The Heights

Updated: March 13, 2017


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Learn how to be a better caregiver for aging seniors

More than 40 million Americans currently care for an elderly loved one, and that number will continue to rise as more people require home care. HLTH 70: Introduction to Geriatric Health Care, offered this spring, will help you develop a better understanding of the caregiving needs of aging seniors.

“This course is for professional caregivers and family members who now find themselves in the role of caregiver to aging parents, spouses and siblings,” said health instructor Ken Horowitz, D.M.D. “It’s inevitable that you will be a caregiver for someone you love or you’ll need caregiving, and sometimes both.”

The three-unit course will examine a variety of health issues that affect our aging population, including pharmacology, nutrition, dental health, and information on dementia and medication therapy management. You’ll also study effective communication with patients, families and other members of the health care team, methods to identify and stop elder abuse, home safety, elder care policy and ethical issues, and resources that offer care for the caregiver. Power of attorney, living wills, the role of the hospital, and Medicare rights and appeals will also be discussed. The class will also feature a variety of guest speakers who will offer caregiving insight and expertise.

“When I developed this class, I’d intended it for students enrolled in Foothill’s popular health care training programs,” Horowitz says. “But it’s clear that we also have a community need to educate nonprofessional caregivers—family members, really—who are part of the 40 million Americans who are caregivers.”

Horowitz, who himself was caregiver to his aging parents, both of whom suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, found that all too often nonprofessional caregivers have little or no training. So he designed the class to increase students’ awareness about caregiving.

“My goal here is simple,” he says. “I want you to age healthfully. By providing high-quality caregiver education, Foothill is raising awareness and increasing the knowledge of the people who take daily care of our loved ones. For me, that’s what makes this class important.”

The class meets at the new Sunnyvale Center on Saturdays beginning April 15. Use CRN #41744 to register. For registration instructions, visit foothill.edu/admissions.php.

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