San Francisco Zen Center Strives to Transform the Work of Caregivers by Offering a First of its Kind Course Based on Buddhism

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San Francisco Zen Center, using teachings from Buddhism to inform elder care, end-of-life care and patient care, announces the Contemplative Caregiver Course, a new, year-long San Francisco Bay Area caregiver’s course starting in January 2013. It’s often the case that as much as 95% of paid caregivers training focuses solely on illness, treatment and technical procedures that can result in care receivers and their loved ones disappointed that their caregivers seem task-oriented and impersonal. Many paid caregivers have simply not received the kind of training that could arm them against becoming quickly depleted, frustrated and isolated often leading to poor and inadequate care.

San Francisco Zen Center is one of the largest Zen Buddhism Centers outside of Asia.

". . .This allows me to connect with them which makes them feel loved and understood." - Marta Dabis

San Francisco Zen Center announces today a first of its kind Contemplative Care Course utilizing the mindfulness teachings of Buddhism in order to equip both paid caregivers and family caregivers with the skills needed to sustain high-quality and patient-sensitive care. The year-long, San Francisco-based Contemplative Caregiver Course uniquely utilizes the mindfulness teachings of Buddhism to equip caregivers with skills necessary to sustain effective, loving, and patient-sensitive care, ensuring dignity and healing for the care receiver.

For a small investment, paid caregivers, healthcare professionals, individual and family caregivers alike can learn how their daily caregiving tasks, no matter how demanding, can actually be a positive experience for everyone involved.

“I still use the Buddhist teachings of mindfulness from Jennifer's caregiving course to turn towards my patients. This allows me to connect with them which makes them feel loved and understood. And I feel sustained.” – Marta Dabis, Caregiver Course Student

Paid caregiver training and education pays little attention to equipping caregivers with the soft skills necessary to sustain feeling fulfilled and not depleted; cared for, not abandoned; and in partnership, not apart from their care receivers. This makes it impossible for a caregiver to provide mindful, loving and personal engagement with the care receiver who is frail, aging, sick or dying.

SF Zen Center proposes that paid caregivers and the care facilities they work for would have far more positive reports from family and loved ones about the care provided if they could make this small investment. This kind of care starts with the caregivers challenges and needs and goes from there so they can become resilient and sustain high quality and loving care to their patients.

“It becomes clearer everyday that the training of professional and family caregivers ensures high-quality care and the greatest satisfaction possible for those in their care. The best caregivers are those who on an ongoing basis attend to their own skill development and self-care.”

  • Jennifer Block, Buddhist Chaplain and 30 year caregiver educator

The San Francisco Zen Center’s Contemplative Caregiver Course utilizes the mindfulness teachings of Buddhism to equip caregivers, paid and family, with the skills needed to sustain effective and patient-sensitive care. By teaching caregivers how to sustain personal and mindful engagement with the care receiver no matter the circumstances (aging, sick, or dying) it can help to ensure dignified and healing care.

CCC can set a caregiver apart by giving them this unique, one-of-a-kind training letting them transcend task-oriented, impersonal care by transforming day-in, day-out caregiving into an empowering and dignified experience for everyone involved. To learn more visit the Caregiver Course Page call 1-888-743-9362 or email ccreservations(at)sfzc(dot)org.

Copyright © 2012 San Francisco Zen Center. All rights reserved.

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Marie Martin
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