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Community Events/Workshops


The MERI Center also focuses on helping patients and their caregivers cope with serious illness. Monthly advance care planning sessions are offered, free of charge. Other workshops and events will be conducted regularly to educate and engage our community in issues related to Palliative Care and end of life issues.

Due to COVID-19 we have converted our workshops online, interactive sessions. We will continue to assess our ability to hold in-person workshops.


Emotional Resiliency for People with Neurologic Disorders*

January 12th - February 16th | 10:00 - 11:00 AM PST

Emotional Resiliency for People with Neurologic Disorders* is a live-online program of six weekly 60-minute classes. In each class, you will learn evidence-based skills to help make your self-care sustainable.

Teaching methods include brief lecture periods mixed with experiential exercises. You will also have opportunities to speak with others in structured break-out groups (pairs or triads) as well as in the larger group.

There will be one break during each session.

Each class will have its own theme and the opportunity to practice new skills in a safe place, so that they’re more available during the days ahead. Themes include:

•Grounding and positive intention setting
•Repertoire of stress responses and meeting difficult emotions
•Mindful self-compassion
•Challenging relationships
•Reframing helplessness
•‘What works for me?’ -- wellness journals to cultivate a positive mindset

*Neurologic Disorders include serious illnesses that impair cognitive function such as Parkinson’s


Sustainable Caregiving for Care Partners of Those with Neurologic Disorders

January 12th - March 2 | 2:00 - 3:30 PM PST

Sustainable Caregiving for Care Partners of Those with Neurologic Disorders is a live-online program of eight weekly 90 minute classes. In each class, you will learn evidence-based skills to help make your caregiving sustainable.

Teaching methods include brief lecture periods mixed with experiential exercises. You will also have opportunities to speak with others in structured break-out groups (pairs or triads) as well as in the larger group.

Each class will have its own theme and the opportunity to practice new skills in a safe place, so that they’re more available during the days ahead. Themes include:

•Attentional balance and grounding
•Positive intention setting
•Repertoire of stress responses and meeting difficult emotions
•Mindful self-compassion
•Challenging relationships and patients’ concerns around “being a burden”
•Reframing chronic sorrow
•Balance and growth in adversity
•‘What works for me?’ -- wellness journals to cultivate a positive mindset

*Neurologic Disorders include illnesses that affect neurologic function such as Parkinson’s, stroke, brain tumor, PSP, MSA, Alzheimer’s


Last Acts of Kindness; Care & Compassion at the End of Life

Tuesdays, February 2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd | 10:00 - 12:00 PM PST

A live-online 4-session workshop for anyone who wishes to foster confidence and resiliency in these difficult times,  as we care for our friends, our selves, our families, 
and community at the end of life.

We ALL will be in positions to be “end of life doulas” at some time--assisting friends and loved ones in the dying process. Most people however, have little training and minimal experience or understanding about what it means to “show up” at this delicate time. The Chinese letters for “crisis” can be translated as “Dangerous opportunity.” The dangers of the current pandemic offer us all an opportunity to be better acquainted with the real territory of death and dying.

This workshop will:

  • Prepare us to show up at the bedsides of the dying—using the tenets of Palliative Care: to help relieve suffering physically, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically
  • Offer guidance in supporting caregivers-- both professional and “family” caregivers
  • Assist us in creating personal toolkits for caregiving at the end of life
  • Help us understand how our own myths and beliefs about life and death affect our roles as care-givers and care-receivers
  • Offer practical knowledge about the dying process
  • Pain and symptom management (an overview)
  • Hospice and Palliative care issues
  • Signs and Symptoms of approaching death
  • Be a step towards facing our own mortality, which is key to serving others 

Registration is for all 4 sessions Sliding scale suggested donation:  $25-150. No one will be turned away. Maximum number of participants: 20. 

Co-sponsored by Commonweal and the MERI Center for Education in Palliative Care at UCSF/Mt Zion.


Loss, Losing, & Loosening*: Exploring Grief and Healing Through Poem-Making
*quote from Eric Poche

A weekly poem-making workshop led by Redwing Keyssar, RN, Author, Poet
Tuesdays, January 5th, 12th & 26th | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Redwing Keyssar,RN, Author & Poet, will guide us in using poem-making to examine our grief and to find healing in our creativity.

This is an open group that will meet weekly.  Come once, come every week; there is no commitment to join every week.

Each week we will:

  • Use poem-making to explore your grief, whether you are grieving the loss of a loved one or struggling due to this global pandemic 
  • Find healing through poems
  • Create a supportive & caring community

You DO NOT need to be a writer or a poet to join.

 


Food for Thought: A Poetry Cafe

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Offered by Redwing Keyssar, RN, Author, Director of Patient and Caregiver Education at The MERI Center for Education in Palliative Care, UCSF/Mt Zion

In this one-hour “Poetry Café”, co-sponsored by the MERI Center for Education in Palliative Care and Art for Recovery, we will enter the realm of creativity through the art of “Poem-Making”

We will:

  • Create a safe environment for each other-with a short guided meditation and music
  • Listen to some poems read out loud and see how they make us feel
  • Use some specific words or “prompts” to encourage our own “poem-making”
  • Share our poetic explorations

In these challenging times, it is more important than ever to express our feelings and connect to our own creativity and community.   Join us in using poetry writing as self-care & to explore our feelings, fears & hopes.

 YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A WRITER!

“Poetry is simply speaking the truth. Each of us has a truth as unique as our own fingerprints”

~Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, from Intro to Poetic Medicine by John Fox

 Making poems can:

  • Surprise us
  • Allow expression of feelings in creative ways
  • Guide our own healing journey


Upcoming workshops:

Fridays, 11 am - 12 pm PST (No sessions on 11/20, 11/27, 12/25 & 1/1)


What Matters Most?

A free in-depth Advance Directive Workshop for all Patients​

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MERI offers free two-part workshops throughout the year in advanced care planning for patients, staff, and caregivers that enable you to: 

• Create a personalized plan to honor your wishes

  • Have your questions answered

• Complete your new or revised Advance Directive for Healthcare and have it notarized for free (in-person workshops only)

Session 1: 
Learn about the Advance Directive Form, what questions to ask yourself and your family, things to consider about your wishes, and how to complete the form.

Session 2: 
Bring your completed form to the workshop, ask any additional questions you or your family may have, and have your form notarized on-site at no cost to you.

Online Workshops:
Wednesday, February 3rd and 17th | 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Wednesday, March 3rd and 17th | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Wednesday, April 7th and 21st | 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Via Zoom Cloud Meetings

Please plan to attend both sessions
You don’t have to be a UCSF patient to attend!