Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Hi, I'm Judy Rank - and I'm here to provide statewide support for WIHA's Powerful Tools for Caregivers program.

If you're interested in becoming a Powerful Tools for Caregivers program leader, bringing a PTC workshop to your community, or just have questions about the program, please contact me.


Judy retired after 18½ years in the aging and disability field, starting with a year and a half as a senior center supervisor and later serving as director of the Manitowoc County Aging Resource Center. Trained as a facilitator in the first Powerful Tools training session offered in Wisconsin, Judy has co-facilitated 12 classes over several years and has served as a PTC Master Trainer, leading 6 training classes in Wisconsin.



A high-level evidence-based program!

What does that mean?



Powerful Tools for Caregivers © (PTC) is an educational workshop for people who are taking care of a family member or friend.  It was developed by Legacy Health Systems at the University of Oregon, Portland and is based on the Living Well with Chronic Conditions program created by Dr. Kate Lorig and colleagues at Stanford University. PTC is an evidence-based curriculum which means it has been studied and found to have significant positive results for people who take the workshop. Powerful Tools for Caregivers is designed specifically to support the family caregiver and improve his or her well-being - it does not teach hands-on care or focus on disease or other conditions. See program brochure.


Powerful Tools for Caregivers: For Parents of Children with Special Needs is a separate program adapted from PTC and is designed to support a parent or parents who are caring for a child of any age (minor or adult) who has special health or behavioral needs. It provides the same caregiver support curriculum while focusing on the unique challenges of parents caring for a child of any age with health or behavior challenges. See program brochure. 


Caregivers who take PTC experience:

  • Greater self-efficacy (confidence in one’s ability to accomplish something a self-identified goal)
  • Better emotional well-being
  • Increased use of self-care behaviors
  • Increased awareness and use of community resources

PTC is presented in two formats:  2½ hour or 1½ hour sessions that meet once a week for 6 weeks in an easily accessible community setting


Topics include:

Week 1: Taking care of YOU

Week 2: Reducing Personal Stress

Week 3: Communicating Feelings, Needs, and Concerns

Week 4: Communicating Effectively with Others

Week 5: Learning from our Emotions

Week 6: Mastering Caregiving Decisions


Benefits to Caregivers:

  • Workshops are held in local communities of convenient locations:  Find a class in your Wisconsin Community
  • PTC is a credible educational resource
  • PTC is low-cost or free
  • In-home respite or adult day care funding may be available through the County Aging Office to help the caregiver take the workshop
  • Transportation to and from workshop may be an option, contact your County Aging Department
  • “The Caregiver Helpbook”, an excellent reference book, is used during the workshop

Who should consider taking Powerful Tools for Caregivers?

Family caregivers should take this course to help them better cope with the challenges of caregiving and get support and resources to make the caregiving journey easier. For more information about the program, contact Judy Rank.


Powerful Tools for Caregivers Leader Training

For information on becoming a Powerful Tools for Caregivers Leader, please click on the "Becoming a PTC Leader" tab above. 

Powerful Tools for Caregivers PowerPoint Presentation
Q&A about taking a Powerful Tools for Caregivers Workshop