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It’s A Personal Journey…

OCTOBER 3, 2017 – For children, the concepts of mortality and aging can seem like distant, intangible concepts. As children grow up however, parents become more human, less superhuman, and eventually, caretaking roles reverse. The children, spouses, relatives, and even friends of older adults often have to serve as their primary caregivers, but don’t traditionally view themselves as such. Today, almost one in three Japanese Americans is a caregiver. With an increasing number of older adults opting to age at home, individual caregivers are a steadily growing demographic, and they have needs of their own. This year, Keiro is co-presenting its annual Caregiver Conference with Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute on Saturday, October 28, featuring the theme, It’s a personal journey…

“Caring for others can be a difficult job, and that’s why it is so vital that we care for our caregivers,” says Leona Hiraoka, president and CEO of Keiro. “In order to continue building a strong support system around older adults and enhancing their quality of life, we need to reinforce the foundation: their caregivers.”

According to Alison Kochiyama, executive director of the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, “Caregiving is such a personal and unique learning experience for all who go through it. However, there are similarities and resources that can be shared. Our goal is to ensure that caregivers have access to a network and community that allows them to care more effectively for both their loved ones and for themselves.”

This year, Keiro’s Caregiver Conference will feature two keynote speakers. Dr. Glen Komatsu from Providence Health & Services will be speaking about Iyashi Care, a new Keiro-Providence partnership that provides culturally sensitive palliative care to Japanese American and Japanese older adults. Christina Irving, LCSW, from the National Center on Caregiving will share various tools and resources regarding the caregiving journey. Breakout session topics include long-distance caregiving, managing caregiver stress, and red flags that an older adult may need help.

At the Caregiver Conference, attendees can ask for advice during complimentary consultations with attorneys, pharmacists or social workers (available by appointment). They can also find valuable information and services at the resource fair, as well as receive free health screenings sponsored by SCAN Independence At Home.

Registration begins at 12:00 p.m., and the program runs from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Space is limited and reservations are required. To register, visit www.keiro.org/caregiver-conference, call Bryce Ikemura at 213.873.5708, or email bikemura@keiro.org with the subject “Conference Registration.”

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About Keiro

Keiro is a mission-driven organization engaged in improving the quality of life for older adults and their caregivers in the Japanese American and Japanese community of Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties. Keiro delivers a wide range of resources to address the challenges and barriers that aging presents: isolation, limited financial resources, complex health conditions, and cognitive and memory disabilities. Keiro also partners with companies and organizations that can expand its services and ability to reach seniors and caregivers, and participates in research and innovative work where Keiro can contribute to advancing progress in resolving the challenges of aging. Keiro is based in Los Angeles. For more information, visit Keiro.org.