family caregiver

Working with Sutter Health to support family caregivers

This year we began a two-year project in partnership with the Palliative Care Team at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), which is part of the Sutter Health Network. The aim of the project is to introduce support sessions for family caregivers within Sutter Health. 

The project began with Zen Caregiving Project (ZCP) delivering four sessions to the Palliative Care Team in Palo Alto and San Mateo. These sessions covered self-care, managing difficult emotions, loss, and maintaining healthy boundaries. The sessions were a way of introducing ZCP’s teaching approach and content to staff, helping them to recommend the sessions to family caregivers in the future, and hopefully also provided support to the staff in their emotionally demanding work. 

The next stage of the project will be running our CAREgivers program for family caregivers in Sutter Health. The CAREgivers course consists of six one-hour sessions, run weekly. The sessions are drop-in providing flexibility for the caregivers with their often unpredictable schedules. Each session includes some teaching on a topic, a short guided meditation, activities, and an opportunity for sharing with other caregivers in the group. 

We are working with social workers from two Sutter Health locations to recruit for our first pilot course in October and are planning to run another three to four courses in 2022. We hope that these first courses, taught by ZCP instructors, will build awareness and demand for the CAREgivers program among the family caregiver population. Following completion of the ZCP-led sessions, we hope to train Sutter Health staff members in the delivery of the program as part of our established Train-the-Trainer program. In this way, we would ensure the sustainability of the program and continued support for family caregivers. 

For more information on this project, CAREgivers, or our Train-the-Trainer program, please contact Naomi at naomi@zencaregiving.org.

Touching Moments: The Therapeutic Power of Touch

March 21, 2020 (9:00am - 6:00pm PDT/San Francisco)
San Francisco School of Massage - 475 Valencia Street, San Francisco CA
$175 general admission

Through lecture, discussion, personal reflection in both group and dyad exercises, participants will have the opportunity to discover and define the impact of touch as it pertains to daily caregiving. This course is for professional and family caregivers, doulas, and anyone thinking they may be in a caregiving relationship in the future. No need for previous touch training for personal integration of this day.

Instructor: Irene Smith

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Mindful Family Caregiving Course

December 14, 2019 (9:00am - 5:00pm PDT/San Francisco)
1161 Mission Street, San Francisco CA 94102
$160 Benefactor / $130 Standard / $90 Student/Accessibility

Our Mindful Family Caregiving Course helps family caregivers find support and community, and shares resilience-building tools to improve their care experience.

Instructor: Roy Remer

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Support and Resources for Family Caregivers

Family Caregiver Alliance

This non-profit’s mission is to improve the quality of life for caregivers and the people who receive their care. Their website has an online learning center and links to many other resources such as in-person support groups.

Caregiver Action Network

CAN (the National Family Caregivers Association) provides articles, videos, and peer support to family caregivers across the country free of charge. They cover a broad range of topics from practicalities such as medication and nutrition management, to caregiver self-care to navigation of the medical system.

Better Health While Aging

Better Health While Aging provides actionable information for older adults and family caregivers, grounded in what geriatricians believe to be optimal healthcare for older adults.

AgingCare

A website to support families. The site has an active online forum where caregivers can share their experience and learn from others by asking questions, giving answers, or participating in a group discussion.

Alzheimer’s Association

For those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s, this website has clear and easy to access information on practical and emotional elements of caregiving.

American Cancer Association

The caregiver page of the website has an interactive caregiver resource guide, articles, and videos on cancer-related caregiver topics, online communities, and links to other support groups. 

AARP Local Caregiver Resource Guides

AARP has put together local resource guides showing what support is available for family caregivers in different states and different cities.

Imerman Angels

Imerman Angels support cancer fighters, survivors, previvors and caregivers by matching them with a “Mentor Angel” – a cancer survivor or caregiver who has faced the same type of cancer and who can answer questions and provide one-to-one support.

Next Step In Care

Next Step In Care provides written guides and videos for family caregivers that help them through any medical treatment – from visiting the family doctor, trips to ER, hospitalization and discharge and Homecare.

Companioa from the Institute on Aging

A paid-for service, to support caregivers of loved ones with dementia. This service pairs you with a personal “Care Coach”, a trained dementia expert. The Care Coach helps assess your loved ones needs, map out a care plan and meet with you bi-monthly to discuss the plan and your needs.