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Classes & Seminars

Traditional Wisdom: A Guide to Healthy Aging and Completing Life with Dignity

This course is designed for anyone in early retirement, aging, facing a life-threatening disease or have a loved one in one of these life stages.

You will learn:  

  • How to identify resources in your community to support quality care as you or an aging family member age or require some assistance with daily life.
  • To clarify what you want for yourself or your loved one when facing end of life decisions.
  • How to communicate what you want with your physician and other healthcare professionals, to gain support for what you want during the latter stages of your life or the life of a loved one.
  • To obtain accurate information from your physician and other healthcare providers when faced with choices about treatment plans.
  • To create a written plan to assist you during the stages you or a loved one may face as you age or go through a disease or aging process.
  • To identify what has been most meaningful in your life or to assist a loved one in clarifying the meaning their life has had for themselves and those they love.
  • To clarify what you want to do or to complete during the remainder of your life.
  • Assist you to make well informed decisions about how you want to live out the remainder of your life before there is a life-threatening event.
  • Show you ways for how you can support and/or care for a loved one who is in need of assisted living, whether being assisted in their own homes or in an assisted residential home.

Past participants have reported significant reduction in their death-related fear and anxiety, an increase in their ability to communicate their healthcare choices to their physicians and a reduction in pain and suffering experienced by their loved ones during the dying process. They have likened the death of their loved one as intimate, bringing the family closer, healing old differences and leaving no regrets.

Facilitated by Morning Star Holmes M.A.

Training for Caregivers: Communicate with Compassion

For professional and family caregivers whose primary role is to support the one aging or facing a life-threatening illness.

Learn to: 

  • Listen with compassion.
  • Elicit the positive intention of difficult behaviors in others.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively in stressful situations.
  • Manage your own feelings of fear, frustration, grief and loss.
  • Identify ways to care for yourself and your family while caring for another.
  • Guide an aging or ill person through their own feelings of fear, frustration and loss of independence as he or she declines in health.
  • Assist the aging or dying person to identify how they would like to spend their last months, weeks and days.

The challenge of caring for an individual who is declining in health affects those being cared for, the caregiver, and his or her family. There can be feelings of fear, loss of control, frustration, guilt and sometimes anger along with feelings of deep love, caring, respect and gratitude for those being cared for and those giving the care. It can be painful to let go of one’s ability to care for oneself. Many people report that they do not want to be a burden to their families. They struggle to remain independent, failing to realize they can prolong their independence if they allow some assistance earlier in the process.

Professional caregivers can experience work-related stress as a result of being emotionally connected to those they care for with the added responsibilities many times of having more than one person they care for. They must also interface with the individual’s families, dealing with their feelings associated with the letting go process. Many times people will express their fear and grief through anger directed at the caregiver. Effective communication skills provides the caregiver with tools to support others in clarifying what they feel and what they want. This can reduce the fear, frustration and anger in others, allowing the deeper level feelings of love and respect to emerge. Caregivers are in a unique position to facilitate a more graceful and dignified aging and dying process for those they care for and their families.

We also teach the content of this course in a 2-day seminar format to accommodate groups whose focus is on end-of-life education.  Contact us for information on providing this program in your area.