Featured image for post: 20th Annual Barton College Dementia Caregiver Education Conference on March 7th

20th Annual Barton College Dementia Caregiver Education Conference on March 7th

WILSON, N.C. — February 9, 2023 — The 20th annual Caregiver Education Confrence will be held on Tuesday, March 7, in Hardy Alumni Hall on the campus of Barton College in Wilson. The conference has returned to an in-person format this year and will begin at 8:30 a.m. The day’s events will conclude at 1 p.m.

The Aging Studies Program at Barton College, Dementia Alliance of North Carolina, the Upper Coastal Plain Area Agency on Aging, and North Carolina Family Caregiver Support Program have partnered to present the conference.

Those interested in participating should register at http://www.dementianc.org/Wilson2023. The registration cost is $10 for family caregivers, friends of the person living with dementia, volunteers, and clergy. Barton students with an official Barton-issued email address may register at no charge. The cost is $40 for professional paid caregivers, healthcare professionals, and those seeking Continuing Education Units; 3.0 CEUs are offered. For more information about these credits, visit https://info.ncdhhs.gov/dhsr/acls/ceu.html.

For questions regarding registration or schedule, please contact Ashleigh Glover, Area Agency on Aging, at AGlover@ucpcog.org or 252-234-5984, or Lisa Levine, Dementia Alliance, at llevine@DementiaNC.org or 919-832-3732.

This conference is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Joseph Russell and his wife Sarah Anne Poole Russell, and in honor of all family caregivers. The Caregiver Education Conference at Barton is generously supported through an endowment that Dr. Russell established in memory of his mother, Lillian Hester McDaniel Russell, who served as a caregiver for her husband, Norman, following his stroke and, later, declining health.

Check-in and an opportunity to visit resource exhibitors will begin at 8:30 a.m. The official program will begin at 9 a.m. with a brief welcome followed by the first presentation, “Understanding Dementia” by Melanie Bunn. Bunn currently serves as a dementia training consultant for Dementia Alliance of North Carolina, works with Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care, Bunn Consulting, and the Duke University School of Nursing. Bunn is an experienced advanced practice nurse and nurse educator, conducting more than 200 presentations and trainings annually with health professionals, community organizations, first responders, families, and others. Her research participation has focused on improving care of older people, especially those with cognitive impairment, through improving the education of interprofessional teams and families.

After a brief break and visit with exhibitors, the next session will be a panel discussion focusing on “Regional Resources for Aging Well” with facilitator Mary Marlin, AAA program director. The Upper Coastal Plain Area Agency on Aging team will share information about the programs and resources available through their agency and within the region that can assist caregivers and older adults. The panelists will include Armeta Coley, senior Medicare patrol coordinator; Ashleigh Glover, family caregiver resource specialist; Rebecca Stapleton, aging program specialist; and Tyronda Whitaker, regional ombudsman.

Following one last break and visit with exhibitors, the conference will conclude with the final presentation “Community in Motion” by Andre Avila with ComMotion Wellness & Movement. ComMotion was founded in 2018 by a cancer survivor and disabled veteran who found health and happiness through learning to dance and wanted to give that same opportunity to others in need. The organization has been steadily growing, and, since 2018, it has taught hundreds of movement programs for more than 20,000 people of all ages and abilities, including military veterans, cancer survivors, seniors, kids, and people with disabilities. They have had students from preschool age to 100+ years old, and with a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities. This participatory session will help attendees understand how dance and movement can help both people living with dementia and caregivers.

The goal of this conference is to explore various techniques and strategies caregivers can use to care for themselves and for individuals with dementia, to identify resources to assist in developing routines and programs to meet their needs, and to explore recent and effective assessment, treatment, and care options.

“We are delighted to continue these partnerships with Dementia Alliance of North Carolina, the Upper Coastal Plain Area Agency on Aging, and North Carolina Family Caregiver Support Program,” shared Dr. Steven Fulks, director of the Aging Studies Program at Barton College and dean of the School of Allied Health and Sport Sciences. “This is a perfect collaboration of practical information, resources, and current research presented by regional authorities.”

For more information, please contact Amanda Maynard, co-director of the Aging Studies Program, at almay@barton.edu or 252-399-6558.