Leeza's Care Connection

Leeza_logoReaching out to families with loved ones suffering from a memory loss or other chronic conditions, Leeza Gibbons is partnering with Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center to provide a free comprehensive program of support and guidance for family caregivers.

Leeza’s Care Connection, formerly Leeza’s Place in the San Fernando Valley, has relocated to Providence Saint Joseph’s Hycy and Howard Hill Neuroscience Institute. Talk show host Leeza Gibbons created The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation in honor of her mother who battled Alzheimer’s disease.

Gibbons established the foundation a decade ago as a promise to her mother to “tell her story and make it count” and it has since become a model for empowering those who take care of their loved ones. It is the manifestation of what Gibbons “wished we had when we were going through this journey.”

Leeza’s Care Connection is a safe home-like living room setting where family caregivers connect with each other and with vital resources.

“We learned over the last decade of working with family caregivers that they are best when connected to each other, to support services and to their own strength of spirit,” Gibbons said. “Leeza’s Care Connection is a place where caregivers come together to learn, become more resilient, grounded and confident through their journey of care giving.

“Partnering with Providence Saint Joseph is a perfect fit. We both focus on helping families find strength and support when a loved one is seriously ill,” said Stefanie Elkins, program and outreach director of Leeza’s Care Connection in Burbank.

There are more than 65 million caregivers in the United States caring for someone who is going through a health crisis. These are husbands and wives, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. Many times the caregivers are failing faster than the ones for whom they care. That is what Leeza’s Care Connection is all about; reminding caregivers to restore and replenish themselves so they can go the distance.

“At PSJMC the model of care we provide is centered on our patients and their families, which is in direct alignment with the care that Leeza’s Care Connection provides,” said Valarie Fleming, the hospital’s chief nursing officer. “We know how challenging it is for family members when loved ones are ill and have special needs. We’re so fortunate to have a partner to work in collaboration with us in caring for the families of the patients we serve.”

All Leeza’s Care Connection programs and services are free. They include scrapbooking to help caregivers and their loved ones honor memories, exercise and wellness programs for strengthening the body and the mind and support groups so that caregivers can safely express, share and connect during this challenging time. Educational programs and Spanish-language services also are provided.

“We provide a place for families to get educated, a place to regroup, re-energize and connect so that no one has to feel isolated or alone.” Elkins said. Miriam, who is caring for her husband and attends the program said, “When I was lost and afraid, my family of support here saved me. We are so grateful Leeza started this."

The center, in the hospital’s South Tower, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays, with after-hour appointments available. For information, please call Elkins at 818-847 3686 or visit us online.

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