NCC19 Presenter: Kathy Koenig

Rachel Hiles

NCC19 Presenter: Kathy Koenig

Rachel Hiles
Photo: Kathy Koenig, 2019 National Caregiving Conference PresenterKathy Koenig loves working with family caregivers. Becoming a Certified Caregiver Consultant and Educator was another way to deepen her path of service to this cause. Being a family caregiver came somewhat naturally to Kathy who had multiple examples in her own family. Part of her family culture is that members care for one another when they aren’t able to care for themselves. Kathy has worked within her own family, as well as with clients, to help find solutions that are safe, affordable, respectful, and offer dignity to everyone involved.

Kathy has had different caregiving journeys including caring for her father who had chronic COPD. After her mom died when Kathy was 10 her Dad was a dual-role caregiver for 5 children. Kathy forged a strong bond with her Dad and was an able caregiver to him, even when that meant he needed more care than could be provided at home. She’s had experiences with long-distance caregiving, which presented unique challenges in terms of finding resources and helping a caree who wasn’t as well known to her. Last year she became a caregiver for her daughter and family when her granddaughter was born prematurely while visiting Kathy. Reflecting upon the circumstances, Kathy can see how they experienced all 6 stages of The Caregiving Years in 3 ½ weeks!

Kathy now looks for the Joy in caregiving and hopes to help others find it as well. This year Kathy wants to share her experience of creating a home with features that support the special needs that caregiving sometimes requires. She looks forward to connecting with you at NCC19!

Join Kathy for her presentation at our Fourth Annual National Caregiving Conference:

The Elephant Without a Living Room
Friday 10:30 a.m.
We often hear about the “Elephant in the Living Room,” as we talk about an obvious concern or problem. However, we don’t seem to be adequately addressing the issue of home and community environments that support the needs of caregiving. Hence, the elephant literally has no living room! Communities are beginning to support building design for homes to be “visitable,” or accessible. Universal design elements make these concepts possible.

Have you thought about how the spatial design of your home is or is not working for you? Does it meet your accessibility needs or could it be made more functional and comfortable? Do you wonder if you can continue to live in your current home if caregiving needs change? Where do you find someone qualified to help you remodel or build your project? What is important to you and what is the criterion that makes a space accessible?

This session is designed to shed some light on the remodeling/building process from the viewpoint of a layperson. In 2016 we undertook such a project and it was as much a learning process for the builder as it was for us. We had design elements in mind for an aging-in-place home. Conveying our needs to the construction crew often opened the conversation to how functional design could be beautiful and non-institutional.
We often heard, “There should be more housing like this,” but I’m not sure it’s coming at the pace we require. We’ll address resources available for design consultation, as well as any financial support to help with a project.

Let’s invite the “Elephant” into the conversation and create a larger movement where design is inclusive, universal, and accessible for all of us.

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 ~