NCC18 Presenter: Debbie Howard


NCC18 Presenter: Debbie Howard

Join Debbie for the following sessions during our Third Annual National Caregiving Conference:

Long Distance Caregiving: Strategies for Success, Whether You Live Three States Away, or Even as Far as Japan! on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 4 p.m.
It’s frustrating when your loved one needs your help and you physically live far away! Yet in most cases it’s simply not practical to just drop everything and move your life to where your loved one lives. Come and explore how you can navigate the terrain of the long-distance caregiver, including practical tips for managing your caregiving responsibilities in a way that will give you more peace of mind. In this session, we will address:
- key considerations when you are making your plan
- how to identify and vet local resources and build your support team
- strategies for securing support and flexibility from your employer (and how to manage if you are an entrepreneur!)

There May be a Book in You: Writing about Your Caregiving Experience as a Way of Healing on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 3 p.m.
My mother always said I had a book in me, but I don’t think she thought it would be about her! My experience caring for my mom while she died of Stage 4 lung cancer was traumatizing, to say the least. After she passed away, I struggled with my grief and angst, and finally found a way to channel it in a positive manner – writing about it. I didn’t set out to write a book at first, but in the end, more than anything else, that is what has helped me to move forward. Join me to explore how you might be able to move forward with a book about YOUR experiences in caregiving, by exploring:
- different styles to consider (memoir, how to, self-help, poetry, etc.)
- facing your fears and finding your voice
- publishing options

Planning for Caregiving: Making Those Difficult Conversations Work for YOU! on Friday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m.
No one - neither you nor your parents – really wants to talk about aging and dying. But it’s so much better if you do! Finding a way to be open and honest together is the key to managing your caregiving journey with more grace. It’s also the key to ensuring your loved one has the best possible outcome as they age and move toward the end of their life. Join us to fast forward your ability to initiate and navigate sensitive conversations with your loved ones about their wishes, and to make concrete plans together based on those conversations. In this action-packed session, we will address:
- why it's important to start having discussions BEFORE caregiving challenges begin to manifest
- how to approach having these discussions - even when parents, spouse, friends may be resistant to facing the facts
- tips for framing and asking questions in a manner that will facilitate moving forward with making plans in a positive way

Debbie is a former caregiver who served as both a long distance and live-in caregiver for her mom after she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, enabling her mom to die at home as she wished. Debbie was running a Tokyo-based market research company at the time of her mom’s diagnosis, and spent one year traveling back and forth multiple times to help her with chemotherapy, etc. Her two younger sisters (one who lived nearby and the other who lived several states away) worked together with her to meet their mom’s needs during that first year. Then, as the disease progressed and her mom's needs became greater (and her sisters' comp time ran out!), she moved from Tokyo back to South Carolina to live in and provide 24/7 support. She ran her business off the dining table her family had eaten at since she was in the 3rd grade, utilizing time zone maximization, Kinko's, Office Depot, and anything else she could to make it work.

Nowadays, Debbie finds herself in a support role to many family and friends who are coming to their caregiving years. Her book (The Caregiving Journey: Information. Inspiration. Guidance.) advocates for self-care, and for viewing the caregiving journey overall as a transformative experience.

Meet Debbie in our video, below, which we recorded during our Virtual Caregiving Summit in May.

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~ Testimonials ~ NCC18 CEUs ~ NCC18 Costs ~

We are so grateful to the following sponsors for making our conference possible:

~ AARP ~

~ Seniors BlueBook ~ Seniorlink ~ Henry Ford Health System CARE Program ~

~ Society of Certified Senior Advisors ~ Mindlight ~