Attendees gather on the first night of our First Annual National Caregiving Conference. Photo credit: Lillie Fuller.

We're gathering on November 10 and 11 at the Chicago Marriott O'Hare, 8535 W. Higgins, for our Second Annual National Caregiving Conference. We're working hard to create a conference that inspires and informs while supporting and entertaining you.

Will you join us virtually? Check out our agenda for our virtual broadcast and watch live on Friday and Saturday.

Register to join us in person or purchase our virtual archive.

Friday, November 10, Agenda

Chicago Marriott O’Hare, 8535 W. Higgins, Chicago, IL

8 a.m. — 5 p.m.: Conference Workshops and Summits and Respite Training (update: REST Essentials™ has canceled this training) and our Respite Program

11:30 to 5 p.m.: Exhibits open (Breaks planned for lunch at Noon and at 3 p.m.)

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: VIP Reception

7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Entertainment

(Our Friday At-A-Glance agenda offers a simple overview of the day.)

Saturday, November 11, Agenda

Chicago Marriott O’Hare, 8535 W. Higgins, Chicago, IL

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Respite Program

10 a.m. - 5 p.m: Conference Sessions

General Sessions

9 a.m.: Preparation, Frustration and Surrender. Boldness Throughout Caregiving
Cathy Sikorski will share stories and advice for how she has been shaped by caregiving to be fearless and funny in times of frustration. She hopes you walk away with a better understanding of how preparation can help in crises, and how this experience of caregiving is about heartfelt joy and satisfaction as much as it is about accepting the heartbreaking moments with grace and peace.

Cathy Sikorski has been a significant caregiver for the last 25 years for seven different family members and friends. A published humorist, Sikorski is also a practicing attorney who specializes in Elder Law. Her combined legal and humor expertise has made her a sought after speaker where she tackles the Comedy of Caregiving and the legal issues that affect those who will one day be or need a caregiver (which is everyone).

Along with her speaking engagements, Sikorski is a frequent guest on radio programs and podcasts where she talks about the importance of using humor in caregiving. With more than 30 years of law behind her, she provides critical legal information for our aging population. Her first book is a humorous memoir Showering with Nana: Confessions of a Serial (killer) Caregiver (HumorOutcasts Press 2015). Her next book, Who Moved My Teeth?(Corner Office Books 2016) a humorous and informative book with practical and legal tips for caregivers and baby boomers, debuted at #1 on Amazon in November 2016.

Sikorski is a contributing author for the website, and she maintains an active blog “You just have to Laugh…where Caregiving is Comedy…” at

Cathy, our keynote presenter, won of our Conference Keynote Contest

10 a..m. - Noon: ABCs to Cope with Behavior with Teepa Snow
Teepa will describe how to apply the ABC approach:

  • A = Antecedents – What starts it?

  • B = Behavior – What is it?

  • C = Consequences – What happens?

Teepa’s teaching style is extraordinarily unique in that she is able to accurately demonstrate and model for her students, and audience the struggle and challenges dementia creates for all parties involved. She is an enlightening, witty, entertaining, and energetic speaker, who is much sought after to present to agencies and organizations across the U.S and Canada.

Teepa is an advocate for those living with dementia and has made it her personal mission to help families and professionals better understand how it feels to be living with the challenges and changes that accompany various forms of the condition so that life can be lived fully and well. Her company, Positive Approach, LLC was founded in 2005 and offers education to family and professional care partners all over the world. Her training is available through video, online education, and in person trainings and consulting.

2 p.m. A Life Interrupted: Picking Up the Pieces Panel Discussion

A diagnosis changes today and tomorrow. These panelists will discuss the discussions and actions they took after a family member’s diagnosis which helped them pick put the pieces.


  • Leah Bender, who began caring for a grandparent at the age of 10;

  • Chrissy Harris, who began caring for her parents and in-laws soon after the birth of her second child;

  • Allison Elkow Lazicky, who began caring for her dad at the age of 22 and while still in college;

  • Lisa Nigro, who began caring for her son who sustained a brain injury due to the West Nile Virus;

  • Peggy McCallum, who began caring for her husband after his diagnosis of huntington's disease.

3 p.m. Loud and Proud: The Bold Battle Cry of an Advocating Family Caregiver

We make it happen! Panelists will share their bold moments of advocacy in the health care system, the family, the workplace and the community.


  • Sharon Hall, who cares for her husband and her mother;

  • Priya Soni, who cared for her father and currently cares for her mother;

  • MaryAnne Sterling, who cared for her parents and currently helps to care for her father-in-law;

  • Sibyl Yau, a nurse advocate who previously cared for a parent.

Noon Lunch
Grand Ballroom

1:30 p.m. Fashion Show
Grand Ballroom

  • Adaptive Clothing

  • What I Wear When I Care

  • Our Loss is Our Gain

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Exhibits open (Breaks planned at Noon and at 3 p.m.)

7 p.m.: Dine Around

(Our Saturday At-A-Glance agenda offers a simple overview of the day.)

Register to join us in person or virtually.

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Second Annual National Caregiving Conference Updates

We are so very grateful for the support of the following sponsors of our National Caregiving Conference:


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