Compassionate Caregiving though Poetry

Child & Family Service Gerontology Program is celebrating Older Americans Month with a workshop featuring award winning author Frances Kakugawa.  Frances will speak on how she was able to transform herself from a burdened, scared person into a compassionate and competent caregiver. She will also speak on how poetry and journaling has helped her in this process.

The workshop will be held at 15 Craigside on May 8, 2012 from 10:00 am to 12 noon with a complementary lunch to follow. We are pleased to have 15 Craigside and Kupuna Concierge as co-sponsors of this event.

Seating is limited. Please make your reservation ASAP. For more information contact  Dawn Casil at 543-8423.

Frances, who currently resides in Sacramento, was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii in Kapoho, which was demolished by lava when she was 18 years old. She has taught for many years in the Hawaii public school systems and was a lecturer for the University of Hawaii and is featured in the Kōkua Mau video "Breaking the Ice" (see link to the left).

In 1997, Frances became the primary caregiver for her mother, Matsue, who had developed Alzheimer’s disease. Frances found that poetry and journaling helped her to manage the tremendous burden of care. This inspired her to start a journaling and poetry writing support group for caregivers and the combined writings from her first sessions are incorporated into her book „Mosaic Moon: Caregiving Through Poetry."

In 2002, she was recognized in Living Legacy: Outstanding Women of the 20th Century in Hawai‘i.  Then in 2004, she received a Hawaii-Pacific Gerontological Society Award.

Her newest book „Breaking the Silence, A Caregiver’s Voice" builds on her experience as a teacher and support group moderator. She provides a thoughtful and honest look into what caregivers face each day, and provides a real value for those who must cope with incredible pressure, anxiety, and difficult decisions associated with Alzheimer’s caregiving.

Rosalynn Carter once stated "There are only four kinds of people in this world": Those who have been caregivers; those who currently are caregivers; those who will be caregivers; and those who will need caregivers.  A report by AARP’s Public Policy Institute found the economic value of caring for an adult family member, partner or friend who suffered with chronic conditions or disabilities in Hawai‘i was nearly $2 billion in 2009.