Working with Family Caregivers Sessions


Working with Family Caregivers Sessions


10 a.m. What Family Caregivers Want from Us

In order to work well with family caregivers, we need to understand what they want from us in terms of the products and services we offer. Gail will share the latest research from the National Alliance for Caregiving about what family caregivers want from the technology they use, what they need from their communities and what problems they encounter that we can help them resolve.

Presenter: Gail Hunt

  • Gail is President and Chief Executive Office of the National Alliance for Caregiving, a non-profit coalition dedicated to conducting research and developing national programs for family caregivers and the professionals who serve them. Prior to heading the Alliance, Ms. Hunt was President of her own aging services consulting firm for 14 years. She conducted corporate eldercare research for the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration, developed training for caregivers with AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association, and designed a corporate eldercare program for EAPs with the Employee Assistance Professional Association. As a national expert on family caregiving and long-term care, Ms. Hunt served on the Policy Committee for the 2005 White House Conference on Aging, as well as on the CMS Advisory Panel on Medicare Education. She was the chair of the National Center on Senior Transportation. Ms. Hunt is also a commissioner for the Center for Aging Services Technology (CAST) and on the Board of the Long-Term Quality Alliance and the National Center for Creative Aging. Ms. Hunt is a member of the Multiple Chronic Conditions Workforce Technical Expert Workgroup. She co-chairs the NQF MAP Person and Family-Centered Care task force. Additionally, Ms. Hunt is on the Governing Board of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

11 a.m. Marketing to Family Caregivers

We want to speak to family caregivers so they hear how we can help. Which words and phrases will raise a family caregiver's antenna to our offerings? We'll share lessons learned about which messages reach family caregivers from campaigns (like AARP's joint campaign with the Ad Council), social media outreach and marketing events.

Moderator: Liz O'Donnell

Panelists: Debbie Howard, Amy Goyer, Vivian Geary, Anne Tumlinson

Our Panel

  • Anne is the founder of Daughterhood, an organization dedicated to providing content and community for women navigating the health and elder care systems on behalf of their parents. She also works with provider organizations to encourage and support innovation in how we pay for and deliver care to frail older adults. Anne has testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Senate Aging Committee, the Congressional Long-Term Care Commission, and the Bipartisan Policy Center.

  • Vivian is a Certified Caregiver Consultant and Certified Caregiving Educator. As founder of Caring for Family Caregivers, she coaches family caregivers to turn their chaos into calm. Tips for organization and a fresh perspective on communication and family dynamics is what Vivian brings to the table. In addition, Vivian conducts workshops and seminars to help family caregivers gain knowledge and be the best they can be for their loved ones.  Vivian is a working family caregiver for her mom who suffered a stroke in 2005.  You can learn more about her work on her website, Caring for Family Caregivers.

  • Amy has been a family caregiver my entire adult life - first for her grandparents, then her parents and her sister. She has been working in the field of aging for 35 years. She has a degree in Music Therapy and worked at the local level in adult day care and nursing homes for many years, then for the Ohio Department of Aging and then for AARP in Washington, DC. She is now a consultant, author and speaker and serves as a caregiving expert for AARP and work with other clients on caregiving issues. Her book, "Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving" outlines practical tips for caregivers as well as anecdotes from her personal caregiving journey and from other family caregivers.

  • Debbie cared for her mom, who died from lung cancer after a 18-month battle. She's currently finishing a book about her experiences, expanding on what she learned by using her professional experience as a market researcher to help all family caregivers manage their caregiving journeys with more grace. Her book will be available November 2016.

  • Liz is the founder of Working Daughter, a website for women balancing career and caregiving, something she tries to do everyday. Liz runs the East Coast operations of a PR firm and cares for her 90-year-old father. She is also a working mother — she has a middle schooler and a high schooler at home — and is the author of the book Mogul, Mom & Maid: The Balancing Act of the Modern Woman.

1 p.m. Start at Simple and Build From There

You've got one awesome idea to help family caregivers, which may not seem like enough to launch a successful business. It all starts with that one great idea and turning that great idea into one great product or service. Denise will help you see the power of that one idea and show you what you can build from there.

Presenter: Denise M. Brown

  • Denise launched in 1996. was the first website to add online caregiving support groups, daily caregiving chats and blogs written by family caregivers. Through its blogs posts, podcasts and video chats, holds one of the largest online libraries of caregiving stories. Denise also hosts a Twitter chat for family caregivers (#carechat) on the first and third Sundays at 8 p.m. ET. In March 2011, Denise launched CareGifters, an initiative which funds caregiving solutions, one family caregiver at a time. Through CareGifters, Denise raises money to send money to family caregivers in need. Denise began working with family caregivers in 1990 and regularly speaks about the family caregiver experience. Her insights have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, US News & World Report, USA Today,, Time magazine and Chicago Tribune. Her books, including The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey and Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers, provide insights, inspirations and information to those who care for family members. She currently cares for her parents.

1:30 p.m. Creating Programs Family Caregivers Will Use

We all know about the apps that family caregivers don't touch, the support group meetings that family caregivers don't attend and the websites that never gain traction with family caregivers. What makes a successful program or service in the eyes of the family caregiver? Panelists will discuss the programs and services they created, why they created them and what family caregivers like about them. They'll also share what they now know about what type of product or service family caregivers will use.

Moderator: Tami Neumann

Panelists: Ashley Reid, Gael Chiarella Alba, Geri Baumblatt, Claire Day

Our Panel

  • Gael has been a yogi entrepreneur since 1985. Today she offers continuing education weaving discussions of death, dying and caregiving with a holistic model of selfCare, embracing some of the most significant challenges of our time.  A Certified Caregiving Consultant and professional spoken word artist teaching mindfulness practices, Gael provides services through her audio programs, books, courses, live presentations and online hub Presently in the aftercare stage of giving back, she assisted her son through the trauma of a severe traumatic injury, and her parents through eldercare, hospice and death.

  • Geri has been a family caregiver for her husband and a secondary caregiver for her father and brother. She currently cares for her 84-year-old mother. She is Executive Director for Patient Engagement with Emmi Solultions.

  • Tami, Chief Operations Officer of Silver Dawn Training Institute, is passionate about creating a community that is connected and informed. Curating conferences and creating dynamic educational content that provide the community a welcoming place to learn and grow is not only important to Tami, she feels this is paramount to creating a culture shift in the aging space. Tami is a Certified Dementia Practitioner, and has spent over 20 years in the Aging Industry. Over the past three years she has hosted the Wego Award Nominated podcast, Conversations In Care. In her free time you will find her advocating for people with Type 1 Diabetes and developing her skills in improv.

  • Ashley, founder and CEO of Wellist, knows that healthcare providers have limited resources to deliver compassionate care to their patients. “As the daughter of a cancer survivor, I understood the suffering of patients and believed that if we could better support these families outside the hospital we could build a business that adds real value to those in need as well as the organizations that serve them,” she says. Wellist connects people with over 3500 companies in the Greater Boston Area that provide essential services like meal delivery, transportation, elder and child care, and even legal services. Users set up profiles that outline their specific needs, including their price range and location, and Wellist connects them to relevant service providers. Reid’s decision to enter the healthcare industry was originally inspired by her experience interning for Kristina Isakovich at Fisher Scientific while in business school. Previously, Ashley worked at Philips Healthcare, where she held various global transformation and corporate strategy roles.

  • Claire has been on staff of the Alzheimer’s Association since 2001. She is the Senior Vice President and as such, oversees all clinical operations and service delivery throughout the Chapter’s 32 county territory. She and her highly trained staff of 22 coordinate and deliver community social services through education, support, advocacy and care management to people with dementia and their families, as well as to professional caregivers. In addition, Ms. Day oversees all public policy, research initiatives and e strategy for the Chapter. Ms. Day is a Clinical Social Worker and received her degree from Bloomsburg University in 1993. Prior to joining the Alzheimer’s Association, she worked in the long-term care field as a patient and family advocate. Ms. Day has more than twenty years of experience as a family and professional educator in dementia care, has appeared on numerous television and radio programs throughout the region. She is the author of two forwards to Alzheimer’s caregiver books: Life Lessons from a Baker’s Dozen by Kerry Luksic and Lucy’s Tears by John Rydel. She was a national Presenter at the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Annual Dementia Conferences. In 2008 she received the inaugural “Spirit of Community” Award from Stapeley in Germantown. In 2012 she assisted with a story on NBC Nightly News showcasing support services to caregivers. One of her greatest accomplishments was being selected on a National Help Team following Hurricane Katrina, traveling for two weeks to Mississippi to provide hurricane relief to people with dementia and their loved ones. She uses the lessons learned to help improve the quality of life to those she serves.

2:30 p.m. Making a Difference in Your Community

We serve such an important and critical group of individuals—family caregivers. Our work can make their days better and their experiences less about regrets and more about blessings. Learn from our panelists how they're making a difference for family caregivers and what you can do to make your difference.

Moderator: Bruce McIntyre

Panelists: Vivian Geary, MaryAnne Sterling, Liz O'Donnell, Ashley Reid, Deborah Shouse

Our Panel

  • Bruce, Executive Director of the Parkinson Foundation of Oklahoma, is the author of Parkinson Positive, Graceful Transitions, and Resilient Life. Bruce shares his expert guidance and warm humor with thousands of people each year. As a caregiver for his wife for the past 12 years, Bruce understands the world of chronic illness and caregiving. He has led the Caregiver Fundamentals Project in Oklahoma City and served caregivers as a business, church, and non-profit leader. You can learn more about him at

  • Deborah is a writer, speaker, editor, former family caregiver, and dementia advocate. Deborah and her partner Ron Zoglin raised more than $80,000 for Alzheimer’s programs by donating all proceeds from her initially self-published book, Love in the Land of Dementia: Finding Hope in the Caregiver’s Journey, to dementia-based non-profits. Central Recovery Press has since published an updated version of Love in the Land. Deborah’s latest book, Connecting in the Land of Dementia: Creative Activities to Explore Together, features dozens of experts in the field of creativity and dementia. These innovators share ideas that engage the creative spirit so you can continue to experience meaningful moments of connecting. To learn more, visit

  • MaryAnne has been a caregiver and healthcare advocate for her parents for 20 years. She is a renowned speaker and educator on family caregiver issues, a role that evolved from her experience having multiple parents struggling with dementia. She and her husband have 3-out-of-4 parents impacted by this disease. Their personal story has been featured in Kiplinger, New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. MaryAnne is Co-founder of Connected Health Resources, focused on person-centered healthcare transformation. She is also CEO of Sterling Health IT Consulting. MaryAnne serves as Patient Research Partner and Ambassador for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Advisory Council member for the National Alzheimer’s & Dementia Patient & Caregiver-Powered Research Network, and Consumer Ombudsman for the National Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE).

  • (See Liz's bio, above.)


Register for our conference via the form at the bottom of this post. After you submit the registration form, wait for the payment form to appear on this page. You must complete payment in order to be registered for our event.

Become an Exhibitor or Sponsor

Support family caregivers and former family caregivers by sponsoring and exhibiting at the First Annual National Caregiving Conference.

Attend for Free
Registration is free for our Saturday conference for family caregivers and former family caregivers who opt to participate in our Care-A-Van and/or What I Wear When I Care Fashion Show contests. Let us know if you’d like to participate in our Care-A-Van and/or What I Wear When I Care Fashion Show contests.

Conference Costs
Check out our National Caregiving Conference agenda.

  • Our Friday pre-conference intensives cost between $20 and $50 and are open to family caregivers, former family caregivers and professionals.

  • The cost for family caregivers and former family caregivers to attend our Saturday conference is $20.

  • The cost for professionals to attend our Saturday conference is $99 through September 21; the cost goes to $110 beginning September 22.

  • Add $15 if you’d like CEUs. In order to receive CEUs for Saturday’s conference, you must register at the professional rate for Saturday’s conference.

Registration for our Saturday conference includes a continental breakfast and lunch as well as access to our sessions and exhibitor floor. You’ll pay for your travel expenses, including your hotel stay.

We’ve been approved to provide continuing education hours for our Friday pre-conference intensives (4 hours for our four-hour intensive; 2 hours for our two-hour intensives) and for our Saturday conference (6.5 hours). Continuing education hours are provided by the University of Illinois, College of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine in collaboration with the Continuing Education Institute of Illinois.

The professions provided for are:

  • Acupuncturist

  • Athletic Trainer

  • Counselor-Professional/Clinical

  • Dental Hygienist

  • Dietitian/Nutritionist

  • Marriage and Family Counselor

  • Nurse (APN, RN, LPN)

  • Nursing Home Administrator

  • Occupational Therapist

  • Psychologist

  • Physical Therapist

  • Respiratory Therapist

  • Social Worker

Hotel Details

Our conference will take place on Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3, at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare, conveniently located minutes from O’Hare and a subway ride from downtown Chicago. The hotel offers free shuttle service to and from O’Hare. Daily hotel parking for our conference is $3.

To reserve a guest room for December 2 and/or December 3, please call the Marriott at 773-693-4444. Ask for the National Caregiving Conference special room rate of $119 per night.


Questions? Ideas? Need more information? Email Denise.
Fill out my online form.

Like this article? Share on social