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Striking a Balance

The Striking a Balance Caregiver Conference brings together local resources and national speakers to aid and educate family caregivers about their own situations and experiences. Striking a Balance is for nonprofessional caregivers, who are invited to share their own experiences with their peers during this day of learning from adult caregiving leaders.

17th Annual Striking a Balance Caregiver Conference

Times & Location

8:30 a.m.- 2 p.m., Aug. 25, 2018
8 a.m. onsite registration
Doubletree by Hilton Austin
6505 North Interstate Highway 35
Austin, Texas 78752

> Improve your caregiving experience; attend Striking a Balance.
> Get free repiste care during the event.

Keynote Speaker - Dr. Barry J. Jacobs

Finding Gratitude and Positive Meaning in Family Caregiving

Family caregiving brings strains and gains. The challenge for everyone is to minimize the strains and maximize the gains in order to make caring for a loved one a positive, enriching experience. Dr. Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D. will share stories and strategies for finding caregiving's positive rewards, including personal and spiritual growth, an enhanced sense of purpose, and the gratification of knowing you are making a vital difference in the life of your family.

As a clinical psychologist and family therapist, Jacobs is one of the country’s leading thinkers, educators, and writers on family caregiving. As a clinical psychologist and family therapist, he specializes in counseling medical patients and their loved ones on how to cope with serious and chronic medical illnesses.

As an educator, Jacobs is the director of behavioral sciences for the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in Springfield, Penn. and an adjunct faculty member at Temple University School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the Institute for Clinical Psychology of Widener University. Jacobs is the national spokesperson on family caregiving for the American Heart Association and a board member of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association.

Jacobs, who is also a former journalist, writes an advice column for Take Care!, the National Family Caregivers Association newsletter. He is also the editor for the APA journal Families, Systems, & Health’s, In Sickness & Health column.

His first book, The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers: Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent, shares the knowledge Jacobs gained from personal experiences as a child of family caregivers and in his career. The book helps make sense of the turmoil in caregiving and teaches ways to cope with competing loyalties, role reversals, and the vicissitudes of illness.

The keynote discussion will take place at noon over lunch.

Breakout Sessions

9 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 1:15 p.m.
Working Family Caregivers Can Find the Right Balance Sleep Changes through Aging, Behavioral Approaches to Improve Sleep Male Caregivers, Working Caregivers, and the Rewards of Caregiving
Real Men are Family Caregivers, Too Nutrition and Aging, Challenges and Solutions Sleep Changes and Effective Behavioral Approaches

I'm a Caregiver, Now What?

Coming Soon Nutrition and Quality of Life

Working Family Caregivers Can Find the Right Balance
Julia L. Mayer, Psy.D.
Working caregivers rarely relax. While at work, they are worried about their loved ones at home. While at home, they feel guilty about their uncompleted work assignments. It is little wonder that 70 percent of working caregivers eventually have to cut back on or quit work altogether. Yet there are strategies for better balancing work and caregiving and finding joy in both. Mayer will offer ideas for sustaining a positive outlook, receiving validation and caring for yourself.

Real Men Are Family Caregivers, Too
Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D.
Our stereotypical image of the family caregiver is the dutiful and devoted daughter. Yet nearly 40 percent of American family caregivers today are men caring for aging parents or disabled spouses. More men are performing medical and nursing tasks with loved ones, as well as feeding, dressing and toileting. Many of them are holding down full-time jobs at the same time. They often feel stressed but keep their feelings to themselves.  Jacobs will talk about the special challenges and privileges of being a male caregiver and discuss the particular ways men can best gain support in order to fulfill their caregiving missions. 

I’m a Caregiver...Now What?
Lori Hill, CaregiverU Program Associate at AGE of Central Texas
People sometimes find themselves in the role of caregiver suddenly or unexpectedly. Usually, there is no orientation or “on-the-job training” for those who care for a family member, friend or neighbor, and they are left to figure things out as they go. Hill will discuss useful information about what to do early in the caregiving journey, the importance of self-care and different options for respite care.

Sleep Changes Through Aging and Behavioral Approaches to Improve Sleep
Dr. Patricia A. Carter, PhD, RN, CNS
Carter will lead a talk about how sleep changes for people with dementia and how sleep influences the caregiver's ability to continue in the role. She will address how the caregiver can manage the sleep-wake of the person with dementia and their own sleep.

Nutrition and Aging Challenges and Solutions
Audrey Bludau Poche, Licensed Dietitian
Meeting nutritional needs as individuals age presents a variety of challenges. Poche will present will about the nutrition challenges and provide some practical solutions for caregivers.

 

 

Last year's conference

Keynote Speaker - Jane Meier Hamilton

The 2017 conference featured keynote speaker Jane Meier Hamilton, the CEO and Founder of Partners on the Path, LLC, which provides caregiver support programs to businesses that employ caregivers and nonprofits that support caregivers. A nurse for 40 years and family caregiver for 20, Hamilton has created research-based, resilience-building resources to help caregivers remain productive while working, and compassionate while caring.

Hamilton is a skilled consultant, educator, author, group facilitator and public speaker who has consulted with more than 150 organizations and presented more than 3,000 workshops and keynote addresses, nationwide. Her book, "The Caregiver’s Guide to Self-Care: Help for Your Caregiving Journey", covers the topics of managing caregiver stress, preventing compassion fatigue and coping with transition.

> Learn more about Hamilton and her work at Partners on the Path.

2017 Breakout Sessions

Family caregivers also will have a chance to attend a variety of breakout sessions that focus on topics related to their caregiving needs. Check back for further details about each session, but the current sessions are: 

  • Synchronization of Medications
  • The Resilient Caregiver
  • Addressing Difficult Behaviors Associated with Dementia
  • Financing Long-Term Care
  • How to Discuss "The Driving Issue" with Your Older Family Members

> Register to attend this year's Striking a Balance.

Respite care

Free off-site respite care for older adults will be available by reservation only at AGE’s Austin Adult Day Health Center, 3710 Cedar St., Austin, Texas 78705. To request respite, call AGE of Central Texas at 512-600-9275 by Aug. 22, 2018.

The Hosts

Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area logo. 

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area and AGE of Central Texas are proud partners in presenting Striking a Balance 2017, the 16th annual conference for family caregivers. The two organizations have partnered for more than a decade to bring resources together that will help caregivers not only provide better care for their loved ones but themselves as well.

> Discover more about AGE of Central Texas.
> Learn more about the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area.

AGE of Central Texas obtains sponsorships for the Striking a Balance program.

> Read a list of event sponsors on AGE of Central Texas' event page.


Area Agency on Aging programs are partially funded by Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.