A large majority of family caregivers — people who care for a family member with a chronic or disabling condition — feel ill-prepared for their role and receive little or no support. Cedar Sinai Park hopes to help change that with a free workshop for family caregivers featuring motivational speaker Jake French.
French came to the attention of Cedar Sinai’s Irit Mandelsberg when she heard him speak at this year’s Leading Age Conference for senior care advocates. French’s compelling story, his positive attitude in the face of disability, and his emphasis on the immeasurable difference that caregivers make inspired Mandelsberg to put together the family caregiver workshop.
The event is scheduled at 7:00 p.m. on October 22, in Zidell Hall on the Cedar Sinai Park Campus at 6140 SW Boundary Street in Portland. The workshop-style event, which is being offered free of charge, will be open to 50 attendees.
As the administrator of Rose Schnitzer Manor, Cedar Sinai’s assisted living community, Mandelsberg appreciates how difficult the task of full-time caregiving can be for an unprepared family member. “We wanted more people in the community to be encouraged by Jake’s message,” Mandelsberg said. “That’s why we’re offering this workshop.”
French, who became a quadriplegic at age 23 after a freak accident, turned his personal tragedy into a career as an author and motivational speaker. His uplifting message is laced with self-effacing humor, offering plenty of laughter along with practical learning. With his mother and full-time caregiver, Margaret, as a co-presenter, the workshop offers valuable insights from both sides of the caregiving relationship.
Mandelsberg says that the purpose of the event is to be a resource for family caregivers, providing them with new ideas, new energy and new perspectives. “Family caregivers do so much, and give so selflessly, they deserve to be celebrated and supported,” Mandelsberg said. “Our hope is that they’ll come away from the workshop refreshed, renewed and reinvigorated for the important work that they do.”
Family caregivers can reserve a space at the workshop by calling 503-535-4004 or emailing polina.Munblit@CedarSinaiPark.org.