Conferences help caregivers prepare and care

“Very knowledgeable and passionate speakers.”
“Focused, varied for different levels of experience.”
“I was amazed by all of the resources in the community.”
“Very worthwhile.”

These are some of the comments from attendees at last year’s Central Valley Alzheimer’s Caregiver and Wellness Conference. This year’s conference will be held in Madera on Nov. 3. It is one of several conferences we put on throughout the year.

DonnaLynne Helton of Fresno attended last year’s conference. DonnaLynne has been caring for her mother, Katheryn, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease about three years ago. Last year, DonnaLynne and her husband, William, moved in with Katheryn to provide care.

Alzheimer’s was not new to DonnaLynne. Her grandmother also had the disease. DonnaLynne’s family had used Alzheimer’s Association services while caring for her grandmother.

Time to prepare
As her mother started showing signs of Alzheimer’s DonnaLynne reached out to the Alzheimer’s Association. “When I thought Mom was going to be diagnosed, I wanted to be prepared,” shared DonnaLynne.

Katheryn

She attended a caregiver education series in Fresno and online classes offered by the Alzheimer’s Association. DonnaLynne found the trainings to be very beneficial.

“It’s helpful to sit with other caregivers who are at different stages,” said DonnaLynne. “It helps prepare you.” When she heard about the caregiver conference, she quickly signed up.

A collaborative effort
The conference is a collaborative effort of the Alzheimer’s Association, Valley Caregiver Resource Center and the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program. The event will be held at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera.

The conference is designed for families, friends and professionals who provide care to those living with Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia or mild cognitive impairment.

Topics include:

Speakers include staff from the three presenting organizations, as well as other representatives from the community. There will be time for attendees to visit the resource tables and speak with community service providers.

Learning about community resources
At last year’s conference, DonnaLynne spoke with a vendor about funeral services. Before attending the conference, she hadn’t thought to ask her mom if she had made any plans.

Visiting resource tables

“The resource area lets caregivers know about resources they might not have thought about,” shared DonnaLynne. They have since worked with the company to plan Katheryn’s funeral arrangements.

You can learn more about the conference and register online or by calling 800.272.3900. You can also find other conferences and education programs in our chapter.