Barton to host Caregivers Education Conference

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The 16th annual Caregiver Education Conference will be held Wednesday, March 6 in the Hamlin Student Center on the campus of Barton College. The conference will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 1 p.m.

The Gerontology Program at Barton College, Dementia Alliance of North Carolina (formerly Alzheimer’s North Carolina) and the Upper Coastal Plain Area Agency on Aging Family Caregiver Support Program will again partner to present the conference.

This year’s conference will feature three keynote sessions.

Deborah Burcombe, program director at the Wake Forest University Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention, will discuss “Aging and Memory: What is Normal and What is Not.”

Lisa Levine, director of education at Dementia Alliance, will address “Connecting Through Dementia: Communication is Key to More Successful Care Tasks.”

Amanda Maynard, adjunct instructor and an alumna of the gerontology program at Barton, will lead a panel of professionals and family caregivers in “Before the Chaos: Questions Everyone Should Ask.”

The day will begin with check-in and registration at 8 a.m., followed by the opening welcome at 9 a.m. After each of the three sessions, participants will have an opportunity to meet with exhibitors for additional information and to ask follow-up questions. Refreshments will be served throughout the conference.

The conference’s goal is to explore various techniques and strategies caregivers can use to care for themselves and for individuals with dementia, to identify resources to assist in developing routines and programs to meet their needs and to explore recent and effective assessment, treatment and care options.


“We are most pleased to continue our partnership with Dementia Alliance and the Area Agency on Aging; we feel this is a perfect partnership,” said Steven Fulks, director of the gerontology program at Barton. “The Area Agency on Aging represents and coordinates the vast array of programs and services available to caregivers. Dementia Alliance continues to be an incredible resource for understanding and addressing the challenges of working with individual with dementia of any type.

“They are able to secure significant speakers through their extensive professional network,” Fulks said. “Our academic program at Barton College takes an applied approach in preparing our students for work in the broader aging network. To bring these entities together and offer an educational conference for caregivers complements the goal of our program.

“Hosting a wide variety of programs and services at the same conference enables caregivers to learn about support options, and then to meet and discuss their particular needs immediately after each educational session,” he added. “And, holding the conference during the college’s spring break permits expansive use of the building and allows for easily accessible parking.”

The Barton conference, and the series of caregiver conferences conducted across North Carolina, owe their origin to the late Joseph D. Russell, M.D. This year’s conference is dedicated to Sarah Poole Russell, Russell’s wife, who died in December.

The Caregiver Education Conference at Barton is supported through an endowment that Joseph Russell established in memory of his mother, Lillian Hester McDaniel Russell, who served as a caregiver for her husband, Norman, following his stroke and, later, declining health. This endowment also honors family caregivers across the state.

“Were it not for the foresight and support of Dr. Joe Russell, this conference — now in its 16th year, would never have been possible,” Fulks said. “We are pleased that members of his family will continue to have direct involvement through participation in our panel session. We are most pleased to dedicate this conference to Sarah Russell.”


Registration for family caregivers, clergy, volunteers and students is $10 per person. Registration for professional caregivers will be $40 per person and will include three continuing education units. Visit https://www2.ncdhhs.gov/dhsr/acls/ceu.html for more information regarding CEUs and learning objectives.

Respite reimbursement is available with prior approval. A limited number of scholarships to cover registration, for family caregivers only, are also available.

Same-day registration will be on a space-available basis. Early registration is encouraged to ensure a seat. To submit your registration or to request additional information about the conference, respite reimbursement or scholarships for family caregivers, contact Lisa Levine at Dementia Alliance of North Carolina, 9131 Anson Way, Suite 206, Raleigh, NC 27615, call 919-832-3732 or email llevine@dementianc.org.