Virtual Caregiving Summit: Day 10


Virtual Caregiving Summit: Day 10

Our Virtual Caregiving Summit introduces you to our presenters and panelists at our Third Annual National Caregiving Conference (NCC18). Our conference will take place on Friday, November 9, and Saturday, November 10, at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare, conveniently located minutes from O’Hare and a subway ride from downtown Chicago. Our agenda features family caregivers and former family caregivers sharing their experiences, insights and solutions.

Today we introduce you to Jane Felczak (first video), Jolyon Hallows (second video) and Beth Suereth (third video).

Meet Jane Felczak
Jane is a Principal Quality Consultant for Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan. With over 37 years of experience in all aspects of healthcare, Ms. Felczak has a wide ranging perspective on resilience and stress management, and its effects of caregivers. Ms. Felczak received her BSN from Mercy College of Detroit and her MSN from the University of Detroit Mercy. She is a Certified Professional in Patient Safety, and has experience in clinical practice, healthcare administration, quality improvement and patient safety, and nursing education at both the university and community level. Ms Felczak has also been a certified elementary educator. Most recently, she has led initiatives to improve access to communication services for foreign language and Deaf/HOH patient populations. Ms. Felczak is also deeply involved in the Patient and Family Caregiver programming at Henry Ford Health System. The program provides resources and support services for both patients, staff and caregivers. Ms. Felczak continues to be deeply personally involved in the caregiving experience. As a young adult, she helped to care for both sets of grandparents, both in home and as a patient advocate for institutional care. Ms. Felczak also provided guidance to her parents when her father was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 58. This led to her providing in home hospice care until his death at age 60, all while pregnant, caring for a toddler, and continuing to work full time as an RN. Currently, Ms. Felczak is the primary caregiver for her 89-year-old mother. Additionally, she assists with childcare for her grandson, and recently became guardian for her orphaned 17 yo nephew.

During her presentation, Jane will share evidence-based resilience tools and techniques which have been shown to decrease depressive symptoms, improve psychological well-being and working memory, improve sleep, improve relationships and allow participants to cope more effectively with emotional upheavals. The presentation includes a very brief review of statistics about burnout, stress and the caregiver community. It continues with strategies for assessing the caregiver strengths, and provides tools to use that to an advantage. The presentation also includes practical tips for decreasing stress, sharing responsibilities and managing sleep-all with some humor along the way. Reviews from previous participants have been extremely positive, with many referring this education to other caregiver and community groups. Anecdotal comments are encouraging that this programming is an important resource for those who are caring for others.

Meet Jolyon Hallows
Jolyon was the primary caregiver for his wife, Sandra, who had Parkinson's disease. For over twenty years, he cared for her as the disease progressed. In the last few years of her life, she remained at home and she needed total care. In those years, Jolyon learned how to be a caregiver. How to do the physical tasks such as dressing or feeding. How to modify the home environment to make his and Sandra’s life easier, and how to deal with the inevitable negative emotions that accompany caregiving. He has recently published a book on Sandra's and his life together. The book, A Parkinson's Life: And a Caregiver's Roadmap, is part memoir and part "how-to” guide for caregivers. Jolyon is a published author of two management books, Information Systems Project Management, first and second edition, and The Project Management Office Toolkit, both published by AMACOM in New York. An accomplished speaker and seminar leader, he is on the faculty of a university certificate program in project management and regularly makes presentations for the local Parkinson's disease society on the disease and on caregiving.

During his presentation, Jolyon will share how negative emotions into two groups. The "spurs to action" include anger, rage, frustration, and hate. These urge action even if it's only a lashing out at someone or something. The risk is that the actions can lead to violence. On the other hand, the "thieves of ambition" are despair, grief, apathy, and depression. People in the grip of these emotions just want to curl up, pull a blanket over them, and hope the world goes away. Unfortunately, it never does. This session will cover the major negative emotions, ask what they are telling us, and give tools and techniques for analyzing them and responding to them. As with many such sessions, the goal is to get rid of negative emotions, but by respecting them, not by fighting them.

Meet Beth Rooney Suereth, BA, CCC, End-of-Life Doula
Beth lovingly cared for her elderly father through five years of hospitalizations, dementia, and diabetes. She’s passionate about sharing the expertise that kept him out of the hospital through his cancer and the entire last year of his life. Beth is the former national director of marketing for infusion and home care provider BioScrip. She is now a Certified Caregiving Consultant and End-of-Life Doula, and she works with patient families at a caregivers center in a NJ hospital to help them manage the hospital stay.

When a loved one is in the hospital, it’s overwhelming. Get practical tips and tricks for managing the hospital experience. Learn how to be your best self by balancing your needs with those of your caree — so you don’t become a patient yourself. Hear Beth’s caregiving story, find out what to expect in the hospital, and learn how to:

  • Keep track of all the details.

  • Prevent common hospital mistakes.

  • Plan for care at home after the hospital stay.

    • Let your loved one and the doctor know how much time you can be available after discharge, what care you can and can’t take on, and who else may be able help.

  • Share your loved one’s personal goals with the doctor.

    • For example, you could say, “Dad wants to walk my daughter down the aisle in the spring. Is there a way to fix the problem so he can do that?”

Conference Details

We are so very grateful for the support of the following sponsors of our National Caregiving Conference, especially AARP, this year's title sponsor:

Like this article? Share on social


Sign in to comment


Anger is caused mostly by unmet expectations and in caregiving there can be an abundance of unmet expectations. It may be difficult at first but try approaching each day with the attitude that you are prepared for the worse of circumstances but at the same time express thanks for all things that mitigate crisis and for any times of comfort where it could have obviously been worse. Keep in mind that the caregiver's attitude and spirit of gratefulness will be sensed by the care receiver. Our stress or calm can be contagious.


I was my wife's caregiver for 2 decades. She had a severe stroke with memory loss, partial blindness, eventual immobility and died from blood cancer. I learned quickly that one stress driver is being reactive to unmet expectations. I had to look at caregiving as an daily adventure and not as a scripted event. Another antidote to stress is remaining grateful. As a caregiver there are certainly many things that could be complained about and yet there were many other things I realized which brought relief and comfort and made my life and my wife's life have purpose for which I was grateful. Stress can be deflected by maintaining a grateful perspective.