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Second Annual Free Conference for Caregivers to be Held April 5

Added on: March 11, 2013

Caregivers Conference graphicMACHIAS, Maine – Providing resources and expert advice to family caregivers will be the focus of a free one-day conference scheduled for April 5 at the University of Maine at Machias.

The event, which is open to caregivers and their families, begins at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 5, at Kilburn Commons. “Caregivers Conference: For Those Who Care For The Ones They Love” is being coordinated by UMM’s Office of Community Services. This is the second year UMM has hosted the conference, which drew more than 75 attendees in 2012.

Keynote speaker for the conference will be Kathryn Pears, founder and CEO of Dementia Care Strategies, an organization that provides accessible training and education to meet the needs of families and professional caregivers of individuals with dementia. Pears has been professionally involved in dementia care since 1981. Prior to forming Dementia Care Strategies, she was the director of education and public policy for the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine chapter, where she developed and conducted training programs for caregivers. In 2010, she received the Excellence in Aging Award from the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Pears will deliver a talk titled, “Dementia: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and How It Impacts a Person.”

Other workshop topics will include asset preservation, grandparents caring for grandchildren, dementia care, and hands-on care techniques.

The event will also include a resource fair that will highlight the work of area agencies and the resources that are available to caregivers. Exhibitors scheduled to attend include Bangor Savings Bank Financial Services, Community Health and Counseling, Down East Community Hospital Palliative Care, Down East Hospice, Eastern Area Agency on Aging, Golden Acres Boarding Home, Legal Services for the Elderly, Maine CITE Coordinating Center, Maine Veterans’ Home of Machias, Marshall Healthcare, Narraguagus Bay Health Care, Office of Aging and Disability Services, Sunrise Care Facility, Sunrise Senior College, University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Senior Companion Program, and Washington-Hancock Community Agency.

“There are so many organizations and resources available to support family caregivers,” says event organizer Naida Pennell, coordinator of community services at UMM. “Our goal is to bring all of that together in one place and allow caregivers to talk with one another, learn from one another, and know that they are not alone.”

For more information or to register for the free conference, contact Naida Pennell at 255-1289 or The conference registration deadline is March 27. Local agencies interested in being an exhibitor are encouraged to contact Pennell as soon as possible due to the limited space available.

The conference is co-sponsored by UMM, Maine Veterans’ Home of Machias, Aramark, and the Eastern Area Agency on Aging (supported in part with United Way  of Eastern Maine funds).

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