Virtual Caregiving Summit: Day 5


Virtual Caregiving Summit: Day 5

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 Stephanie Antoine, Barbara Ivey and Karen Laing.

Meet Stephanie Antoine
Stephanie Antoine came to the US from the UK as a Fulbright Scholar, and is the founder of YnspyrTM, a Wellness Company that offers stress resilience and self- care programs. Stephanie has developed self- care strategies for over twenty-five years to cope with her own chronic pain, asthma, compulsive eating, grief and burnout. She uses Experiential Anatomy, Awareness Training and Directed Meditation in her work as a stress resilience and self- care coach. As a professional violinist, and later as a mother, far from family, the primary caregiver for her two children with special needs and a busy travelling husband she has learned that self- care becomes exponentially more important as the stress and chaos of life increases. Stephanie believes that making space for self- care, rest and rejuvenation builds resiliency, efficacy and the capacity for happiness even in the most extreme life circumstances. Stephanie is a Qualified Practitioner in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) from the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts, an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, and also trained at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco in the Advanced Studies Teacher Training Program where she studied with Judith Lasater, Elise Miller, Janet Macleod, Kathy Alef and Ramanand Patel. She is a meditation practitioner in the Vipassana (Insight) Tradition and attends regular silent retreats at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Insight Meditation Center in Felton, California. Her meditation teachers include Gil Fronsdal, Ruth King, Bob Stahl, Pawan Bareja and Will Kabat- Zinn.

Stephanie will lead two session: "Resting in Chaos, The Wisdom of Self- Care in Extreme Caregiving Situations" and "Self-Care for Caregivers, Top-Down, Bottom-Up and Sideways. " Stephanie will use stories from her own experience and will lead the group in some short exercises that can be done while they are seated or standing in place.

Meet Barbara Ivey
Barbara Ivey is a Consultant and Author. During her mother’s fifteen-year journey with Alzheimer’s, Barbara made every mistake possible learning to care for her Caregiver Dad from two-hours away. Caregiver-to-the-Caregiver is a distinct role from Caregiver. Through trial and error, Barbara learned to stay in her lane, while consoling, loving and persuading a Caregiver under tremendous stress. Juggling a relationship with a sister, her professional clients and a husband she later learned has Asperger’s made this an eventful season of life.
Barbara relied on Lean Process Improvement tools to manage the chaos, and to give herself the appreciation she needed to keep going. A dynamic speaker and panelist, Barbara earned her corporate chops at Microsoft, and her voice in the Alzheimer’s conversation through her leadership in Rotary’s Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust grants ( Barbara’s superpower is simplifying. In her writing, her publishing, and speaking, Barbara weaves complex information into memorable stories. In 2017 Barbara published Award-Winning Patterns in Time: One Family’s Journey. This title introduces the Hoegger family and shares their real-life experience of Alzheimer’s. Follow the timeline to track Christa's cognitive and physical changes. The visual design shows how duties add up for her husband and caregiver Buzzy, and what adult daughter Barbara learned about giving both of her parents the support they need. The design and original artwork immerses the reader in answers to their top-of-mind questions. Definitions of dementia terms are provided, as well as resources that proved most valuable to the family.

In her session, "Today I learned X. Tomorrow I'll try Y," (The Learning Caregiver) suggests that we we measure a successful day of caregiving by the lessons we learned. The more lessons, the better the day. After this session, you'll take home simple techniques to put this into practice.

Meet Karen Laing
Karen  is the founder of Birthways, one of the first and largest doula services in the country and the originator of the WisdomWay method of mindful caregiving. She is an MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) teacher and has brought the tools of mindfulness to meet the needs of individuals and families and to support and mentor those who care for them. In 2017, Karen launched WisdomWay Institute, a continuation of her life’s work supporting mindful and sustainable caregiving. The methods she now shares return to some of her roots in caregiving elders and those facing illness. She has cared for those at the beginning and the end of life both personally and professionally. Karen believes that we have a basic goodness and desire to be in caring relationships with one another and that the skills of awareness and self-compassion, when tended, make us more resilient and effective in those relationships. From being with friends in their final days, serving as a family caregiver, and parenting a child through a life-threatening eating disorder and depression, she has cultivated ways to be a 'midwife' to others. In her view, both care-giver and care-receiver hold the potential for healing and transformation and touch on the beauty of our shared humanity when given these opportunities. Since 1994, Karen has cared for families in a variety of ways. She has worked as a midwife and lactation consultant, served as a perinatal educator, and has trained and mentored hundreds of providers. She served on the board of the National Association of Postpartum Care Services, where she helped to establish the first national standards for postpartum doulas. She is a blogger, a presenter at national conferences and has led mindfulness retreats for parents and for professional caregivers.

Karen will present "Mindfulness and Caregiving: Facing What Is." In this workshop, we'll look at the toolkit of mindfulness based interventions and how they can be applied to manage the stress of caregiving. Through inquiry into our experience and guided exercises, we'll come away with some strategies to face unavoidable difficulties in new ways. By exploring the possibilities of staying with our moment to moment experiences, we'll see how we can practice broadening our awareness, even when the 'heat is on'. For those who are new to mindfulness-based practices, we will clarify some of the misconceptions about mindfulness-based practices and take a friendly, non-judgmental approach to our minds and how they work. For those who have more experience and familiarity, we'll be setting ourselves up to make the next difficult thing our next opportunity to practice leaning into life and dancing with it a bit.

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:

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Just watched this video, very powerful. Can't wait for these sessions....

Staying curious, asking questions and remembering “this” will not last forever. No better reason than Stephanie, Barbara and Karen to attend this years conference!\r\nSelf care, self care, self it!


I am soooo glad you're participating in our Summit, Kim! I've been reading your comments_mysql and so glad our Summit is doing what the goal is -- to share and connect with others who understand. We're all in this together. :)