Third Annual Virtual Caregiving Conference


Third Annual Virtual Caregiving Conference

Our Third Annual Virtual Caregiving Conference took place on Sunday, April 3. Enjoy the archive of our conference, which features family caregivers sharing their insights and experiences during six sessions.

Thanks so much to our sponsor, iCare Consulting:






Our agenda is as follows:

Emergency Preparedness: 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT, 11 a.m. PT)
Dianne Pierson, a retired physical therapist who has cared for her father, step-father and grandmother, will help us with emergency preparedness for the home. We will understand and discuss fire and weather emergencies as well as learn what to have in the home at all times to be prepared. Finally, Dianne will discuss in-home medical emergencies.

Activity Ideas: 2:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. CT, 11:30 a.m. PT)
In her presentation, Gincy Heins, who cares for her husband and cared for her parents, will share:

  • ideas we can give family members and others so they will feel more comfortable visiting;

  • activities children and teens can do with a caree;

  • ideas they can use with a caree when looking for an activity;

Roundtable Discussion: Asking for and Receiving Help: 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT, Noon PT)
Gincy and I will be joined by Gael Chiarellla Alba, who cared for her parents and her son. We'll share our thoughts on what we've learned about asking for and receiving help.

Roundtable Discussion: Preparing for Your Future: 3:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. CT, 12:30 p.m. PT)
Colleen Kavanaugh, who cared for her parents, Elizabeth Miller, who cares for her mother, and MaryAnne Sterling, who cares for her mother and cared for her father, will discuss how to prepare for the future during a time when the future feels so foreign -- caregiving.

Roundtable Discussion: Coping with Difficult Days: 4 p.m. ET (3 p.m. CT, 1 p.m. PT)
Richard Kreis, who cares for his mom and his brother-in-law, and Amy Taklif, who cares for her grandmother, will join me to talk about how we cope with difficult days.

Coping Through Humor: 4:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. CT, 1:30 p.m. PT)
During her presentation, Rosie McMahan, who cares for her brother and cared for her mother, will acknowledge the courage it takes to do things -- again and again -- that you are not sure will work but do them anyway. Her presentation will honor -- without glorifying -- her parent's decision to care for her brother for 50 years. It will also inspire those of us often thrust into impossible situations to explore options even when options do not seem apparent or accessible. "My presentation will be a way for me to keep doing what I do and becoming who I want to be," Rosie adds.

Each session will last 20 minutes. Please feel free to join us when you can and stay as long as you'd like. Our chatroom will be open during our conference so you can connect and share with other attendees.

About Our Presenters

Amy cares for her 93-year-old grandmother and is also a licensed social worker and a person with a disability. She presents on disability-related topics and was recently honored to do two national webinars on the topic of caregiving and sexuality for the Military Caregivers program within Easter Seals.

About Colleen
Colleen, a Certified Caregiving Consultant™, brings her decade of family caregiving experience and training to empower and uplift family caregivers step-by-step. While caring for her mother with cancer and father with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases as well as working and raising a family, she could never imagine seeing the other side of life after caregiving. Her feeling of isolation and the lack of understanding from others who were not in her situation have called her to help current family caregivers from feeling the same things. Colleen works with clients to create proactive strategies that encourage thriving within the demanding caregiving role. Colleen is also one of our Volunteer Caregiving Researchers. Be sure to watch Colleen’s free webinar, THE DREAM TEAM: Creating a Team for a Successful Caregiving Season. Visit Colleen’s website, The Longest Dance, to learn how to hire Colleen as a consultant.

About Elizabeth
Elizabeth’s website, Happy Healthy Caregiver, is a lifestyle website that helps overwhelmed and stressed caregivers who want to feel balanced and take better care of their health but don’t know how to juggle self-care with their caregiver responsibilities. The daily demands of being a caregiver is emotionally overwhelming, stressful, and physically tiring. Being a caregiver often leads to neglect of the caregiver’s own health which can result in weight gain, fatigue, depression and anxiety. The Happy Healthy Caregiver site helps these caregivers regain balance and control of their personal health while still upholding their daily caregiver responsibilities. With the Happy Healthy Caregiver coaching and community, these caregivers will no longer feel overwhelmed and alone but rather armed with the tools and support they need to prioritize and optimize their health.

Gael is a sandwich generation baby boomer who raised two children and buried two parents while being a single mom and a solopreneur. When her eldest son suffered a traumatic injury and suddenly became connected to life support in 2001, she managed his slow return to health during the years that her parents were slowly loosing theirs. Each needed tremendous care, each in their own way. Gael shares her philosophy: "As a family caregiver, there is plenty they don't tell you, but so much that can be learned. Primary among the lessons: you must take care of yourself. The experience doesn't come cheap, but there are ways of being that can be gathered from those who have walked the path before you. I hope to serve this message well." You can connect with Gael on her website,

Gincy is a wife, mother, caregiver, teacher, author, content administrator and volunteer. She was her father’s caregiver after her mother passed away and is a caregiver and advocate for her husband who was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment when he was 55. Gincy teaches classes for seniors in senior centers and residential facilities. She volunteers for Alzheimer’s Orange County, manning their table at health fairs and events. She has held writing classes for early stage Alzheimer’s patients and their care partners for Alzheimer’s Orange County. For the past two years, Gincy has been Content Administrator for, handling their Facebook and twitter accounts. She works with authors, interviewing them about articles they write for LitPick. Gincy co-authored the book “After the Diagnosis,” has contributed to the “Caregifters” book series, was one of the authors of 365 Caregiving Tips: Practical Tips from Everyday Caregivers, and recently helped her husband write the chapter, “Steve’s Story: Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment” in the book, Psychosocial Studies of the Individual’s Changing Perspectives in Alzheimer’s Disease (Dick-Muehlke, Li, and Orleans).

Gincy and her husband are the proud parents of one son. You can connect with Gincy on Facebook (G-j Heins), Twitter (@gjandfamily) and Instagram (picsbymom), and follow her new blog which will provide ideas on how to keep children, visitors, and carees interacting,

MaryAnne has been a caregiver and healthcare advocate for her parents for 20 years. She is a renowned speaker and educator on family caregiver issues, a role that evolved from her experience having multiple parents struggling with dementia. She and her husband have 3-out-of-4 parents impacted by this disease. Their personal story has been featured in Kiplinger, New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. MaryAnne is Co-founder of Connected Health Resources, focused on person-centered healthcare transformation. She is also CEO of Sterling Health IT Consulting. MaryAnne serves as Patient Research Partner and Ambassador for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Advisory Council member for the National Alzheimer’s & Dementia Patient & Caregiver-Powered Research Network, and Consumer Ombudsman for the National Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE).

She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Biotechnology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. You can follow her on Twitter at @SterlingHIT.

Richard, a Certified Caregiving Consultant™, is a part-time caregiver to his mom, Carol, who has heart issues, as well as for his brother-in-law, Robert, who has dealt with epilepsy his whole life and lives with Richard and his wife, Trish. Richard is also a full-time caree himself because of chronic back pain issues caused by a drunk driver in early May 1993. Richard is the owner of iCare Consulting a Certified Caregiving Consultant company that specializing in working with multiple carees, setting up and maintaining the home and necessary supplies, and helping you and your caree stay organized. He also evaluates caregiving-related products, such as stair treads, wheelchair ramps, and wireless blood pressure monitor. Richard hosts several chats on, including “Let’s Get Organized” and “Men’s Caregiving” and is an adviser for Richard is  one of five caregivers who together wrote, 365 Caregiving Tips: Practical Tips from Everyday Caregivers. Richard is also one of our Volunteer Caregiving Researchers. You can learn more about Richard on his blog,

Rosie McMahan lives in Amherst, Mass., with her multi-generational family. She has worked in human services for over 30 years and considers caregiving one of the most “serving human” jobs she has ever undertaken. She runs a small private practice, identifies as a writer and likes to spend time in her garden — a place where no one but the flowers talk back to her.

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