North Shore-LIJ plans free conference for caregivers

By Howard Koplowitz

The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System is gearing up for a free caregivers’ conference it is scheduled to hold in Douglaston Tuesday to help new caregivers deal with issues that may come up while caring for a loved one.

The event, which will feature a variety of panel discussions and workshops designed to meet the needs of caregivers and health-care professionals, is scheduled to go on between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Immaculate Conception Center at 72-00 Douglaston Pkwy. in Douglaston.

A free lunch is included during the event.

“This caregivers’ conference will be of great help and comfort to anyone who finds himself in the position of taking care of a loved one,” said North Shore-LIJ spokeswoman Michelle Pinto. “Those of us in the baby-boomer generation, I think, are particularly affected by this.”

Rosemary Ennis, director of public health education at North Shore-LIJ, said, “We’ve put together a compelling group of professionals whose goal for the day is to educate our audience — family caregivers, patient representatives, social workers, nurses, health-care workers — and provide practical strategies and solutions to address the challenges of caring for an ailing spouse, parent, sibling or adult child.”

Topics of the panel discussion include “Keeping Your Loved One Safe,” “The Many Faces of Caregiving” and “Coping with Challenging Behaviors.”

The keynote speaker of the event is Francine Russo, author of the best-selling book “They’re Your Parents, Too!”

This is the first year North Shore-LIJ is holding the conference and Pinto said the leadership of the health system believed the topic was important because the population of the surrounding community is aging.

“I watched as my mother struggled to care to my late father when he was diagnosed with dementia,” Pinto said. “It was only a few years later that I became the caregiver for my mother. It would have been nice to have had the resources of this type of conference to help our family navigate through these delicate times.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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