Twelfth Annual Caregiver Education Conference Scheduled at Barton College on March 10

The deadline for advance registration is Tuesday, March 3. To guarantee a seat, pre-registration is highly recommended. Same-day registration will be on a space-available basis.

WILSON, N.C. — February 20, 2015 — The twelfth annual Caregiver Education Conference “Shining a Light on Dementia” will be held on Tuesday, March 10, in the Hamlin Student Center on the campus of Barton College in Wilson.

The Gerontology Program of Barton College, Alzheimers North Carolina, the Upper Coastal Plain Area Agency on Aging Family Caregiver Support Program, and Joseph D. Russell, M.D., have teamed up to sponsor this annual conference again.

New this year will be an option to participate in the Virtual Dementia Tour®. The Virtual Dementia Tour® is described as “a powerful sensitivity and awareness experience created for anyone seeking to understand the physical and mental challenges of those with dementia.” This simulation will allow the participant to experience the challenges someone with dementia might face. Event participants may sign up for this opportunity at registration. The 15-minute simulations will be conducted throughout the day. A special thanks is extended to Spring Arbor of Wilson for providing the VDT experience for participants.

This conference is generously supported by Dr. Russell through an endowment he 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. This endowment also honors family caregivers across the state.

Registration for family caregivers, clergy, volunteers, and students (with lunch included) is $10 per person. Registration for the afternoon session for professional caregivers (lunch is not included) will be $40 per person and will include 5.0 CEU’s. Please visit conference and workshop page for more information regarding CEU’s and learning objectives. Respite reimbursement is available; prior approval is necessary. A limited number of scholarships to cover registration, for family caregivers only, are also available.

The deadline for advance registration is Tuesday, March 3. To guarantee a seat, pre-registration is highly recommended. Same-day registration will be on a space-available basis. To submit your registration or to request additional information about the conference, respite reimbursement, or scholarships for family caregivers, please contact Lisa Levine, Alzheimers North Carolina, 1305 Navaho Drive, Suite 101, Raleigh, NC 27609, 800-228-8738 or email:

The day will begin with check-in at 8 a.m., followed by Dr. Russell’s Opening Welcome at 9 a.m. The morning keynote speaker, Melanie Bunn, MS, RN, Alzheimers North Carolina dementia training specialist, will discuss “What happens next? Understanding behaviors of people with dementia.” After the keynote session, there will be an opportunity for participants to meet with exhibitors for additional information and to ask questions. Following the break, there will be breakout sessions led by: Steven Fulks, Ph.D., director of the gerontology program at Barton College, and Barton gerontology students, who will lead discussion following the showing of the film “Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter”; Mark Hensley, MA Project C.A.R.E. director and alzheimer’s support specialist with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services, who will lead discussion on “Memory Loss, Dementia, and Legal Issues”; and Bunn, who will lead discussion on “Positive Communication Approaches.”

Following a 12:30 p.m. lunch break, the three breakout sessions will be repeated beginning at 1:30 p.m. so that attendees may have a second opportunity from which to choose a workshop session. There will be a 2:45 p.m. break for visiting with exhibitors in the afternoon followed by the concluding keynote address “Scams, Fraud, and Seniors,” led by Caroline Farmer, deputy director of the Victim and Citizen Services in the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office. The event will end at 4 p.m.

The focus of the conference will be to explore various techniques and strategies that caregivers can use to care for themselves and persons with dementia, to identify resources for developing daily routines and programs that meet the needs of people with dementia and their caregivers, and to describe the most recent and effective assessment, treatment, and care options available for people with dementia.

“Our Caregiver Education Conference is designed for family caregivers and professional caregivers, including nurses, direct care workers, CAN’s, social workers, care managers, rehabilitation professionals, and community service providers,” shared Dr. Fulks. “Our blending of nationally and regionally known speakers, along with local authorities on caring for an older individual provides a unique blend of presentations.  The Conference is designed to provide the opportunity for choosing what sessions are of the greater interest to the individual. I believe our line-up this year will provide one of the stronger Conferences in its’ long history.”