Virtual Caregiving Summit: Day 7


Virtual Caregiving Summit: Day 7

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 Heather Oglesby and Shirley Riga.

Meet Heather Oglesby
Heather is a 45-year old woman who is currently caring for her mother with Alzheimer's. Along with being a caregiver, she works full time for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to becoming a caregiver for her mother, Heather traveled the world serving in multiple voluntary roles in Africa, Romania, and Egypt. At age 40, Heather began noticing something different with her mother. She began asking for money to pay the same bills, over and over again. Her mom would come to visit her and get lost, even though she had visited many times. Her mom appeared disheveled and confused most of the time, but at age 60, Heather just attributed her moms behavior to getting older. Heather moved over 800 miles away from her mother to take a job in Atlanta, Georgia. As the symptoms worsened, Heathers mom could not verbalize over the phone what was happening in her life. The only words her mother could utter was that she was evicted and sleeping in her car. Heather's mom ended up in a women's shelter due to complications associated with Alzheimer's at the age of 64. Heather and her husband rushed to her mothers side and at the age of 42 became a full-time caregiver for her mother with Alzheimer's.

In her session, "Balancing My Way through Alzheimers: Redefining the Caregiver Role," Heather will focus on the key components of thriving while in a caregiver role. Heather and her trainer, Ms. Amason. will present the crucial ways in which we should be redefining caregiving and will outline methods for increased coping skills, decreased stress response, and prevention of chronic disease and illness in a caregiver's life. Holistic approaches and techniques will be provided through demonstrations and class participation during the session. Caregivers will learn practical, tangible tips in order to begin to assess their own personal needs. This presentation will use examples from Heather's own direct expereince to healing and coping as a full-time caregiver. Ms. Amason will also introduce the concept of caring for the caregiver that will provide a prevention framework based on evidenced-based practices and research.

Meet Shirley Riga
Shirley, author, teacher and speaker, knows fear having survived the life and death stress of coping with a daughter with chronic illness for over 30 years. As a sought-after speaker, she brings a warmth of truth into a room. She is a licensed trainer for Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and offers individual and group classes in the Boston area.

Shirley will present two sessions: "Coping with the Holidays" and "Feel Your Fear and Do It Anyway." Fear holds us back without our realizing it. As a family caregiver, fear can take a hold of us and keep us from taking care of ourselves and attaining clarity to help our loved one. How do we make our lives work despite our fears? In this presentation, Riga shares valuable tips she learned from Susan Jeffers' book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, as well as insights from her own book, Tools for the Exceptional Parent of a Chronically-Ill Child. Participants will gain confidence in their decision making, understand chronic sorrow and its role in acceptance, and learn calming techniques to stay present in difficult times.

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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I would love to attend the Conference. I haven't had any outside help or contact with support groups as yet. I do go to two facebook sites to read other's experiences. My husband was diagnosed with dementia in November of last year. Our daughter and I believe he's had signs for at least 12 to 15 years. I have learned far more about FTD online than from any doctors. I know I would benefit greatly from attending the conference but our expenses do not allow me to consider going.