Author, "The Unexpected Caregiver"
Kari Berit, passionate, authentic, down-to-earth, and fun. She connects immediately with her audiences. “She was talking about me,” “I feel like I’ve known her forever,” and “I feel energized after hearing her” are just a few of the participant comments that follow her keynotes.
Kari has spent her career helping people and institutions manage transitions and embrace the unfamiliar. Her expertise lies in aging and caregiving, two journeys in our lives for which we are poorly prepared. She is the author of two books, The Unexpected Caregiver and Mental Fitness Guide, both published by Attainment, and also hosts the weekly Unexpected Caregiver radio show. She contributes regular columns and articles on aging and caregiving topics and consults on peer-to-peer run caregiver support groups.
For nearly 20 years, Kari has been addressing industry associations, private business groups, financial companies and religious organizations, helping professionals from a multitude of backgrounds and age groups move effectively through their aging and caregiving life changes, and understand how to better serve their clientele. As a speaker, audience evaluations regularly call out her wit and high energy; a radio show that interviewed her told listeners to expect “bubbly, effervescent fun.”
Her audiences laugh – and sometimes shed a tear or two – but just as importantly, they come away with information that they can apply immediately and to good effect. In particular, they learn effective strategies for starting and managing the crucial conversations between parents and their adult children when caregiving issues come to the fore – conversations that often must first address the often emotion-laden intergenerational baggage Boomers and their parents have worked hard to ignore for decades.
Kari Berit has both studied and lived what she speaks and writes about. Key elements in her background include:
- Radio Show of The Unexpected Caregiver, since 2009
- National Speaker since 1997
- Director on the Good Samaritan Society National Board
- 13 years as a resident manager, director, dementia-care specialist and assisted-living manager in Minnesota senior housing facilities
- Over 20 years teaching and directing programs for older adults in settings ranging from community meetings to national conferences, classrooms to churches
- M.S. in Continuing and Vocational Education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison
- B.A. in Psychology and International Health Care from St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN
Most Popular Topics:
The Unexpected Caregiver
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 20 years. So-called “elephant” issues, family baggage, caregiver stress, and connecting with parents are just some of the issues Kari tackles. You will leave energized and filled with ideas. Caregiving is not a solo effort. You will learn how to organize your caregiving team and ask for help.
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.
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 SANE
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 SANE—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.
“What Did You Say?” Team Building & Communication
Communication is key in building a team that respects each other, works well & 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 time line—while providing assistance with daily tasks. These short interactions are a challenge, let along 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.