NYSCRC held its annual conference on November 10, 2015 in Albany during National Caregiver’s Month. One of the coalition’s goal is to connect community programs and regional coalitions and to share best practices of successful programs and initiatives. The conference is a perfect venue to explore these model programs.
We would like to give special recognition to the Albany Guardian Society who helped us produce the event and also thank the NYS Office for the Aging and AARP – NY for their support and sponsorship.
It was our great pleasure to have an expert group of speakers and panelists. Each speaker brought not only their own professional expertise but also their personal experiences of caregiving.
Peter Rosenberger - Peter has written two books on the topic: Wear Comfortable Shoes: Surviving and Thriving as a Caregiver and Hope for the Caregiver, which just had its second edition released. He hosts a radio program from Nashville, Tennessee that caters specifically to family caregivers and is broadcast across America on iHeart Radio. He’s also collaborated with AARP over the years and has appeared on the Today Show multiple times, among many other media interviews. Most importantly, he has been the primary caregiver for his wife Gracie for the past 30 years.
Carol Levine - Carol has spent the last two decades at United Hospital Fund where she works specifically on caregiver issues. The program Next Step in Care is meant to help caregivers navigate the health care system, especially during times of transition. She’s written and edited several books on the topic of family caregiving. On a personal level, she also cared for her late husband for many years.
Sheila Warnock - Sheila became the primary caregiver for her mother for several years, and also served as part of the support system for a close friend with cancer. Through her caregiving responsibilities, she learned about the isolation that caregiving can bring and how to develop a circle of support to share the care. Her book entitled, Share the Care, is in its second edition and she developed an organization by the same name that is dedicated to spreading the word about a truly unique concept in care.
Panelists discussed volunteer models of respite care and included:
Donna Beal, Executive Director of Mercy Care for the Adirondacks. Mercy Care launched the Community Friendship volunteer-based program to provide friendship, companionship, assistance and spiritual care to elders and even younger care recipients throughout the Tri-Lakes area. Despite the challenges of operating in a rural area like Essex and Southern Franklin Counties, Mercy Care has trained nearly 150 volunteers and has helped replicate their program in a nearby community.
Sandy Monahan, Volunteer Coordinator or the Faith in Action Alzheimer’s Care Team at Eddy Alzheimer’s Services. Sandy is responsible for recruitment and training of volunteer teams from faith-based groups. There are over 200 volunteers serving on 23 care teams throughout 4 counties.
Eve Moses, Monroe County’s Caregiver Coordinator at Lifespan of Greater Rochester. Eve coordinates Lifespan’s Partners in Caring respite program. This volunteer-based collaborative program which matches volunteers to individuals with early stage dementia to give help to the family caregiver. Information about the program can be found at HelpaCaregiver.org.
Lisa Rood, Older Adults Program Developer & Implementation Consultant. Lisa has helped faith based communities to establish & implement no cost respite programs for the memory impaired utilizing volunteers.
Stay tuned for information about the 2016 conference.
New York State Caregiving & Respite Coalition c/o Lifespan 1900 S. Clinton Avenue Rochester, NY 14618 585-287-6393 E-mail NYSCRC