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Wellness for Caregivers Workshop Conference

Posted: March 17, 2013 - 12:01am

Elders, their family members and friends are invited to a free workshop on Wednesday, March 20, which will cover services available to older Alaskans and feature experts in the field of elder care.

The “Wellness for Caregivers” Workshop Conference will take place at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall (previously known as the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall) in Juneau. The event is being organized by Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and the members of its Elders Caregivers Council.

The target audience is unpaid tribal caregivers; a caregiver is a family member, friend or neighbor who takes care of an elder spouse, mother, father, aunt or other extended family member. Participants will gain knowledge of where and how to access caregiver support services, self care, and legal rights from local and state agencies.

The Workshop Conference will start at 9 a.m., with an opening prayer by Percy and Ed Kunz, followed by the opening welcome by Marilyn Doyle, Elder Services Coordinator. Keynote speaker Judith Bendersky of Alaska’s Medicare Information Office will give an overview of Medicare in Alaska. In addition to explaining the various benefits, such as the Medicare Part D Drug Prescription Plan, she will answer participants’ questions, such as “what is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?”

Amanda Lofgren, Alaska’s Rural Long Term Care Coordinator, will then give a presentation called “Senior Services Across a Continuum of Care.”

Around the room, there will be information tables featuring local senior services provider agencies and agency representatives will be available to answer participant’s questions throughout the day. Agencies represented may include AARP, Adult Protective Services, Alaska Legal Services, Alaska Red Cross, Alzheimer’s Resource Agency of Alaska, Bartlett Nutrition, City and Borough of Juneau, Cornerstone Home Health, Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, Pioneers Home, SAIL, Sealaska Corporation, SEARHC, Southeast Senior Services, The Parkinson’s Institute, Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Healthy snacks will be available for participants and door prizes will be given during breaks throughout the day. At noon, lunch will be provided during the Native Issues Forum where Reps. Pete Higgins and Bob Herron will be speaking. After lunch, Attorney Holly Handler of Alaska Legal Services will speak on legal issues affecting elders and their families. Handler will provide information on wills, powers of attorney and Miller trusts, and will be available throughout the day for private consultations. The event will end with a closing prayer by Carol Brady.

Marilyn Doyle, Elderly Services Coordinator for the Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, encourages family caregivers to pre-register as soon as possible so staff and volunteers can know how many information packets to prepare. Interested persons are encouraged to register and can get more information about the event by calling Marilyn Doyle at 463-7168. Participants may also register the day of the event, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Information packets and a free lunch will be provided to each person who registers.

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