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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.


Innovative Tools and Strategies to Reduce Stress Experienced by People Living with Dementia

Tuesday, December 14 at 1PM EST

Speaker: Melissa Harris, PhD, RN, Duke School of Nursing

People living with dementia often experience and respond to stress differently than people without dementia. Unmanaged stress can result in challenging symptoms like agitation, anxiety, and poor sleep for the person diagnosed, which can also impact the well-being of the caregiver and their ability to provide care. This presentation will detail several tools and strategies that can be used in the home to help manage stress experienced by a loved one with dementia, including:

  • Light therapy
  • Weighted blankets
  • Animatronic pets

Duke Clinical & Translational Science Institute

Melissa Harris is a registered nurse and research fellow at Duke University. Her research focuses on stress experienced by people living with dementia and their families, more specifically she is interested in developing and testing innovative tools to help reduce stress and promote well-being for families living with dementia.


Click on this link, the day of the event to access Zoom meeting or dial in by calling 1-646-876-9923, Meeting ID: 965 7747 1018, Password: 3513

Want to share the event flyer? Click here.

Stories from the Trenches: Practical Advice for Families Caring for Aging Loved Ones

Speaker: Liisa Ogburn, Owner of Aging Advisors of NC

A well respected elder consultant with years of experience in the field shares her knowledge around successful caregiving strategies. Hear about options for care, local resources and navigating challenging caregiving decisions.

Video Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation

Medicaid’s Five-Year Look-Back Rule

Speaker: Jonathan Williams from Clarity Legal

Are you planning on applying a loved one for nursing home Medicaid? Then you won’t want to miss this month’s Caregiver Connections as local attorney, Jonathan Williams, explains the elusive Five-Year Look-Back period, what it is, when it starts, how to avoid penalties and how to plan for it.

Video Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation

How is Dementia Diagnosed?

Speaker: Dr. Andrea Bozoki, MD at UNC Hospital

As families begin to notice changes in memory and thinking in a loved one, they may wonder about dementia and how they can have their family member assessed. This important presentation explores the steps by which a diagnosis is made.

Video Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation

Leaving Home Vs. Staying Home: Understanding Costs and Considerations

Speaker: Liisa Ogburn, Owner of Aging Advisors NC 

This presentation offers information on making the complex and difficult decision of making a move during the journey of dementia.

Video Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation

Ambiguous Loss: Unique Experiences of Loss and Grief while Caring for those with Dementia 

Speaker: Margaret Albert, LCMHC, NCC, Bereavement Counselor with Duke Hospice Bereavement Services

This program explores the complicated nature of loss and grief for care partners and caregivers of those who have dementia. By developing an understanding of ambiguous loss and its influence on relationships and coping, attendees will be able to identify strategies they may use to live with the uncertainty of dementia and find meaning in their experience of loss.

Video Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation

Guardianship in Dementia: Perspective from a Professional Guardianship Provider

Speaker: Meike Wiest, MSW, CMC at Arosa

May’s Caregiver Connections focussed on the important topic of guardianship. While not the preferred option for families, it’s important to know what it is, how to prepare and what your options are.

Video Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation

Hospice 101 with Duke HomeCare & Hospice

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

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.

Video Presentation

Powerpoint Presentation

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.

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.

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

Speakers: Lauren Zingraff, MSW, Executive Director at Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care; Kim Johnson, MS, Senior Long-Term Care Ombudsman at Piedmont Triad Area Agency on Aging

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

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.

Event Powerpoint Presentation

Video Presentation

Find your Local DSS           

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

Driving and Dementia

Speaker: Melissa Werz, OTD, OTDR/L

August’s Caregiver Connections discusses issues that are important to dementia family caregivers around dementia and driving.

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