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‘Tis the Season to Slow Down: A Self-Love Workshop on Caring for the Caregiver

Don’t be last on your list this holiday season…show yourself some love!

‘Tis the season for making lists and checking them twice, but are you doing your best to take care of you? With so much to do during the holidays, there is a good chance you’re putting yourself last on those lists. Setting aside some time for you and giving yourself some self-love, not only replenishes your soul, but also helps you to flourish as a caregiver. 

This interactive workshop offers practical advice and techniques on ways to bring care for the caregiver back into your life. Susie Sarkisian, Kensington Family Support Coach, and our panel of family caregivers Todd M. (Wife’s Caregiver), Kerri S. (Mother’s Caregiver) and Sheri T. (Mother’s Long-Distance Caregiver) help you go inward and recognize what passions and hobbies you may have given up. They share tips on how to carve out a little bit of time for yourself, which ultimately allows you to savor the holiday season with your loved one.

As The Kensington’s original Director of Family Services, Susie Sarkisian knows her job title makes people tilt their heads when they hear it. But when you think about it, Senior Living is not only about the senior – it’s about the family too. Susie brings a unique skill set to this job.  Number one, as a daughter whose father had Lewy Body Dementia. That curveball threw her own family into differing roles of support, and Susie found herself drawn to supporting her mother, the caregiver. Number two, as a CTI (Coaches Training Institute) Certified Life Coach, Susie has training and experience in listening, coaching, supporting, and validating others. Susie believes wholeheartedly that caring for- and about- anyone who is aging can be both hard and beautiful at the same time. Being able to sit with a coach one-on-one to untangle their own portion of *all this* truly makes all the difference. She also facilitates Caregiver Connect support groups and a Kensington Spouse group.

Sheri Turner lives in Coconut Grove, Florida while her 92-year-old mother with dementia lives in Assisted  Living 800 miles and 4 states away. As a Physician’s Assistant, Sheri was comfortable with the medical side of her mother’s aging process already, and she has masterfully stepped into the caregiving in ways that weren’t taught in medical school. Sheri oversees all aspects of her mother’s care and has built relationships with the ‘caregivers on the ground’ in a way should be shared with others.

Todd’s wife currently lives at The Kensington, living in one of the memory care floors.  Prior to that Todd and Isabelle lived together in a NYC apartment with Todd as the full-time caregiver.  In January 2022, he took a leave from his position as Vice President of Retail Operations for an international hamburger chain as he stepped fully into the caregiving role.  Todd plans to return to work in January 2023 now that his wife is being cared for at The Kensington.

Kerri Smith and her husband took a deep breath and decided to have her mother move from Alaska into their home in South Carolina in 2019.  Kerri’s very busy and demanding career as the SC Market President for Self-Help Credit Union, along with her many and varied interests already contributed to a very full life. Over the last 3 years, she has experienced all the unforeseen challenges and bumps that caregiving brought into the home and into her life.