Program Descriptions

Alzheimer's Caregiving at Home: A Five-Part Workshop Planning Kit
Assistive Technology
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Project (GRG)
MSU Extension Addressing Mental Health in Non-Clinical Settings
Parenting the Second Time Around (PASTA) 
Powerful Tools for Caregivers (PTC)
4-Health Parent Education Program


Alzheimer's Caregiving at Home: A 5-Part Workshop Planning Kit

Alzheimer's disease knows no boundaries and all communities face the challenges of caring for families needing support and guidance.  As the number of people suffering from or caring for someone with Alzheimer's grows, the need for information on caregiving increases.  This workshop planning kit is designed to provide educators and health care providers with successful presentation tools and resources to conduct workshops for non-professional individuals providing informal, at-home caregiving. 

Workshop Topics Contained in this Kit:

  • Alzheimer's awareness

  • Home adaptations

  • Managing caregiver stress

  • Financial and legal issues

  • Nutritional considerations

Workshop Kit Contents:

  • Presentation PowerPoints with workshop lesson plans

  • Participant fact sheets

  • Directory of Alzheimer's support resources

  • "Family Guide to Alzheimer's Disease" video/DVD sampler: Understanding Alzheimer's, Behavior issues, Daily life, Family Caregiving & Transitions

  • "Protecting Your Retirement & Other Financial Information for Family Caregivers: What Every Adult Child Should Know" video/CD

tech 2

Assistive Technology

People of all ages with disabilities or difficulty with physical functions can remain in independent living situations if they have assistive technology solutions to deal with everyday difficult tasks. Assistive Technology is a collaborative effort of the University of Montana Rural Institute of Montana Assistive Technology Program and Montana State University Extension-Family and Consumer Sciences.
Assistive technology devices work by either enhancing an individual's existing abilities or by compensating for absent or diminished skills. This program introduces tools that can improve an individual's ability to perform specific tasks, increase functional capabilities, and become or remain more safely independent. It offers suggestions for items that can be fabricated from easily available materials as well as items that have been designed for purchase.
Assistive Technology teaching kits are available for check-out in three Extension Office locations in Montana. The kits contain a PowerPoint presentation in addition to actual examples of assistive devices. They may be reserved and checked out from the following:
If interested in using only the PowerPoint, click here.



GrandCares is a program the meets once a week for six weeks and offers grandparents raising grandchildren and other relative caregivers the opportunity to learn skills and acquire tools to manage the stress of raising children, many of them with special needs. GrandCares utilizes the evidence-based education program, Powerful Tools for Caregivers (PTC) for Caregivers of Children with Special Health and Behavioral Needs. GrandCares is being offered in Montana through Montana State University Extension, Family & Human Development Program, as part of a pilot project with University of Hawaii and Colorado State University.


Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Project (GRG)

In Montana, and other areas around the country, there is a growing population of grandparents who are called upon to be the primary care giver(s) to their grandchildren. Today, more than 6,600 grandparents in Montana are raising their grandchildren. As a result of the increasing need, Montana State University Extension has teamed up with Montana DPHHS, Montana AARP, and several other state agencies and organizations to provide services and support to grandparents who are faced with the challenges associated with raising their grandchildren. 

Click here to go to the Extension Family & Human Development GRG Project home page.

Mental Health

MSU Extension Addressing Mental Health in Non-Clinical Settings

Youth Aware of Mental Health (YAM) is a universal intervention (delivered to all youth of a group/class) mental health promotion program that aims to raise mental health awareness about risk and protective factors associated with suicide, including knowledge about depression and anxiety, and to enhance the skills and emotional resiliency needed to deal with stress and crisis. The format of the YAM intervention empowers youth to think, verbalize, and discuss important mental health issues, such as suicide, in a context that is meaningful to them.


Parenting the Second Time Around (PASTA)

Developed by Cornell Cooperative Extension, Parenting The Second Time Around contains outlines for six workshops, with handouts and supplementary materials, including evaluation tools. Each workshop is planned for a two-hour block of time.

Topics include information about:

  • Child development
  • Discipline and guidance
  • Acknowledging ambivalent feelings
  • Rebuilding a family
  • Legal issues (including 2004 update)
  • Advocacy
This curriculum is offered as part of our Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group facilitator training. Click here to go to Parenting the Second Time Around


Powerful Tools for Caregivers 

Powerful tools is an educational program that provides family caregivers with the skills and confidence to better care for themselves while caring for someone with a chronic illness. PTC consists of six 90 minute or 2-1/2 hour classes co-led by trained facilitators who employ a standardized curriculum.
In the six-week PTC class, caregivers learn how to:
  • Utilize community resources
  • Better manage stress
  • Communicate effectively with friends, family & healthcare providers
  • Cope with difficult emotions
  • Take better steps to care for themselves


4-Health Parent Education Program

4-Health is a research-based parent/kinship caregiver education program developed specifically for rural Montana families. The program focuses on food and nutrition, physical activity, positive body image, and parenting/kinship caregiver and family communication in order to promote healthy lifestyles for both children and parents.