To provide holistic, mind, body and spiritual support and resources to family (unpaid) caregivers in group workshops and individually.
C.A.R.E.S. will do our part to heal the brokenness of American society by addressing the needs of the elderly population. With our initial offering of an 8-week workshop (and optional one-on-one coaching) we will create a supportive community for caregivers and family members of elderly patients in Alameda. This support will include holistic wellness practices for the caregiver, appropriate resources and information, and an ongoing social network of friends.
Laura Katz' personal story
I have direct experience as a caregiver for my own young children. I dealt with stress, isolation, burn out, exhaustion and many of the burdens facing family caregivers. At the same time that I was home caring for my children, my grandmother suffered from dementia, and my family did our best to let her to age in place for as long as possible. In graduate school I realized that my wellness coaching skills could greatly benefit family caregivers. I focused my research on issues facing family caregivers, and ways to support them and alleviate their burden. I co-created C.A.R.E.S. to help family caregivers learn how to care for themselves while caring for their loved one, thereby improving the quality of life for both parties: the family caregiver and care receiver, so that both may experience a graceful, loving caregiving journey.
Sandi Pilon’s personal story
Growing up in a truly multigenerational family in Canada, I learned from an early age that there can be a special bond, and difficult relationships, no matter how old or how young we are…” As a nursing home chaplain, and spiritual care resident at UCSF for nearly 15 years, Sandra companioned individuals and families as they navigated the complexities of health care, illness, decision making and the spiritual/emotional work of making meaning in the midst of grief.
With her interfaith training and advanced study, Sandra has a sensitivity to the diverse religious communities of the bay area and welcomes the chance to work with families and kinship relations to honor the beauty of life in the midst of difficult situations.
Today, Sandra lives, once again, in a multigenerational household with her grandchildren, daughter, son-in law and spouse. They have intentionally settled in Alameda in order to be part of a close-knit community. Sandra leads a caregiver support group for the Alzheimer’s Association and volunteers with several local service organizations. “My whole life, I have been a caretaker and I spent many years as a mother (and now grandmother) balancing the many demands of life! I know it’s hard to take care of an aging parent in the midst of career and family building. And, once I came to understand that I can be fearless and helpful in places that are scary and confusing to others, the shift to working as an end of life doula was clear. With my years of experience and education, I can make sacred space for others to be brave and comforted in the tough and tender transition times.”
As co-founder of C.AR.E.S., Sandra is devoted to empowering caregivers and offering support as they navigate the challenges of providing care for a loved one with practical education, logistical resources, and emotional support.