregivers Classes, a six-week educational program designed to provide caregivers the tools needed to take care of themselves, will be offered in three locations starting in July. Through six 2½ hour sessions held each week, caregivers learn to reduce stress, improve self-confidence, better communicate feelings, and locate helpful resources. They also will learn how to increase their ability to make tough decisions and balance their lives. Preregistration is required by calling 858-2177 or emailing caregiver@erie.gov; there is a $25 cost for the course, which includes a copy of “The Caregiver Helpbook,” though the cost is covered for all Blue Cross/Blue Shield of WNY and Independent Health members and for the uninsured in the Buffalo classes through a CHF Cultural Diversity Grant.

Here is the following class schedule:

Hamburg: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, July 8 to Aug. 12, St. Mary of the Lake School, 4737 Lakeshore Road.

Buffalo: 1 to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays, Sept. 10 to Oct. 15, Catholic Charities Garden Room, 128 Wilson St. (free respite for the memory impaired offered at this site)

Buffalo: 4:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 9 to Nov. 13, Terrace View Long Term Care Facility chapel, Erie County Medical Center campus, 462 Grider St.,

The Erie County Department of Senior Services also is planning additional classes. Learn more at 858-2177, by emailing caregiver@erie.gov or visiting www2.erie.gov/seniorservices

The classes are supported by a grant from the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York and co-sponsored by the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions and the Erie County Caregiver Coalition.