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Agency on Aging hosts caregivers’ conference

As a generation of baby boomers near retirement and the population of older adults continues to rise, both nationally and locally, the need for caregivers — those who provide assistance and support to an elderly adult or person with a disability — will continue to grow.
That’s why the New River Valley Agency on Aging is taking a step toward preparing current and future caregivers with the information and resources they need to care for their elderly and/or disabled loved ones by hosting “Caring Connections,” a caregiver conference and resource fair.
Caring Connections will be held Saturday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at New River Community College in Dublin. Participants must register in advance by Oct. 17 as space is limited. All caregivers from across the New River Valley are invited to attend this free event.
During the conference, participants will have the opportunity to speak with the 30 vendors who will be set up with exhibits so that they may learn more about products and services available to assist caregivers. Vendors scheduled to be in attendance range from the American Red Cross to hospice organizations to representatives from adult day care centers.
In addition, those in attendance may sit in on presentations throughout the day given by experts on a variety of topics of interest to caregivers. Presenters will include: Linda Eaton from the Montgomery County Department of Social Services, who will discuss eligibility, screenings and more; Daronda Combs from the Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society, who will discuss advanced planning; and Dr. Lauren Scott Jones, who will provide those in attendance with some tips on stress relief.
Caring Connections’ featured guest presenter will be Teepa Snow, an occupational therapist with more than 26 years of experience in geriatrics, who currently serves as a dementia care and dementia education specialist. Her presentation for the conference is titled “Making Moments of Joy: It’s What You Choose to Do as a Caregiver.”
There will also be a flu shot clinic available on site at this event, with representatives from CVS in Pulaski and the local health department.
Participants will have an opportunity to “ask the expert” and receive answers to questions about Medicare, Medicaid, prescription assistance and long-term care insurance, and will be able to discuss one-on-one their caregiving situation with information and assistance specialists to learn about specific services and resources available in the local community.
Free morning refreshments, lunch and afternoon snacks will be served. There will also be door prizes and giveaways.
This is the first caregivers’ conference and resource fair that has been hosted by the NRVAOA, but there are plans to make it an annual event, according to Cassie Mills, director of programs for the agency.
According to a fact sheet about caregivers gathered by the NRVAOA, more than 50 million people provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year, and approximately 60 percent of family caregivers are women.
The fact sheet states “among working caregivers caring for a family member or friend, two-thirds report having to rearrange their work schedule, decrease their hours or take an unpaid leave in order to meet their caregiving responsibilities. Difficulties due to work and caregiving are even higher among those caring for someone with dementia.”
Janet Brennend, ombudsman and elder abuse prevention specialist with the NRVAOA, said many times, caregivers feel alone and lost when faced with the situation of caring for another person, so the purpose of Caring Connections is to connect caregivers on that day with the information, services and resources they need. In addition, she said this will give caregivers an opportunity to connect with one another and help build a network of support. “We’ll be trying to meet a need on that day,” Brennend said, adding the local community will need to pull together as well to meet the needs of its aging population.
In addition to seeking caregivers to participate, the NRVAOA is seeking sponsors for the event, along with interested exhibitors who may not have been contacted about attending the event. To make a donation or become a sponsor or exhibitor, to register, or to learn more about the event, contact Mills at 980-7720 or cmills@nrvaoa.org.
You may contact Jena Hardy at jena@southwesttimes.com

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Agency on Aging hosts caregivers’ conference

As a generation of baby boomers near retirement and the population of older adults continues to rise, both nationally and locally, the need for caregivers — those who provide assistance and support to an elderly adult or person with a disability — will continue to grow.
That’s why the New River Valley Agency on Aging is taking a step toward preparing current and future caregivers with the information and resources they need to care for their elderly and/or disabled loved ones by hosting “Caring Connections,” a caregiver conference and resource fair.
Caring Connections will be held Saturday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at New River Community College in Dublin. Participants must register in advance by Oct. 17 as space is limited. All caregivers from across the New River Valley are invited to attend this free event.
During the conference, participants will have the opportunity to speak with the 30 vendors who will be set up with exhibits so that they may learn more about products and services available to assist caregivers. Vendors scheduled to be in attendance range from the American Red Cross to hospice organizations to representatives from adult day care centers.
In addition, those in attendance may sit in on presentations throughout the day given by experts on a variety of topics of interest to caregivers. Presenters will include: Linda Eaton from the Montgomery County Department of Social Services, who will discuss eligibility, screenings and more; Daronda Combs from the Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society, who will discuss advanced planning; and Dr. Lauren Scott Jones, who will provide those in attendance with some tips on stress relief.
Caring Connections’ featured guest presenter will be Teepa Snow, an occupational therapist with more than 26 years of experience in geriatrics, who currently serves as a dementia care and dementia education specialist. Her presentation for the conference is titled “Making Moments of Joy: It’s What You Choose to Do as a Caregiver.”
There will also be a flu shot clinic available on site at this event, with representatives from CVS in Pulaski and the local health department.
Participants will have an opportunity to “ask the expert” and receive answers to questions about Medicare, Medicaid, prescription assistance and long-term care insurance, and will be able to discuss one-on-one their caregiving situation with information and assistance specialists to learn about specific services and resources available in the local community.
Free morning refreshments, lunch and afternoon snacks will be served. There will also be door prizes and giveaways.
This is the first caregivers’ conference and resource fair that has been hosted by the NRVAOA, but there are plans to make it an annual event, according to Cassie Mills, director of programs for the agency.
According to a fact sheet about caregivers gathered by the NRVAOA, more than 50 million people provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year, and approximately 60 percent of family caregivers are women.
The fact sheet states “among working caregivers caring for a family member or friend, two-thirds report having to rearrange their work schedule, decrease their hours or take an unpaid leave in order to meet their caregiving responsibilities. Difficulties due to work and caregiving are even higher among those caring for someone with dementia.”
Janet Brennend, ombudsman and elder abuse prevention specialist with the NRVAOA, said many times, caregivers feel alone and lost when faced with the situation of caring for another person, so the purpose of Caring Connections is to connect caregivers on that day with the information, services and resources they need. In addition, she said this will give caregivers an opportunity to connect with one another and help build a network of support. “We’ll be trying to meet a need on that day,” Brennend said, adding the local community will need to pull together as well to meet the needs of its aging population.
In addition to seeking caregivers to participate, the NRVAOA is seeking sponsors for the event, along with interested exhibitors who may not have been contacted about attending the event. To make a donation or become a sponsor or exhibitor, to register, or to learn more about the event, contact Mills at 980-7720 or cmills@nrvaoa.org.
You may contact Jena Hardy at jena@southwesttimes.com

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