Virtual Caregiving Summit: Day 9


Virtual Caregiving Summit: Day 9

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 Lynette Whiteman, Joan Bachman, Sharon Hall and Eileen Berger (our first video) and Virginia Sampson (our second video).

Meet Joan Bachman and Eileen Berger
Joan Berger Bachman and Eileen Opatz Berger (a mother -daughter duo) have just published a book called If Only You Would Ask. It is a conversational manual, a resource, for those who care for or visit the elderly. Comprised of 42 topics, and over 400 questions it is tool to promote meaningful conversation.

People will say they have never done anything unusual but in fact, everyone has an interesting story -- many interesting stories if only you ask the right questions! In their presentation, Joan and Eileen will discuss how asking the right questions will lead to memories shared of unusual experiences and events that haven't been thought of in many years. Most importantly, by showing a genuine interest, by speaking eye to eye, something magical happens.

Meet Sharon Hall
Sharon Hall is a care partner, to her 95 year old mother who has vascular dementia and lives with her and her husband, Rod, who has frontotemporal degeneration (FTD). Sharon is an active advocate for FTD, she is an AFTD support group facilitator and educator. She holds an FTD chat on every Monday and Saturday at 7:00pm ET, and hosts a monthly podcast on the 4th Thursday of each month at 2:00pm ET called “Talking FTD With Geri”, with Dr. Geri Hall from Banner Alzheimer’s on Sharon has participated in Medicare webinars, spoke as a care partner at the NIH Research Summit on Dementia Care and Services, is active in her state Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia Plan, and recently launched iCARE (Innovative Caregiving Advocates with Real Experience) along with MaryAnne Sterling, Denise Brown, Julie Fleming and Karen Garner. This is a group of advocates who will leverage the extensive knowledge and experience family caregivers have acquired through caregiving to transform health research, health policy, and healthcare delivery.

Dementia caregiving can put extreme stress on a caregiver/care partner. Surviving your care of someone living with dementia means you need to focus on staying emotionally strong. We will discuss what that takes, how to overcome the constant grief of losses, what is respite and how to get it, and how to have a life in the face of dementia caregiving. Sharon Hall has not only been surviving caring for 2 with dementia, but is also a very active advocate for dementia needs. She will share what works best for her, how to get "over the hump" of constant grief, what to do to have a happy life while caregiving, among many other topics. This session will include heartfelt real experiences in dementia caregiving and also laughs. You will walk away with a new way to look at your dementia caregiving years.

Meet Lynette Whiteman
Lynette wears 2 hats. She is the Executive Director of Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey and also the caregiver for her mother who has dementia and lives with her. She began her career as a Physician Assistant and has a Masters in Geriatric Medicine. As Executive Director, she oversees the management of a nonprofit agency which is dedicated to providing free support to older adults and caregivers who are striving to remain independent. Through a network of over 1200 volunteers, their programs include medical transportation, grocery shopping, friendly visits, friendly phone calls and an Alzheimer's Respite Care Program. Lynette is also the founder of Caregiver Canines - a unique therapy dog program that provides free visits to the homebound and individuals with dementia in their own homes on a weekly basis for great tail-wagging joy.

When Lynette began caring for her mom, she needed to confront her own perceptions of what she was capable of as a caregiver, her relationship with her mother, the reality of help (or no help) from her siblings, and most importantly, the impact on her marriage - all while still grieving terribly for her father. Her mom moving in with her was like a volcano in her life, blowing up all her preconceived notions of herself and her life. She learned quite a few lessons and strategies which helped her along the way which she hopes to share in the presentation. She also hopes to learn from the attendees about they handle/juggle work, caregiving, marriage and relationships.

Meet Virginia Sampson
Virginia Sampson is passionate about disseminating the science based message of the power of compassion to create success in all areas of our lives. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. She has been a practicing litigation attorney for since 1982 (almost 35 years). Virginia started in the legal field when few women were litigators. She served as a judge for three and one half years. She currently practices elder law helping seniors with their legal issues. Virginia has had a full and challenging life. She has been a full-time caregiver to her husband who died from ALS, a victim of domestic violence, a single parent to four children, a widow, a divorcee, a step-parent and more. Her professional and personal challenges inspired her to study and learn about the science of compassion, self-compassion and happiness. She has completed courses of study offered through UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center and Stanford Center for Care and Altruism. She has attended conferences and read extensively on the subject. She has written a book for adults, ‘Compassion Magic” and started a children’s series about compassion with “Superhero Sam Saves His Family”. Virginia writes for – the publication of Arianna Huffington. She travels nationally and internationally to speak about the power of compassion. She offers programs for individuals and small groups to assist them in developing compassion. Virginia provides information about the latest findings and research on compassion and happiness. She shares simple and scientifically proven practices for discovering the power of compassion to create success and happiness in businesses, schools, communities, families and even with our health and well-being.

Focusing a lot of energy on helping others can lead to compassion fatigue also known as secondary traumatic stress. Secondary stress, for an individual, can lead to decreased feelings of safety, increased cynicism and disconnection from loved ones. For organizations employing healthcare professionals, compassion fatigue negatively impacts the quality of care provided. It can result in frequent employee turnover and health issues. Research suggests that caregivers and healthcare professionals who are trained in self-compassion are less likely to experience compassion fatigue and/or burn out. Virginia understands, first-hand, the stress and pressures placed on individuals and professionals who care for others. She was a full-time caregiver to her husband for three years while at the same time parenting three teenagers and a toddler. She is currently a caregiver to her 91-year-old mother. The clients in her law practice are family dealing with the stress and strain of caring for other family members. Through this program healthcare professionals/caregivers can discover and come to understand self-compassion and how practicing it can improve their physical and psychological health and more. Practicing self-compassion can foster better, more caring and effective caregivers and/or healthcare professional and a happier, healthier person/employee.

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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