NCC19 Presenter: Rachel Hiles

Rachel Hiles

NCC19 Presenter: Rachel Hiles

Rachel Hiles
Photo: Rachel Hiles, 2019 National Caregiving Conference PresenterRachel Hiles is a 30 something aspiring local celebrity do-gooder in Kansas City. She is a proud graduate of the UMKC Bloch school, where she obtained her Masters of Public Administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management. She worked in the developmental disabilities field in a variety of roles for over 13 years. Most recently, she ventured down the path to self-employment as a graphic, web and media designer so she could have flexibility in her role as primary caregiver to her grandma, Barbara. She blogs about her caregiving adventures at

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

Session #1

Our Amazing Difference: The Anthem
Friday 9:30 a.m.
Come to this session to become one of the authors of the caregiving narrative. Rap and Hip Hop emerged as a vehicle for self expression. Hip hop artists weave intricate tapestries of lyrics and beats to describe everyday life and speak out about social issues. We are going to write a caregiving rap that the experience of our amazing difference. Bring your ideas and experiences to this session and we will collectively write the family caregiver anthem that will be performed live at the conference.

Session #2

From Cash Under the table to Family directing Grandma’s Sidekicks
Friday 10:30 a.m.
When Rachel became her grandma’s primary caregiver, she did it by herself for almost two years while balancing a full time job, serving as a guardian for an adult with developmental disabilities, and living the single life. When caregiving stress and burnout started taking a toll, Rachel knew that they needed a change so both she and Grandma could have a good life. In this presentation, she will share how she enlisted help to care for her grandma, then scaled it up from paying one helper a few times a week to a full fledged “business” with a team of dedicated Sidekicks. She will share their challenges, lessons learned, and how you can DIY with LTC insurance.

Session #3

Being the Wind Beneath Your Wings
Friday  3 p.m.

This panel will ease into a conversation about fostering capability at all stages of life during care, and the amazing difference you make. We will use the imagery of a bird representing the expectation of care (an egg breaking open at birth), and the teaching of independent life skills (a bird about to step off a ledge), and inclusion (a bird flying with others) as a bird recognizing their life is ""well lived"" in a reflective pose. The panel discussion will describe what it means to us to look at both sides now, given that it is likely our Caree once cared for us. Inviting questions from the audience as we focus on these 5 points:

  1. What does it mean to be ""the wind""?

  2. How does that relate to the person you are caring for having once been the wind for you or others?

  3. What is good partnering?

  4. How do we serve without ""fixing?""

  5. Fostering capability at all stages of life during care.

Session #4

Celebrating Our Amazing Difference (Caregiver of the Year Award Winners)
Friday 5 p.m.
Our Family Caregivers of the Year share their perspective on their caregiving experiences and how the experience has impacted their lives. This year's winners are Brenda Blais-Nesbitt, Kara Guerriero, Rachel Hiles, Darlene James and Susie Morrell.

Session #5

Recruiting Quality Help
Saturday 10 a.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 #6

Helping Family Caregivers Spell Out What R-E-S-P-I-T-E Means to Me
Saturday 11 a.m.
Come to this session to hear how the Making a Break Project is helping family caregivers figure out how to make respite happen for them. Even though respite is commonly thought of as a formal program or service that is paid for out of pocket or through benefits, defined in the simplest terms, respite is the opportunity to take a break. Whether it's spontaneous or scheduled, all caregivers need a break from caring. In partnership with Denise at, Renee, from, and Rachel, from, have been working with family caregivers from all over the country to figure out how to create space in their busy lives for a break. We have learned that family caregivers not only need support to come up with creative strategies and simple solutions for respite, but sometimes need coaching and support to acknowledge that they deserve them, validate their fears and negative emotions around being away from their loved ones, and give themselves permission to take a break. We will share some basic tips and lessons learned based on our sessions and followups with our participants. You will leave with new ideas and tools for helping family caregivers take time for themselves.

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 ~