As a keynote speaker or workshop leader, Kari Berit provides age-assertive™ strategies for dealing with the delicate “elephant in
the living room” issues facing seniors and their adult children. In the safe, solutions-oriented environments she creates, cross-generational conflicts are defused, and adult children and their parents learn how to address the tough questions involved in aging, both personally and as families.
Kari’s areas of expertise as a speaker include:
- Family & Professional Caregiving
- Normal Aging vs. Aging with Disease
- Mental Fitness & Brain Health
- Communication & Team Building
The Unexpected Caregiver®
How to be a S.A.N.E. While Giving Care
Tag—You’re it! That’s the feeling millions of Americans have as they find themselves stepping up to help an aging family member or friend. They’re not trained caregivers. In many cases they haven’t planned for this. So now what? Kari Berit is here to help. A professional and family caregiver, Kari has been delivering upbeat, practical, and solutions-orientated presentations for more than 25 years. So-called “elephant” issues, family baggage, caregiver stress, and connecting with parents are just some of the issues Kari tackles. It doesn’t matter if you are currently in the midst of giving care or just beginning, Kari’s S.A.N.E. Method – Supported, Appreciated, Not guilty, and Energized – will help you stay healthy while giving care. As our aging population explodes, this may be one of the most important presentations you attend this year.
“Kari Berit is as delightful in print as she is during her professional speaking engagements. She tells it like it is: with humor, respect and wisdom. Kari Berit is savvy about family challenges that can arise in the care of aging parents and is a fountain of knowledge about creative activities that work.”
– B. Roberts, St. Olaf College
Help! I’m Turning into My Mother!
As you’re blow-drying your hair, you notice arm jiggle. Taking a closer look, you notice back fat. If that weren’t bad enough, your mother is hanging out in your mirror. How do these aging changes happen? Is it a gradual process and what can we control? For better or for worse, our mothers’ DNA is part of us, but it does not have to confine us. Learn what to expect as we age, how to embrace these changes and laugh off the rest. Aging is not a disease; it is a great teacher of life.
Caring for the Professional Caregiver
Professional caregivers take care of residents, support residents’ families and coordinate care with a team of health care professionals. After their shift, they take care of their own families. How do they care for themselves? How can they stay calm and employ healthy communication when dealing with sometimes cranky people? Armed with facts and humor, we’ll explore the needs of professional caregivers. Participants will leave with a toolkit of knowledge for use the very next day.
Keynote or Half-day Workshops:
When Family Can’t Take Care of Family: Getting to S.A.N.E.
86% of caregivers care for a relative. Typical family caregivers give and give until they simply run dry. We feel we have to or that we have no choice—they’re family. While some consciously choose to give care, others simply fall into the role. It doesn’t matter if you are currently in the midst of giving care or just beginning, whether you have chosen this role or it fell into your lap, this presentation teaches you how to be a S.A.N.E. caregiver –Supported, Appreciated, Not guilty, and Energized. As our aging population explodes, this may be one of the most important presentations you attend this year.
Forget Less; Remember More
Ever forget where you put your car keys? That’s normal. Forgetting what car keys are … not normal. What is the difference between normal aging and memory loss? Arm yourself with the facts about your brain and reduce your worries. We’ll explore how the human brain works and what it needs to stay healthy. And you’ll try Aerobics of the Mind and discover how fun, simple activities can help you think more clearly and forget less.(Half-day workshop can include an introduction to dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease: Gain a better understanding of normal aging vs. aging with disease. Rather than worry about getting Alzheimer’s Disease, learn how to take care of your brain and how to interact with someone who has dementia.)
Embracing Your Aging Self
Even though we’ve always been aging since birth, do any of us know what to expect? Do we know how to behave as we get older? What happens to our bodies? What can we control and what do we need to just accept? Who will take care of us as we have increased needs? Once you understand the aging process better, you’ll grow into your older self more confidently with humor and self-esteem.
“The program [Embracing Your Aging Self] gave me usable ways of improving my communication with older adults, increased my comfort level with sensitive aging issues, helped to diffuse myths on aging [and] shed new light on important issues….”
– J. Mack, Presbyterian Homes, Greensboro, NC
“What Did You Say?” Team Building & Communication
Communication is key in building a team that respects each other, works well and recognizes each other’s talents … but it’s not a skill that comes naturally. To become an effective communicator, we need to look at our own communication style and how we interact with others. We also benefit from learning assertive communication techniques, enabling us to avoid emotional outbursts caused by defensive communication. Communicate in ways that make a huge difference in your team!
Professional Caregivers: Building a Tool Kit to Better Connect
Professional caregivers need to know how to connect with those they care for—quickly, showing genuine interest and on a timeline—while providing assistance with daily tasks. These short interactions are a challenge, let alone adding a dementia component to the mix. In the day-to-day care, communication can become defensive and hurtful. Family and loved ones can come across as unappreciative. And those you care for can be just plain cranky. Learn tools that will bring you more joy and less stress on the job.
Speaking topics [pdf]