Keiro Hosts First Virtual Caregiver Conference

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Clockwise from top left: Kanako Fukuyama, Lynn Miyamoto, Andrew Takahashi and Naoko Okada participate in the first annual virtual Keiro Caregiver Conference.

Community members from across Southern California gathered virtually to participate in Keiro’s annual Caregiver Conference on May 31.

Originally scheduled to be hosted at Venice Japanese Community Center, the event provided relevant resources and education to over 200 attendees caring for loved ones, especially during the current global pandemic.

The event featured a panel of former family caregivers Lynn Miyamoto, Naoko Okada, and Andrew Takahashi. They shared their individual caregiving experiences while providing practical advice about having difficult conversations with other family members.

The inspirational panel, facilitated by Keiro’s Iyashi Care social worker Kanako Fukuyama, was followed by an educational presentation on decluttering and downsizing. The speaker, Marty Stevens-Heebner of Clear Home Solutions, shared tips on how to help our loved ones use this time to declutter their homes and let go of material things.

“Caring for a loved one is not an easy task, especially during these challenging times,” said Gene S. Kanamori, Keiro’s president and CEO. “These last few months have been quite an adjustment for all of us, but all of the speakers shared new perspectives and informative tips to help each of us along our caregiving journeys.”

The planning committee consisted of representatives from Los Angeles Holiness Church, Terasaki Nibei Foundation, Venice Free Methodist Church, Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, Venice Pioneer Project, West Los Angeles Buddhist Temple, and West Los Angeles United Methodist Church.

“This unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we go about our daily lives and it certainly changes the way that Keiro serves older adults and caregivers in our community,” said Kevin Onishi, Keiro’s director of programs. “It is inspiring to see so many community members tune in to our virtual programs and we look forward to continuing to provide meaningful content and classes to best serve our older adults wherever they call home.”

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