Carers CourseMany people now find themselves in the position of caring for an elderly relative either within their own home or close by. Some are also caring for young children. Whilst care within a family can sound like the ideal provision, the stress and strains placed on the Carer are enormous and can result in various health and emotional problems. Having had personal and professional experience of Caring and Care Givers I have put together a two day workshop and follow up personal counselling session for each participant, details follow below the background information.
How a Caregivers Immune System is weakenedA study by scientists at Ohio State University suggests that the chronic stress of Care-giving affects a critical pathway in the immune system in the long term. This results in chronic health problems like heart disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. They also found that their reduced immunity continued even long after they ceased to be Carers. So Care-giving may have important implications for future health and costs of provision from a service perspective.
So called Mind/body medicine has been shown to be particularly beneficial in this respect. Researchers have found that stress hormones are associated with particular unhealthy emotions. These hormones affect systems and organs throughout the body. For example, stress related to hostility and anxiety can result in disruptions in heart and immune function. Similarly, depression and distress may diminish the body's natural capacity to heal. In contrast, emotional expression that encourages openness and active coping with problems helps stabilize the immune system.
Early Intervention is key - The question is "who cares for the Carer" and undertakes this intervention and what can be done to protect or improve their health?
The answer lies in empowering the individual by showing them ways to take care of themselves, coping strategies, making it ok to ask for help when needed from friends, family and outside agencies and also to determine when care in the home is not the best solution or a mixed package of provision may be the answer. Individuals in these kinds of situations feel less stressed if they feel they have some control over their own lives and circumstances.
The Life Healers ApproachGillian has prepared this course based on the following experience: - over twelve years of running personal development and life healing workshops, courses and personal sessions - Investors in People Assessment work carried out with Care Organisations - over ten years of management consultancy assignments in the public and private sector - 30 years of ongoing research into various health conditions and alternative solutions - personal experience of being a carer.
The techniques used are a unique mixture of cognitive behaviour therapy; relaxation and spirituality (non-denominational) with the added extensive and inclusive benefits of being involved with a group of like minded individuals from similar situations. The best method of delivery is in the form of an intensive two day workshop away from the usual environment, if this is not possible or appropriate then the sessions can be delivered over a 5 week period for two hours per week, with follow up one to one sessions.
Two Day Workshop Content
Day 1 - Personal Audit Day
Learning to meditate and experience guided meditations.
Look at past behaviour patterns and understand their origins
Mind/Body Link - reviewing current or past health issues and understanding lifestyle and behaviour choices that may have lead to dis-ease in the body. Accepting that though we may have contributed to our own state of health, either consciously or unconsciously, we are not to blame. Awareness is the key.
Inner child work - this is about identifying and unifying all parts of our personalities and accepting ourselves "Warts and all".
Positive Messages- using the group to create an "affirmation bath", where everyone continually gives positive messages and feedback to each member over a period of time.
Day 2 - Learning New Ways
Anger Management - using meditation and physical exercises to release anger in a safe and healthy way. Understanding that it is ok to experience all your own feelings as long as they are handled appropriately for all concerned.
Forgiveness work - releasing resentment and learning that holding onto old hurt, resentment and anger can cause unhappiness and dis-ease within the body.
Relaxation Techniques and Coping strategies.
Writing a new story - focussing on the things that you want to bring into your life, the way you want it to be and looking at how to make that a reality.
Learning to accept help in its many guises e.g. a friends ear or shoulder, social services, relatives, finance etc. Finding a support structure.
What else is included? 2 day (10 hours) group intensive plus one hour individual session and meditation CD per participant - cost per person is dependant on numbers, venue, charity or organisation etc. Gillian can give you an accurate estimate of cost if you provide her with details of your particular requirements by or by telephone on 029 20710744).
Group size: Any number from 4 to 20 (however, personal workshops for 1 can be arranged)
Venue: to be provided by organisation booking the course or can be arranged at a suitable outside venue. Transport, accommodation and other arrangements for participants can also be arranged if required (at extra cost).