Enhancing Your Caregiver Role Through San Francisco-Based Education and Training

caregiver training and education in san franciscoServing others, giving back, and offering compassionate empathy in unexpected and occasionally overwhelming circumstances—this is the role of a caregiver. You may have found yourself on this particular path for any number of reasons. Perhaps you started caregiving for an aging parent after they had a bad fall. Or maybe you have always had a devotion to helping others.

However you got started, caregiving is one of the most important jobs you’ll ever have—and one that can be both deeply rewarding as well as challenging. Caregiving is an ever-changing field, and there is always room to learn more and improve your skills as a caregiver. Participating in workshops and training programs can help you to gain confidence, offer more to the aging adult you work with, and bring enthusiasm back into your routine.

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Still You, Always You: Aging Doesn’t Mean You Stop Growing

The picture on the mantle had the glitter of new dust. The focus was on a young woman, but the frame was being picked up by older hands. “This was me,” Robin said, “when I was young.”  She put the photo back with the gentle grace one uses with a beloved object, nestling it in its spot. It was clear Robin felt a disconnect between who she is, and who she was. But perhaps that’s the most important thing to remember about aging: you are always still you. The years don’t change that, and even as abilities change, your expectations about life shouldn’t. You are still the person in the picture with hopes and dreams and the wild will to explore.

For too long, society has seen aging as an end to life, a halfway house where we drop off our suitcases to sit and wait. It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s time to understand that older adults are still their vital and full-spirited selves. When you are older, you are still the one and indivisible you. Aging isn’t the end, nor is it a beginning: it is part of the rolling wild continuum of life, and should be celebrated as much as any other step in our journey.

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5 Powerful Time-Management Tools and Techniques to Help You Excel as a Caregiver

caregiver time management toolsThere’s no doubt that caregiving can be one of the most gratifying jobs on the planet. Being of service to an aging loved one can be deeply emotionally fulfilling—the bond between caregivers and older adults is an extremely special one. Still, the day-to-day tasks can sometimes feel overwhelming, for good reason.

Juggling caring for an elderly parent or aging loved one while managing your own family life, plus work, is a lot to handle. In some cases, caregiving can even lead to chronic stress and possibly burnout. Thankfully, there are some great time-management tools that caregivers can use to make their schedules a little easier. When you master time management, you’ll feel more empowered, less stressed, and able to achieve goals on both a daily and long-term basis—not to mention, you’ll have more energy to share quality time with your aging loved one.

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Preventing and Coping with High Caregiver Turnover Rates

How to prevent caregiver turnaroundWhen my mom’s caregiver left abruptly, our world turned upside down for a few weeks. Not only had my mom been very close to her caregiver, but suddenly there was no one to help her with everyday small tasks, such as giving medication, cooking, and cleaning. As I scrambled to find a new (and hopefully long-term) caregiver, I realized how important the bond between my mother and her caregiver had been—and how I may not have shown enough appreciation. When we found a wonderful new caregiver, I made a big effort from the start to treat her as though she was part of our family. Because, in reality, she is.

There are no two ways about it: navigating an unexpected change in caregivers can create anxiety for your aging loved one, leave them without care temporarily, and add stress all around. Maybe the caregiver is being reassigned to another patient, changing agencies, or simply taking some much-needed time off. Whatever the reason, there are several ways that you can help prevent caregiver turnover, and also strategies for dealing with change when it occurs.

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Sex, Love, and Aging at Home: Dating for Older Adults

Dating for Older Adults in San FranciscoWe’ve seen a spike in stories about sex in nursing homes over the last few years—and they always have titillating headlines, almost designed to induce a giggle, as if the thought of romance and intimacy post-retirement was something out of a corny 80s sitcom.

These stories miss the point—they focus on grabbing attention or the shock value, rather than on real relationships and intimacy. They also ignore the growing population of aging adults who continue to live at home. Entering new relationships away from the self-selecting population at nursing homes can be fraught with emotional peril, especially if you’ve been led to believe that it is somehow ridiculous to desire a new relationship at an older age. But people can find love, intimacy, and physical pleasure at any stage of life: you just have to know what you want and feel confident enough to go after it.

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Retirement Jobs Stir New Passions for Older Adults in the Bay Area

Great Retirement Jobs for Seniors in the Bay AreaAttending my sister’s wedding this summer was heartwarming for many reasons—one thing that really stood out was the celebrant who officiated the union. An older man, Richard, facilitated the ceremony beautifully, bringing everyone to tears. Turns out he was a retired financial adviser who started officiating weddings when his son got married a few years ago. He loved the experience and started getting referrals by word-of-mouth. Hearing Richard’s story reminded me that just because your loved one retires from their lifelong career doesn’t mean they need to quit working altogether.

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Beyond Sleep: Overlooked Causes of Fatigue in Older Adults

Overlooked causes of fatigue in seniorsThough my grandfather passed away over a decade ago, I still think of him often. We used to watch films together late at night in his living room; he was always a night owl. As he grew older, fatigued kicked in, and he’d often sleep through the whole day, waking up at about 5pm only to be back asleep by midnight. I know he found the constant fatigue really frustrating, and possibly even felt a little embarrassed about sleeping so much. Fortunately, investigating the underlying causes of the problem—especially those that may be lesser known—can offer new insight, clarity, and hope for aging adults suffering from fatigue.

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Cost-Cutting Tips That Save Money for Older Adults in the Bay Area

Cost Cutting Tips for Seniors in the Bay Area As cliché as it may seem, the San Francisco experience can best be summed up in the Golden Gate Bridge: where the enduring beauty of nature meets the human creative genius. The Bay Area is home to a vibrant community of older adults who enjoy a seemingly unending array of activities that encompass both those ideas—from great museums and amazing restaurants to scenic hiking spots, ocean vistas, and even birdwatching. But, while the city boasts numerous resources and services directed at helping seniors and their families, it’s also infamous for its high cost of living.

It’s no secret that it’s expensive to live in the Bay Area—the cost of living in San Francisco is a full 89% higher than the national average, and even 40% higher than California as a whole. And these costs can be felt in every sector, from housing to goods and services. Aging adults and their families, who often have fixed incomes and face continually rising healthcare costs, may be especially vulnerable to these expenses. But it’s important to know the right places to cut corners, and to look at things in the long-term. Here are some cost-cutting tips, as well as advice on where it might be dangerous to scrimp. Because it’s easier to enjoy this amazing region if you aren’t worried about affording it.

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Bathroom Design Tips for Caregivers: Keeping Seniors Safe While Aging in Place

Bathroom Design Tips for Seniors Aging in Place in San FranciscoThe other day, I slipped in the shower and took a bad fall. Aside from getting a bit banged up, the experience also left me shaken emotionally: I felt really vulnerable, both mentally and physically. Even though I’m in good shape, my hip really took a beating. But it’s made me realize just how dangerous a bathroom can be—for anyone, really, but especially for older adults.

Without fast reflexes, strong muscles and bones, and fast healing capabilities, a fall in the shower can be really dangerous. After I’ve gotten a slip-resistant mat for my own tub this weekend, I’ll be sure to stop off at my grandmother’s house to ensure she has the same—and see which of these tips I can implement to make her bathroom safer.

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8 Refreshing Outdoor Spots to Exercise with Your Aging Loved One in the Bay Area

Outdoor exercise spots for you and your love done in the Bay AreaA myriad of green spaces are scattered throughout the Bay Area, making the city a charming location for my morning jogs. I’m always so inspired to see multiple generations enjoying the city’s nature together, and soaking up the sights. No matter how old you are, exercising outside has a way of making fitness more fun—whether it’s going for a gentle stroll, jogging, or swimming.

As your loved one grows older, staying physically active only becomes more important: exercise is known to help prevent disease, boost mood, and reduce stress. Spending time in nature, meanwhile, can improve your loved one’s immune system, increase their energy, and sharpen their mental focus. So if your aging loved one happens to live in the Bay Area, they’re in luck—this is one of the most beautiful places in the country for exercising outdoors.

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