Dementia Specialist Rebecca Groleau discusses the Caring for the Caregiver Conference on April 1

Nikki Brahm, Assistant News Editor

Q. What is the conference?

A. The Caring for the Caregiver Conference is a day for the caregiver to rejuvenate by having a nice lunch, getting a massage and listening to some great presentations on how to provide self-care and care plan for the future. This conference is a way to help caregivers tap into what resources are available in our community.

Q. How long has the conference been going on?

A. The Aging and Disability Resource Center along with the Family Support Team has been putting this conference on for three years. The conference continues to grow.

Q. What is your role in this conference?

A. My role in the conference is to help organize the event and get in contact with different organizations that want to be a part of this great day. My position at the ADRC is the dementia care specialist, and I have been with the county for seven months.

Q. Where and when is it?

A. The conference will be held at the Oshkosh Convention Center on Monday, April 1 at 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please contact the ADRC to RSVP at 1-877-886-2372. You do not have to worry if you cannot make the whole event. You can just attend what topics interest you the most.

Q. What does the conference entail?

A. There will be about 20 different vendor booths at the conference. The booths consist of different home care agencies, audiology clinics and different programs that are available to our disabled and elderly population. The presentations will be “Connection and Cafes,” “Three Waves Health Coach,” “The Wellness Center,” “REACH,” “Alzheimer’s Association and Memory Cafes,” “Tai Chi,” “Evidence Based Classes,” “School Transitions” and “Project Lifesaver.”
Our keynote speaker is Vivian Hazell from Agnesian who works with toddlers, children, adolescents, adults and families on a wide range of conditions including anxiety, self-esteem issues, depression, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, adolescent challenges and family dynamics. After the keynote, our caregivers will get to enjoy a free lunch and listen to a motivational presentation from Gail [Renderman].

Q. What are the sessions like?

A. There will be three breakout sessions in the morning from 9 to 11:30 a.m. presenting on “Power of Attorneys,” “Memory Screens,” and “Tai Chi.” The morning breakout sessions are more intended for our caregivers that care for our elderly population. The afternoon also has three breakout sessions at 1-3 p.m. and they will be presenting on “Tai Chi,” “School Transitions,” and “NAMI.” These sessions are more intended for our caregivers that care for our younger population.

Q. Why do you think students at UWO should attend the conference?

A. This would be a great opportunity for students to gain more knowledge of what’s available in their community and how to utilize these services. Not only is this a way to get familiar with the different services, but it is beneficial to learn about what steps to take when we may ourselves become a caregiver at some point. Even if we are not going to be living in the Winnebago County area in the future, it is important to find out how to receive information on what’s available, just in case we may need resources down the road.

Q. What students do you think should go?

A. Really any student would probably find something to take away from this conference, but the human service department would benefit the most because it is opening the door to different resources that they may use in the future. It is also a way to network and find out what areas they may find an interest in.

Q. How does the conference benefit the community as a whole?

A. It is letting them know that our caregivers are not alone and that their community is here to help them. The ADRC and Family Support Team are here to help out, and we want to see our caregivers succeed and not get burnt out. We want to provide them with all the resources so that they can maintain a balanced lifestyle.