Senior Corner: Caregivers conference geared to family caregivers and pros alike

Senior Corner: Caregivers conference geared to family caregivers and pros alike

By Debbie Ludington

Are you caring for a family member or loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, another dementia or other medical problems? Is it a struggle at times? Do you feel isolated and alone? Information and support are available.

The City of Alexandria’s Department of Community and Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services is cosponsoring the 29th Annual Caregivers Conference, “Prepare to Care: Getting your Ducks in a Row,” to be held on Wednesday, November 11 from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., at the Korean Central Presbyterian Church located at 15451 Lee Highway in Centreville, Va. Individuals caring for or working with persons with dementia are encouraged to attend.

Speakers include Dr. Scott Turner, who will talk about preventing Alzheimer’s disease, and retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, who will discuss preparing to be a caregiver. Jennifer FitzPatrick will speak about identifying and dealing with caregivers’ feelings, and William Vaughan will talk about understanding Medicare. The closing speaker will be Ron Culberson, a humorist whose talk is entitled “Making the most of life when things go ‘afowl.’”

The 29th annual conference recognizes that providing care for someone with dementia involves the entire family — spouses, adult children, grandchildren, siblings, neighbors and friends. This conference will provide valuable information on understanding dementia, ways to help yourself and ways to help other people in your family cope with dementia and how it affects the entire family.

You’ll learn about how to manage difficult behaviors, learn about different caregiving resources from the 35 vendors who will be on hand, and you’ll learn that it’s OK to laugh even in stressful situations. You also will get to meet other caregivers, share stories and tips, have great food and even some fun.

The cost of the conference is only $30 and includes breakfast, lunch, snack, program materials and a certificate of attendance. Continuing education credits are available for an additional $30. Deadline for registration is November 1.

You can register online at or call 703-324-5425 for more information and to request a registration form. Limited free in-home respite care on the day of the conference for persons with dementia is available to allow caregivers to attend the conference, but needs to be requested by October 15 by calling GraceFul Care at 703-904-3994.

The writer is the long term care coordinator for the city’s Division of Aging and Adult Services.