PROGRAMS AT A GLANCE
Gaia Cares offers integrated, innovative and holistic care and wellness services to create a positive impact in the lives of Chinese seniors and other older adults and their caregivers. We offer emotional support for those facing the often challenging process of caregiving and provide information and resources on a range of health and aging topics to the community.
Brain Smart, Community Smart
Through this series of workshops, participants access a variety of resources to learn how to improve their brain health. Sessions include brain games to boost memory, activities to keep your brain active, best food choices for optimal brainpower, and community resources you can access to learn more about brain health.
Get Moving for Brain Health
In this interactive workshop, participants learn how to maintain and improve their brain functions through the ABCD’s of brain health: being ACTIVE socially and physically, maintaining positive BELIEFS, being ready for CHANGE, and following a healthy DIET.
Cultivating Resilience in Uncertain Times – Therapy Group
With generous support from the BC Centre for Palliative Care, GCCWS launched an online therapy group for Chinese caregivers – Cultivating Resilience in Uncertain Times. This six-week program is a powerful resource forum where caregivers can share their personal experiences, be supported and learn from other caregivers. Participants learn ways to reduce feelings of isolation, strengthen relationship skills, and increase their confidence in managing caregiving stresses amid pandemic restrictions.
Chronic Disease Self-Management
Each program participant will receive a tool kit of information on developing skills to assist people lead healthy lives despite limiting physical and mental health conditions. Topics will include better sleep, positive thinking, healthy eating, techniques to deal with frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation, appropriate exercises to maintain and improve strength, flexibility, and endurance, relaxation techniques, and developing weekly action plans. Presented through a partnership with the Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health at the University of Victoria, these online workshops are highly participative with mutual support for building confidence, managing health, and maintaining active and fulfilling lifestyles.
Care2smart Webinar and Support Group
In these monthly programs, we invite professionals from diverse health disciplines to present one-hour webinars on a range of
caregiving and healthy aging topics to support you and your loved ones. In the week following the webinar, we host a one-hour support group session to follow up on discussions. The support group is a safe and supportive environment for you and your loved ones to reflect on the information and share your personal struggles and experiences. It is a great way to relieve stress, gain practical knowledge, and connect with others.
Social Effectiveness Training (SET)
We all need a break sometimes, but saying no to caregiving can seem like an impossible task for many caregivers. The result of not saying no leads to feeling stressed and exhausted. In this six-week interactive training, you will learn about assertiveness, an effective interpersonal skill that will help you establish respectful boundaries and achieve your goals. By learning to be assertive, you will increase your self-confidence and self-esteem, gain a better understanding of human behaviour, and improve your social interactions with loved ones.
Caregivers’ Wellspring Program Nourish to Flourish Seminar & Discussion Group
It is said that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Taking care of an older loved one often takes a physical and emotional toll on your wellbeing. It is as important to take care of yourself as it is to care for your loved one. In this program, we provide a safe environment for caregivers like you to relieve stress, learn practical coping skills, and strengthen your abilities through the support of peers. Remember, you are not alone, and others are waiting to share their journey with you!
Seeds of Hope
In this program family caregivers discover a safe, supportive environment in which they can express their concerns and offer mutual, emotional support to others on their caregiving journey. Through the sharing of experiences, participants discuss potential solutions to a variety of common caregiving challenges and find renewed strength in overcoming them.
Long Term Planning
Advance Care Planning
Advance Care Planning helps you, and the people you trust, prepare for your future health-care decisions. This session will help you think and talk about your wishes and who would make decisions for you if you cannot. Through the content provided by BC Centre for Palliative Care, with elements adapted to the Chinese culture, you will learn about why Advance Care Planning is important for everyone and how to do it.
Nutrition and Diet
Gaia Cares Healthy Eating and Living Series
In this series, we invite registered nutritionists and dieticians to share professional tips on making better food choices to strengthen your immunity and prevent chronic diseases. Learn the right ingredients for your gut and liver health, or how to prepare a protein and calcium enriched breakfast with dairy and non-dairy products. This webinar series is proudly sponsored by BC Milk.
Spice Up Your Health Workshop – use of everyday super spices (Outreach)
Presented in partnership with Richmond City Centre Community Centre, this tasty program provided information on the health benefits of spices like ginger and garlic commonly used in Chinese cuisine. Participants will learn how to incorporate nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich super spices into their cooking, and how to gain the powerful benefits of five other super spices. Original recipes provided by the nutritionist have inspired enthusiasm among previous participants to be more creative in their meal planning and preparation!
Wise Food Choices for Brain Nourishment
You are what you eat. A good-quality diet can have a positive impact on your brain health. Through this seminar series, you will build your knowledge of wise food choices to support optimal brain health and personal wellness. You will be introduced to healthy foods from a diverse range of cultures, sample healthy food options, and share proven recipes.
Healthy Eating for Older Adults
Nutritional needs change as we age. In this series, our nutritionist will offer helpful tips on making better food choices to strengthen your immunity and improve your health as a senior. Learn how to choose the right condiments and foods to boost your immune system, how to use antiviral herbs and ways to build a balanced nutrition for healthy aging.
Eat Play Love
In this program, you will learn from our horticultural therapist how to use gardening activities to enhance mental and physical health and cognitive functioning of individuals living with chronic disease. In particular, you will learn how to make eco-friendly products, how to prepare simple and low-cost nutritious meals, tips for growing herbs, and other information gardening at home and in the community. This series of workshops is designed for those who are dealing with chronic diseases or early stages of cognitive decline and their caregivers.
Physical and Mental Fitness
Join us for Chair Yoga to strengthen your balance and flexibility, and improve your blood circulation and ability to focus and concentrate. Yoga is an ancient practice, estimated to be 4,000 to 5,000 years old. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yug,” which means to unite. Specifically, it is the unity of body, mind and spirit. The practice of yoga includes breathing exercises, physical poses and meditation to help combat stress and improve concentration.
Fuel the Brain Morning Exercise
Join us for Chi Kung (Qigong) classes that will help fuel your brain! This ancient Chinese exercise is known for cultivating and improving physical and mental health through exercises that involve meditation, controlled breathing, and movement. Qigong classes will leave you energized, able to achieve a sense of calmness, and feeling connected to a community.
Gaia Community Care Team
Do you like what we do and want to help? The Gaia Community Care Team (GCCT) is designed for compassionate individuals like you who care about the wellbeing of older adults in our community. In this volunteer orientation and training session, you will learn basic skills about caring for older adults, and gain knowledge about services and resources in our community that are available for older adults. In gaining practical skills and experience as a GCCT member, you will be able to help promote Gaia Cares programs, services and information resources in your community.