The Heights

Updated: May 23, 2016


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Caregiving course for professionals & families

More than 40 million Americans do it, and chances are good that one day you will, too. It’s age-related caregiving for a loved one. Foothill College will help you develop a better understanding of the caregiving needs of aging seniors in the HLTH 70: Introduction to Geriatric Health Care course, offered this spring.

“This course is for professional caregivers and family members who now find themselves in the role of caregiver to aging parents, spouses and siblings,” says Foothill College 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 demographics of aging, 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. I want you to age in your home if that’s your desire. I want you to age without your financial assets being wiped out. I want to give professional and nonprofessional caregivers access to as many resources as I can so that families know what services are available and what questions to ask,” he says. “I also want students to share lessons they’ve learned as caregivers. 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 Tuesdays, April 5–June 21, from 6 to 8:50 p.m. in Room 5501. Use CRN #41425 to register. Registration is ongoing through April 3. For registration instructions, visit foothill.edu/admissions.php.

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