(October 14, 2022) – If you’ve ever been in the position of caring for someone with a chronic disease, dementia, or a disability, you know the toll it takes on your mind, body, and spirit. Despite wanting to do the right thing, you experience fatigue, anxiety, and imbalance in your own life. You worry. You agonize. You don’t know how to take care of everything and everyone.
ACAP (Adult Children of Aging Parents) understands the trials and turmoil of caregiving, and the organization’s 2022 National Caregiver Symposium is designed to help caregivers for older adults cope with stress and burnout. The symposium takes place virtually on Friday, November 4, 2022, from 1pm to 4pm, EDT. It’s free and open to the public. To learn more about the symposium and to register, visit www.acapcommunity.org/2022-caregiver-symposium/.
Participants will join hundreds of other people throughout the country who are looking for ways to deal with the demands of caregiving, burnout, and family dynamics. Through a virtual platform, attendees will hear from leading caregiving experts, become aware of helpful resources, experience support for their efforts, and gain new insights into the essential work of caregiving. Each of the speakers brings personal experience as a caregiver for family members, and each one will share their professional expertise.
Keynote speaker Amy Goyer is an AARP family and caregiving leader, as well as an author, speaker, and consultant. She will draw on a 35-year career working in the field of aging to provide practical, actionable tips for people who are providing care. Zachary White, PhD, is associate professor of communications at Queens University and is a researcher, consultant, and co-author of The Unexpected Journey of Caring: The Transformation from Loved One to Caregiver. Donna Thomson is an instructor on family caregiving, disability, and aging at McMaster University. A speaker and consultant, she is also co-author of The Unexpected Journey of Caring.
ACAP was launched in 2012 in Hickory, NC, as a community-based program, later becoming ACAPcommunity, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Since its founding, ACAP has spun off affiliates throughout North Carolina (Hickory, Guilford County, Statesville, Winston-Salem, and Cape Fear) and in Pennsylvania (Centre County). The Atlanta, Georgia chapter opens in February 2023. These local chapters provide free face-to-face and virtual monthly educational programs and support the annual conference as well.
According to Frances Hall, founder and executive director of ACAP, “The annual symposium celebrates the joys and the privilege of journeying with aging parents, but it also acknowledges the complexities and challenges of accompanying a parent through the aging process. We want to give participants the tools they need to be the best caregiver and advocate they can be while also preventing them from neglecting their own needs. By coming together to share stories and strategies, we can actively and profoundly support each other in this important work.”
Lee Syria, president and CEO of EveryAge, an industry leader among not-for-profit senior living communities, concurs, stating, “On a daily basis, we care for residents in independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, rehab, home care, respite, home health, and hospice. We see the challenges that family members have as they balance providing care with their own self-care. Our partnership with ACAP allows us to give our families resources to support their personal caregiving so they can be as effective and confident as possible. Cultivating everyone’s well-being is the all-encompassing goal.”
The sustaining partner for the national symposium is EveryAge, whose 12 locations serve more than 2,000 older adults in North Carolina and Virginia. The premier sponsor is UNC Health Blue Ridge. Supporting sponsors include Abernethy Laurels Retirement Community, Arbor Acres Retirement Community, Kingston Residence of Hickory, Salemtowne Retirement Community, SIR (Senior Information Resources), the Western Piedmont Council of Governments’ Area Agency on Aging, and PACE@Home.