At different points in the human life, we may find ourselves caring for others or being the recipient of care.
In support of these unsung heroes, the Maui County Office on Aging sponsors an annual Family Caregivers Conference designed to edify and educate those among us who devote their time and energy to caring for family members and friends.
"The tradition of the Family Caregivers Conference is to honor caregivers and assist them by providing a wealth of information via exhibits and presentations by specialists in aging issues," said Norma Circle, conference coordinator.
Lana and Jose Queddeng of Kula.
Photo: Robin Pilus
It is widely understood that family caregivers are owed a debt of gratitude for their dedication to providing care for their loved ones. According to AARP, in 2009, over 61 million people provided care at some time during the year. The estimated economic value of their unpaid contributions was approximately $450 billion.
Now in its 11th year, the conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
The keynote address will feature Dr. Lisa Rosenberg, a board-certified geriatrician, who will discuss how to reduce risks for falls among older adults.
Every year in Hawai'i, an average of 108 kupuna die, 1,840 are hospitalized and 5,715 are treated in emergency departments due to falls, resulting in almost $118 million in hospital and physician charges.
The conference will also feature special vignettes performed by the O'ahu Senior Medical Patrol Drama Club to illustrate Medicare and Medicaid fraud scenarios.
Workshops on topical issues will include:
"Who gets Tutu's Handmade Quilt?" with Heather Greenwood, MS, Intergenerational Program, University of Hawai'i;
"Alzheimer's - Dementia or Normal Aging" with Elaine Slavinsky, MPH, MEd, RN;
"Depression, Substance Use and the Older Adult" with Sue Stone LMHC, CSAC, Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Coordinator, Adult Mental Health Center;
"Strength, Balance and Mobility Tips for Caregivers," with Lisa Gregoire, DPT and Terri Driesel, PT, Premiere Physical Therapy;
"Legal Issues for Caregivers," with Kristina Toshikiyo, JD, Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i;
"Everything You Wanted to Know about Death and Funeral Planning (But were Afraid to Ask)" with Burt Freeland, VP, Ballard Family Mortuaries.
The conference registration fee of $15 for seniors, caregivers and students and $25 for professionals includes exhibits, workshops, door prizes, continental breakfast, lunch, materials and activities. Scholarships are available.