Seniors: City to hold conference for caregivers

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By Debbie Luddington 

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

The City of Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services is once again co-sponsoring the 32nd Annual Caregivers Conference, “Finding Hope and Harmony in Caregiving”, on Nov. 12, from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., at
the First Baptist Church of Alexandria located at 2932 King St. All individuals who
are caring for or working with persons with dementia are encouraged to attend.

The event’s keynote speaker is Kim Campbell, widow of country music star Glen Campbell. Glen Campbell passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2017. Kim will speak about her family’s very public journey caring for Glen, and how she is involved in promoting care for other caregivers. Other topics include music therapy, dementia, optimistic aging, creative coping and a music practicum by the Forgetful Friends Chorus.

The conference recognizes that caregiving for someone with dementia involves the entire family – spouses, adult children, grandkids, siblings, neighbors and friends. This conference will provide valuable information on understanding dementia, ways to help yourself and your family member, activities you can do at home and more. Conference attendees will be
able to learn from the more than 40 vendors who will be on hand. Attendees will meet other caregivers, share stories and tips, eat great food and even have some fun.

The cost of the conference is $35 and includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, program materials and a certificate of attendance. There’s plenty of free parking. Professional CEU’s are available for attendance.

The deadline for registration is Nov. 6 or sooner in case it sells out. You can register online at www.nvdcc2018.eventbrite.com 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 Oct. 19 by calling GraceFul Care at 703-904-3994. Please call 703-270-0043 for more information about the conference.

Can’t make the conference but still want to want to learn coping tips and connect with other caregivers? The City of Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services hosts a monthly caregiver support group.

This group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at the Adult Day Services Center from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Participants are full-time caregivers or family members or friends providing part-time caregiving.

Participants share their experiences, provide support for each other and receive resources to assist them with caregiving. For more information call 703-746-5999 or visit the Division of Aging and Adult Services’ website at www.alexandriava.gov/aging. Debbie Luddington is the long term care coordinator at the Division of Aging and Adult Services.

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1 COMMENT

  1. These caregiver conferences are so helpful. Speakers and resources offer new approaches for some. LifeSongs recordable books have been offered as a fairly new and very personalized tool for care of people with dementia. They let you record 12 of a person’s favorite songs to help spark memories along with photos. You can buy them on Amazon and LifeSongs.info (where you can also buy in bulk at a 50% discount for fundraisers and special programs such as this one).