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November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to honor the millions of caregivers across the country who provide compassionate care for their loved ones. On November 2, Duet: Partners In Health & Aging will host its second Family Caregiver Symposium at Church of the Beatitudes in Phoenix. At the event, Duet will gather expert panelists to share how to navigate physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being through periods of high stress. In addition to the panel discussion, there will be an afternoon session where volunteers and professionals can attend a free training to become a facilitator for Duet’s new family caregiver video series, “Finding Meaning and Hope,” based on Loving Someone Who Has Dementia, by Pauline Boss, PhD.
“The Family Caregiver Symposium is designed to equip, empower and celebrate family caregivers who take on some of society’s most difficult and undervalued work,” said Ann Wheat, Director of Family Caregiving Services at Duet. “The symposium will allow caregivers to learn about difficult transitions, how best to handle these from a place of empowerment and hope, and to also connect with hundreds of other caregivers through lunch and socialization.”
The morning session of the Family Caregiver Symposium, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., will include a panel discussion featuring Amy Goyer, AARP’s national family caregiver expert and author of Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving; Pauline Boss, PhD, family therapist, pioneering theorist and author of Loving Someone Who Has Dementia; and Maribeth Gallagher, PhD, Dementia Program Director for Hospice of the Valley’s dementia care program. Lin Sue Cooney, Director of Community Engagement for Hospice of the Valley and well-known local news personality, will serve as the session’s moderator. The session, which includes lunch, is $20 for family caregivers and $40 for professionals. Free on-site respite services will be provided by Beatitudes at Home so that caregivers can attend. Scholarships are available by contacting Duet.
In the afternoon session from 1 to 4:30 p.m., which is free to attend, professionals and caregivers are invited to learn to become facilitators for the “Finding Meaning and Hope” video series, produced by Duet in partnership with Pauline Boss, PhD, thanks to a grant from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. “Finding Meaning and Hope” is a free video and discussion series for family caregivers led by peer volunteers; attendees of the afternoon session will learn how to facilitate the video and discussion series. The goal is to empower afternoon session attendees to take the lead in their communities and, together with Duet, set up their own peer-to-peer groups to help reach caregivers.
“The power of the video series is that, each week, through a 20-minute video, Dr. Boss gives caregivers an understanding of their ambiguous loss journey and teaches them the techniques which are crucial to reducing their stress, reclaiming hope and improving their health and well-being,” Wheat said.
The Family Caregiver Symposium’s Signature Sponsor is AARP Phoenix.
To learn more about the Family Caregiver Symposium, visit www.duetaz.org/index.php/events/family-caregiver-symposium-2017. Interested attendees can register for the morning, afternoon or both sessions on the website or by calling Duet at (602) 274-5022.