Home » Caregiver Connections

Caregiver Connections

Caregiver Connections: An Educational Webinar Series

We are proud to offer a new virtual program to address some of the challenges dementia family caregivers may face any day, but which may be amplified by staying at home during the pandemic. We are partnering with experts in the fields of caregiving and dementia from clinical social workers, to occupational therapists, renown published authors and more!

Can’t attend the live event? Don’t worry, all Caregiver Connections webinars are recorded and links to presentations will be available on our website, along with any mentioned handouts and information on upcoming events.

Hospice 101 with Duke HomeCare & Hospice

Monday, April 26th from 11AM – 12PM EST

April’s Caregiver Connections will focus on the important topic of hospice, what it is, how to start services, how it can be helpful, eligibility and more.

Speakers: Christie Smith and Katerina Leyzerovich, Social Workers with Duke HomeCare & Hospice

Hospice Care Versus Palliative Care: What's The Difference? - NurseBuffChristie Smith, LCSW, is the Clinical Social Work Lead at Duke HomeCare & Hospice. She has worked in a variety of settings ranging from inpatient hospital care and clinics to private practice settings. She has been a social worker for over 20 years focusing primarily on end-of life issues, grief and loss.

Katerina Leyzerovich, LCSW, is a Clinical Social Worker at Duke HomeCare & Hospice. She is originally from California, bringing with her experience in end-of-life, grief and loss primarily with dementia patients. She has been a social worker for 8 years.

Click on this link the day of the event or call-in by dialing 1-929-205-6099; Meeting ID: 851 9096 6454; Password: 3513

Click here to share the event flyer.

Paying for Long-Term Care

Speaker: Jonathan Williams, Elder Law Attorney, Clarity Legal Group  

March’s Caregiver Connections discussed issues that are important for dementia family caregivers worrying 

about paying for long-term care. 

Changes to Intimacy & Sexuality with Dementia

Speaker: Alyssa Szymanski Botte, MDiv, MA, LCMHC, NCC 

The shifts in intimacy and sexuality that frequently accompany dementia are not often discussed with friends, family members, support group peers, or even health care providers. Our February speaker will address the changes related to sexuality that couples may face when a partner is living with dementia.

Video Presentation

Powerpoint Presentation

Home Safety & Dementia

Speaker: Marie Dagger, Occupational Therapist

January’s Caregiver Connections reviewed home safety issues important to dementia family caregivers.

Marie Dagger is a community-based occupational therapist with the Aging Transitions team at the Orange County Department on Aging. She completed USC’s Certificate in Home Modification Program, and works with the older adults of Orange County to ensure safe and meaningful living in both home and community spaces.

Video Presentation

Powerpoint Presentation

Galberth Healthis a therapist-owned healthcare company that serves the geriatric population with an emphasis on those with cognitive impairments.

Certified Aging-in-Place Specialistshome modifications for aging-in-place. 

Communication & Dementia

Speaker: Cornelia Poer, MSW, LCSW, Social Worker at the Duke Geriatric & Evaluation Treatment Clinic

December’s Caregiver Connections reviews communication issues important to dementia family caregivers.

Communicating with a Person with Dementia: Tips & Resources

Cornelia Poer, MSW, LCSW is the clinical social worker for the Duke Geriatric Evaluation and Treatment Clinic.

She is involved with teaching about geriatric assessment and community resources. Cornelia also works with other staff on design and implementation of patient and caregiver education programs.

Video Presentation

Caregiving During the Holidays

Speaker: Dr. Cheryl Greenberg, Ed. D

Already feeling overwhelmed with caregiving tasks, caregivers may view the holidays as more of a drain of energy than a joy.

Video Presentation

Event Powerpoint Presentation

Residential Long-Term Care During COVID-19

October’s Caregiver Connections webinar focused on the challenges of long-term care during the pandemic.

Lauren Zingraff, MSW is the Executive Director at Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care, a nonprofit organization committed to advancing the quality of life for individuals who receive long-term care in North Carolina.

Kim Johnson, MS is the Senior Long-Term Care Ombudsman at Piedmont Triad Area Agency on Aging where she works to ensure that long-term care facility residents and their families have a voice.

Video Presentation

Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care’s Powerpoint Presentation

Understanding the Role of the Ombudsman Powerpoint Presentation

Staying Connecting: The Activity Book

Medicaid: Assistance with Long Term Services and Supports

Speaker: Tracy Gregory, Wake County Long-Term Care Medicaid Supervisor

September’s Caregiver Connections webinar will focus on covering the complex and ever-evolving system that is Medicaid. Topics to be covered during this presentation include:

• General Medicaid Overview • Personal Care Services • Long Term Care • Special Assistance • Community Alternative Program/Disabled Adults • Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly • Special Assistance In Home

What Are My Medicaid Benefits? - A Guide To Medicaid Coverage | HCD

Tracy supports Wake County families by working to apply them to available county and federal Medicaid programs that can offer supplemental assistance to those with limited income and/or resources.


Event Powerpoint Presentation

Video Presentation

Find your Local DSS           

Access the Online Long Term Care (Skilled Nursing) Medicaid Application

Driving and Dementia

Presenter: Melissa Werz, OTD, OTDR/L

August’s Caregiver Connections discusses issues that are important to dementia family caregivers around dementia and driving. Topics to be covered during this presentation include:

• Clinical driving evaluations • Transportation options • How dementia impacts driving safety • Having the conversation • Warning signs of unsafe driving

Melissa L. Werz, OTD, OTR/LMelissa Werz has been an occupational therapist at Duke Health since 2013. She specializes in working with adults with neurological conditions and performing driving evaluations at both Duke Neurology at Morreene Road and Lennox Baker.

She choose an occupational therapy profession because it allows her to use her knowledge, creativity and a holistic approach to figure out which activities are most important to her patients. Her work allows her to assist patients in regaining skills and in providing the support necessary for safety and function.


Event Powerpoint Slides

Video Presentation

Alzheimer’s Association Driving Information and Contract

The Hartford: At the Crossroads

Legal Issues for Family Caregivers During a Pandemic

July’s Caregiver Connections discusses issues that are important for dementia family caregivers at any time. During the pandemic legal documents become more essential as caregivers are asking themselves, “What will happen to my loved one if I get sick?” This webinar will include an overview of health care planning, planning for incapacity, wills and trusts and powers of attorney.

Event Powerpoint Slides

Video Presentation 


Making the Difficult Decisions in Dementia Care Presented by Beth Spencer, MA, LMSW

This presentation will address the myriad of challenging decisions that occur across the trajectory of the disease. Topics to be covered will include driving, managing money, paying bills, handling medications, safety alone and moving.

Beth Spencer, a geriatric social worker with masters’ degrees in social work, educational gerontology and English, has worked in the field of aging for 50 years, specializing in caregiving and dementia care.

She is co-author with Laurie White of several books, including two family caregiver guides: Coping with Behavior Change in Dementia and Moving a Relative and Other Transitions in Dementia Care.

Their website is dementiacarebooks.com. Beth has worked as director of a dementia day program, as social worker in a cognitive disorders diagnostic clinic, in private practice, as a counselor and as a consultant to residential care programs. She has taught at three Michigan universities but is now mostly retired. 

Part 1, Monday, June 15th, 1PM

     Video Presentation

     Event PowerPoint Slides

     At the Crossroads Hartford Foundation

Part 2, Monday, June 22nd, 1PM

     Video Presentation

     Event PowerPoint Slides

     When Is My Relative With Dementia No Longer Safe Alone?

     What If I had Dementia? Planning for the Future

“What are we doing today…and how can we do it well?

The speakers will discuss common challenges in everyday living, particularly in the context of COVID-19, and explore strategies to help those routines and activities unfold a bit easier. Content will be geared towards those living with moderate stage dementia.

Speakers are from the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, UNC-Chapel Hill:                     Jennifer L. Womack, PhD OTR/L FAOTA & Ryan Lavalley, PhD, OTR/L, Post Doc

Jennifer "Jenny" Womack


Event PowerPoint Slides

Video Presentation



Managing Caregiver Stress Presented by Bryan Godfrey, MA, MSW, LCSW

Caring for a family member living with dementia may be difficult in the best of times. The added anxiety and responsibilities of Covid-19 likely feel exhausting and overwhelming. View the webinar to help regain some calm and learn about:

  • What is caregiver stress? How does stress affect the body?
  • What is self-care? What gets in the way? How can it work for me?
  • Practice a mindfulness exercise with Bryan.

Providers | Department of Medicine


Managing Caregiver Stress PowerPoint Presentation

Managing Caregiver Stress Video Presentation




Have questions? Feel free to contact us at 919-660-7510