Caring for a Loved One? Caregivers Conference Is for You!

Any student or employee of St. Petersburg College who has a responsibility to care for an aging relative may benefit from attending the fifth annual Caregivers Conference at the Seminole campus on Feb. 22.

The conference, titled Preparing Caregivers for the Future, is presented by the SPC Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions and is co-sponsored by Maria’s Adult Day Care Center and AARP Florida.  

The conference will have a back-to-the-future feel, as it shows how dementia-sufferers can benefit from re-experiencing 1950s small-town America and how their caregivers can benefit from 21st century technology. The conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Digitorium at Seminole, 9200 113th N. Admission is free, including lunch, but advance registration is required at http://solutions.spcollege.edu/

The conference will feature a presentation on one of the latest concepts in dementia caregiving: Reminiscence Therapy. Scott J. Tarde, CEO of George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers Inc., will talk about Glenner Town Square, a day-care center for dementia patients in Chula Vista, Calif. The center resembles a village square from the 1950s, with 14 storefronts, erected inside an industrial building, designed to capture the years from 1953 to 1961. That’s when the average dementia patient was between ages 10 and 30. The concept is to take the patients back to a time when their strongest memories were formed. Returning to those years helps dementia patients feel better in the moment, easing agitation and confusion – and importantly – making life easier for their caregivers.

Another featured speaker will be Monica Stynchula, AARP Florida Executive Council member and Chair of the Caregiver Accelerator. She will update attendees on new technology, products and services related to dementia care, including “telehealth,” an electronic information and telecommunications platform to access health care services remotely.

A popular speaker back for the fifth straight year will be Eileen Poiley, Director of Education at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute at the University of South Florida. She will speak on “Safety Concerns and Ways to Prevent Potential Problems.” 

Other speakers and their topics:

  • Celisa K. Bonner, Clinic Coordinator for the Madonna Ptak Center for Alzheimer’s and Memory Loss at Morton Plant Mease, will present on the Silver Alert system.
  • Dr. Cate McCarty, dementia coach and specialist in aging studies, whose topic is “Spouse Like Me: When the Teacher becomes the Student.”
  • D. “Rep” DeLoach III, estate planning, elder law and probate attorney at DeLoach & Hofstra, Seminole, whose topic is “What’s in your Future Legal Tool Box?”
  • Tam Cummings, gerontologist and author, will provide comforting insights on dementia care.

During breaks, attendees will be able to visit informational tables of organizations offering services for family caregivers, volunteers working with older adults, and professionals in aging and related services.

To register, go to http://solutions.spcollege.edu/, or email maria@mariacares.com, or call 727-393-7711.

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