NCC19 Presenter: Debbie Howard

Rachel Hiles

NCC19 Presenter: Debbie Howard

Rachel Hiles
Photo: Debbie Howard, 2019 National Caregiving Conference PresenterDebbie Howard is a former caregiver who served as both a long distance and live-in caregiver and for her mom after she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, enabling her 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.

Debbie's 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 needs became greater (and her sisters' comp time ran out!), she moved from Tokyo back to South Carolina 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.

Bringing together her professional research skills and her personal experiences, Debbie spent the 10 years following her mom's passing integrating her experiences - along with the experiences of over 200 other caregivers - into a book. The result, called The Caregiving Journey: Information. Guidance. Inspiration., guides caregivers through their journeys in a straightforward, heartfelt manner, with a focus on self-care and viewing the caregiving journey overall as a transformative experience.

Join Debbie for her presentations at our Fourth Annual National Caregiving Conference:

Session #1

Planning for Caregiving: Turning those Difficult Conversations into Amazing Turning Points!
Thursday 4 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. I was very fortunate to have a proactive Mom who had taken care of many necessary details far in advance of her diagnosis with cancer. Our planning efforts moved into overdrive once she was given 1.5 years to live.

Join us to fast forward your ability to initiate and navigate sensitive conversations with your loved ones about their wishes, and to make an amazing leap forward in making concrete plans together based on those conversations. In this interactive 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

Session #2

Long Distance Caregiving: Making an Amazing Difference Whether You Live Three States Away, or Even as Far Away as Japan!
Friday 1 p.m.
Finding good people you can trust to help you care for a loved one can be intimidating. If you've ever looked for private help, you know the experience can be daunting. In this session, we will share real life success stories and creative strategies for recruiting quality help. We will share resources and ideas for leveraging your personal network and tapping into your community to find people who are a great match for your caree. We will also share the basic steps to make sure you're a legit employer-determining how much help you can need and how you will pay for it, creating a careplan, and leading a team.

Session #3

Relaunching: Picking Up the Pieces and Making Your Life Amazing when Caregiving is Done
Saturday 11 a.m.
Losing your loved one is one of the most devastating experiences of your life - but it doesn’t have to be the end of it. It’s different for everyone, and sometimes it may seem like it’s taking much longer than it should. In the 11 years following my mom’s passing, I struggled with almost losing my nearly 20-year-old business TWICE, sold that business, started another one and wrote a book. Now I’m 65 years old and still kicking. In this interactive session, you’ll learn practical tips for “figuring out next” and moving forward to make your life amazing, exploring:

  • Getting honest with yourself and your goals in life (what do you really WANT)

  • How to move forward, one step at a time

  • Picking up the pace and skipping, jumping and running

We are so very grateful for the support of the following sponsors of our National Caregiving Conference,
especially Embracing Carers™, this year's supporting sponsor:

~ NCC19 Agenda ~ Meet Our Presenters ~
NCC19 Virtual Registration ~ NCC19 In-Person Registration (Chicago) ~
~ Hotel Reservations ~ NCC19 Volunteer Registration ~ Sponsor or Exhibit ~
~ Testimonials ~ Virtual Caregiving Summit ~