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"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
- Proverbs 3:5-6
September 2021
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Duet’s Family Caregiver Virtual Symposium a Success; Now Available Online for Family Caregivers and Professionals
By Michelle Talsma Everson - Tuesday Mar 09, 2021
Recently, Duet: Partners In Health & Aging welcomed more than 300 family caregivers and professionals from across the globe to its Family Caregiver Virtual Symposium. At the virtual event, Dr. Pauline Boss and Dr. Arthur Kleinman, M.D., shared their professional expertise as academicians, researchers, clinical practitioners, and authors, as well as their personal experiences as caregivers to their beloved spouses. KJZZ reporter, Kathy Ritchie, moderated the event, and AARP Phoenix was the Gold Sponsor. For those who were unable to attend, or wish to experience the inspirational program again, the symposium is available to view anytime at https://youtu.be/vPIVvp06jpA.

“A family caregiver is defined as anyone who provides unpaid care for a loved one,” explains Ann Wheat, executive director of Duet. “An event like the Family Caregiver Virtual Symposium is so impactful because it helps family caregivers to know that they are not alone and helps to provide them with resources, inspiration, and hope.”

In a post-event survey of symposium attendees, 90 percent of respondents agreed that, by attending the event, they felt better able to care for their loved ones and themselves. An overwhelming 99 percent of attendees also preferred the online format, which allowed them to log in and connect from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Impactful feedback from event attendees:

“His [Dr. Kleinman’s] personal insight, honesty, and wealth of professional experience and emphasis on getting personal help for caregiving was valuable.”

“Dr. Boss is outstanding. Her insights, sensitivity, and sharing of personal experiences is so helpful.”

“The reality of her role as a caregiver was expressed, and her vulnerability was so real and comforting to me. Thank you Dr. Boss.”

Some of the best advice that attendees took away from the event:

“Negative thoughts are normal and do not define you as ‘bad’ for occurring. Embrace change.”

“Grief and guilt are not linear.”

“The concept of ambiguous loss; ‘moving forward’ rather than ‘moving on.’”

For those who would like continuing support on their caregiving journey, Duet offers ongoing virtual support groups, personalized guidance, and a Finding Meaning and Hope video discussion series for family members caring for someone with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Learn more at https://duetaz.org/family-caregiver.