Kara offers support for caregivers through our Caregivers Forum which brings people together for presentations, group discussions, individual support, and training in skills that can help navigate the many challenges and demands of care giving. Helpful information and links to other support organizations can also be found in our Resources section.
The Caregivers Forum is designed to anyone charged or entrusted with the responsibility of caregiving. It is open to professional caregivers, as well as those providing care to family, friends or clients across a broad spectrum of needs that include chronic or life-threatening illnesses to caring for and accompanying others through their personal experience of grief. Our next Forum will be held on Saturday afternoon, March 31, 2018 at 1:30pm.
Tips and Strategies for Successful Caregiving
Successful, sustainable caregiving involves a set of skills that can be learned and purposely cultivated. Studies suggest that caregivers who don’t look after themselves are at high risk for physical illnesses, abusive behavior, strained relationships, loss of friends, and far too often – empathetic distress, which is often mistakenly referred to as compassion collapse. Important skills such as learning strategies to mindfully attend to one’s own wellbeing, as well as planning
and problem-solving skills are necessary in order to avoid caregiver burnout.
In this first Caregivers Forum of 2018, we will review the role of a caregiver, what you can do to be more effective in that role and offer some strategies for how, as a caregiver, you can cultivate the practical skills needed to care for yourself. The emphasis here is on ‘practical,’ which means exactly that. We’ll look into how you can develop the skill of ‘responding’ rather than ‘reacting’ to the challenges of caregiving and will provide tips and problem-solving techniques to help you avoid giving to the point of exhaustion or burnout by falling into the trap of forgetting you’re an integral part of the caregiving relationship. This involves recognizing the underlying stressors that create untenable situations for everyone and hijack your peace of mind and heart connection to your own good intentions. If you are, or were, or you anticipate taking on the role of a caregiver sometime in the future, this Forum is designed with you in mind.
Our Caregivers Forum is designed for both the personal caregiver and family member and for professionals who wish to enhance their competency levels as they relate to client issues around psychological distress, burnout or secondary traumatic stress. All are welcome.
About the Facilitator: Robert Cusick trained at Stanford University in the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) and has studied extensively in a number of different contemplative traditions. He is a Certified Stanford CCT (Compassion Cultivation Training) Instructor and teaches at Stanford University, the University of CA, San Francisco (UCSF), Kaiser Hospitals and in multiple other venues. As a former monastic, he ordained in Burma under the renowned meditation master, Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw, and trained with him from 2003 to 2012. He provides bereavement support for adults and children at Kara where he also teaches and co-facilitates ongoing trainings for Adult Services, Youth & Family Services and for the Caregiver’s Forums. Robert also sits on the board of directors of the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies.