Partnership to provide tuition-free course for caregivers

Special to the Sun Journal

Kelly Hooker of Pamlico Senior Services said “everyone is going to be a caregiver or need one.”

She was paraphrasing Roselyn Carter, who said, “There are four types of people in this world:  those who have been caregivers, those who are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”

Hooker states that Pamlico County has a significant need for caregivers and that the public often assumes caregivers are those who tend to the needs of the elderly.

Contributed photo: Jane Lee, left, and Kelly Hooker will teach an eight-week Continuing Education course on caregiving in the spring.

“That’s not always the case,” she said. “We have a significant number of parents and grandparents who take care of disabled children and grandchildren. Caregiving crosses generational lines and is not limited to the elderly.”

Hooker also notes that caregivers can be both selfless and selfish.

“They often give so much of themselves to the needs of a family member, but they often wind up believing that no one can provide the care as well as they do,” she said. “This can lead to stress that impairs the quality of the care and causes the caregiver to suffer also.”

A new partnership between Pamlico Senior Services and Pamlico Community College will provide an eight-week Continuing Education course on caregiving this spring, beginning Monday, Jan. 11 at 6 p.m. The next seven classes will be on Tuesday evenings.

Hooker says, “This course will help the caregiver give better quality care and will help relieve some of their stress in the process.” She added, “For most family caregivers, it’s not necessarily a service that’s being provided but more a responsibility within the family that is being met.”

Jane Lee on the Senior Services staff will help Hooker teach the classes. She pointed out that a major objective of the classes will be to help caregivers thrive, not simply survive.”

Linda Potter, executive director of the Senior Services Center, acknowledged the benefit of this new venture with PCC.

“It is just so wonderful that we can partner with the community college for this instruction,” she said. “So many people are going to benefit and we want to get the word out to everyone about this program.”

Hooker described the three components of the eight-week class. The first class will be a one-hour session that prepares one to learn to be a caregiver. People expecting to be but not yet in a caregiving situation will benefit immensely from this session.

The next six classes, each one and half hours long, will focus on the tools to make caregiving successful for the giver and the recipient. The class will culminate in a final one-hour class that will help a caregiver ascertain and implement the final wishes and plans of the recipient of the care.

A special bonus is that these classes carry no tuition charge.

To learn more about registering, contact Misty Rasmussen in the PCC Office of Continuing Education at or 252-249-1851, extension 3019.

Ben Casey is the director of community relations at Pamlico Community College. E-mail him at




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