The Northern Virginia Dementia Care Consortium is hosting its 34th annual Caregivers Conference virtually on Zoom on November 9-13. The free event provides opportunities for family caregivers, volunteers working with older adults, and professionals in aging and related services to learn new ways to engage with and provide care for individuals with dementia.
This year’s conference, “Grow with the Flow,” will feature virtual sessions from 10 a.m. - noon daily focusing on a wide range of topics, including engagement and well being activities, coping skills and tips, and scientific research. The event includes nationally recognized speakers and a virtual exhibit hall with vendors providing information about services and products helpful to caregivers.
The annual conference has grown significantly over the past 10 years, says Department of Community and Human Services Aging and Adult Services Long Term Care Coordinator Debbie Ludington, who has been involved in conference planning for the past 14 years. Planners expect that the virtual platform will increase attendance and are expecting 500 attendees, plus at least 50 vendors.
“Past conference attendees have expressed appreciation for hands-on helpful information they can use at home to ease some of the burdens and improve the quality of life for their loved ones,” says Ludington. “They also appreciate the positive messages from presenters and meeting with other caregivers.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly challenging for caregivers, she adds.
“One of the primary challenges caregivers face now is the social isolation of their loved ones and themselves,” she says. “While many family caregivers can get support from programs, such as the City’s Adult Day Services Program and support groups, virtual opportunities are not the same as human contact.”
And where in-person programs are available, many individuals with dementia are older and have additional underlying conditions, and are most at risk for COVID-19. “In person programs for them are still limited right now,” says Ludington.
For more information about the event and the virtual sessions, view or download a flyer or brochure. To register for the event, visit nvdcc.com. For those needing technical assistance with the virtual platform, event organizers have teamed up with Volunteer Solutions to provide one-on-one technical support to help navigate the Zoom environment.
For media inquiries or questions, contact Debbie Ludington at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.746.5694.