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Caregiver Connections

Caregiver Connections: An Educational Webinar Series

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.

Click on any of the categories below to explore more!

The Genetics of Dementia and Genetic Testing

Air Date: September 2023

Speaker: Dr. Daniel Parker, MD, Duke Geriatrician

Dr. Parker presented on the genetics of dementia, why family history matters, types of genetic testing, and living with the results of genetic testing.

Dr. Parker is a geriatrician, memory disorders specialist, and physician at Duke. Dr. Parker diagnoses and manages cognitive impairment at the inter-professional Duke Memory Disorders Clinic. His research interests center on understanding how diet and exercise improve brain health and reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Video Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation

Understanding Dementia

Life in the Middle Stage: Exploring What to Expect in the Middle Stages of Memory and Thinking Changes

Speaker: Cornelia Poer, MSW, LCSWW

Air Date: June 2023

It can be difficult to identify when you’re in the middle stages of dementia caregiving. Tune into this presentation to get answers to important questions like:

  • How do you know when the person living with dementia has gotten to the middle stage?
  • What do you need to keep in mind as symptoms change and new symptoms develop?
  • What is the impact of these changes on the role of care partners?
  • What are some considerations for addressing today’s needs and planning for the future?

Cornelia, recently joined the Duke Dementia Family Support Program. Cornelia has a rich professional history including working with families and individuals living with changes in memory and thinking at the Duke Geriatric Evaluation and Treatment Clinic. For over thirty years, she has offered families education, support, and strategies for dealing with caregiver stress.

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PowerPoint Presentation

Current and Emerging Treatments for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Dementia

Speaker: Dr. Daniel Parker, geriatrician at Duke Health

Air Date: February 2023

This presentation addressed usage and limitations of current FDA-approved symptomatic treatments and newly approved anti-amyloid therapies (Lecanemab/ Leqembi) for MCI and dementia. Dr. Parker described the difference between “symptomatic” and “disease modifying” treatments.

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Beginning at the End: Portraits of Dementia 

Speaker: Joe Wallace, Journalist and Portrait Photographer

Air Date: October 2022 

The goal of this traveling photography exhibit is to destigmatize those living with dementia and to showcase the life and individuality that remains, regardless of the diagnosis. To use empathy as a means for connection and understanding. To tell a more complex and complete story of those living with the disease and its affect on their loved ones. 

Video Presentation

Bridging the Dementia Communication Gap: Tools & Strategies

Speaker: Maura English Silverman, MS, CCC/SLP

Air Date: September 2022

Dementia symptoms vary, but it is common to experience changes in language. Maybe you’ve seen your loved one struggle with recalling or spelling words or reading comprehension, and wondered how you can help them. This webinar focuses on learning how to improve language comprehension and expression and maintain dignity in communication. 

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PowerPoint Presentation

Nutrition and Dementia

Speaker: Dr. Serena Wong, DO, Duke Geriatric Provider

Air Date: March 2022

Dr. Serena Wong talks about nutrition and how it impacts brain health, dementia and caregiving. This educational webinar focuses on how our diets help of hurt our brains, the MIND diet, mealtime strategies for dementia family caregivers, keeping a loved one well hydrated, and nutrition in advanced dementia.

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PowerPoint Presentation

Dementia 101

Speaker: Dr. Daniel Parker, MD, Duke Geriatrician

Air Date: January 2022

This educational webinar focuses on the differences between mild cognitive impairment and dementia, the possible causes, how each diagnosis is made and what treatment options are available.

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PowerPoint Presentation

How is Dementia Diagnosed?

Speaker: Dr. Andrea Bozoki, MD at UNC Hospital

Air Date: September 2021

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.

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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: June 2020

     Video Presentation

     Event PowerPoint Slides

     At the Crossroads Hartford Foundation

Part 2: June 2020

     Video Presentation

     Event PowerPoint Slides

     When Is My Relative With Dementia No Longer Safe Alone?

     What If I had Dementia? Planning for the Future

Care Strategies

Family Dynamics and Negotiating Difficult Behavioral Symptoms

Speaker: Linda Mockler, LMSW, M.Ed 

Air Date: April 2023

This presentation described family roles, explored the impact of caregiving, identified how dementia can affect family dynamics and shared strategies for better communication and working as a team.. 

Linda is a licensed senior social worker at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA). Linda has worked in the field of aging for the past decade and is committed to all aspects of this work.

Video Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation 

Through the Caregiver Journey: Finding Purpose in the Pain

Speaker: Dr. Jenna Renfroe, PhD, ABPP with Tailored Brain Health 

Air Date: August 2022 

Dr. Jenna Renfroe offers insight on how to identify, process, accept and move forward through difficult emotions brought on by the caregiving journey. 

Dr. Jenna Renfroe is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist and founder and CEO of Tailored Brain Health. She has specialized training in providing support for caregiver stress, changes in memory, and stress and anxiety due to life changes. She received her doctoral training at the University of Florida in Clinical and Health Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Neuropsychology.

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PowerPoint Presentation 

Things to Consider When Your Loved One with Dementia is Hospitalized

Speaker: Dr. Shelley McDonald, DO, PhD at Duke Geriatrics

Air Date: June 2022

In this presentation, Dr. McDonald focusses on ways to stay safe during a hospitalization, how to maintain cognitive function and how to optimize the hospital experience for someone living with dementia. She also talks about delirium, what it is, how to identify it and how to reduce your risk.

Video Presentation

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Speaker: Liisa Ogburn, Owner of Aging Advisors of NC

Air Date:  April 2022

Liisa Ogburn discusses Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is taught in over 770 hospitals and health centers around the country because physicians know there is some suffering for which they have no solution. Chronic pain, caregiver stress, anxiety, depression–the research shows that with daily practice in a particular way, while one can’t change the circumstances of their lives, they can change the way they relate to them. In this program, Liisa defines what mindfulness is, provide a quick overview of research related to caregiver stress (and aging), lead you in a focused attention meditation, and share resources to help you develop a mindfulness practice.

Liisa Ogburn, an elder consultant with her own firm (https://agingadvisorsnc.com/), has completed Level 1 of the MBSR Teacher Training at Brown University.

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PowerPoint Presentation

Aging Well at White Memorial Presbyterian Church

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

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

Air Date: December 2021

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 details several tools and strategies that can be used in the home to help manage stress experienced by a loved one with dementia.

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PowerPoint Presentation

Recommended Handout with the Necessary Links

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

Speaker: Liisa Ogburn, Owner of Aging Advisors of NC

Air Date: November 2021

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.

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PowerPoint Presentation

Communication & Dementia

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

Air Date: December 2020

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

Video Presentation

Driving and Dementia

Speaker: Melissa Werz, OTD, OTDR/L

Air Date: August 2020

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

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

Air Date: June 2020

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

Event PowerPoint Slides

Video Presentation


Medicaid’s Five-Year Look-Back Rule

Speaker: Jonathan Williams from Clarity Legal

Air Date: October 2021

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.

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PowerPoint Presentation

Medicaid: Assistance with Long Term Services and Supports

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

Air Date: September 2020

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

Long-Term Care Options

Understanding Long Term Services & Supports in the Healthcare Continuum

Speaker: Lisa Hoskins, MSW, LCSW

Air Date: May 2023 

This presentation provides a comprehensive understanding of what long-term care options are available for older adults. This includes both in-home and facility-based services and how services are funded. Information may be particularly helpful as one is starting to plan for their later years and when navigating resources in the aging network.

Lisa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) is the caregiver support program manager at the Center for Volunteer Caregiving in Cary. Her career focus has been working in healthcare and aging settings serving those in hospice care and the ALS community. She works with both patients and family caregivers and is a strong advocate for self-care, respite services, and living the best life one can.

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PowerPoint Presentation

Additional Resources

NC Adult Care Home List (Assisted Living Facilities)        NC Family Care Home List      NC Adult Day Program List 

NC Skilled Nursing Community List

Asking the Experts: Family Caregiver Panel Shares Their Experience with Long-Term Care Communities

Air Date: March 2023

The decision for a family member to move to a long-term care community (assisted living, memory care, or skilled nursing) is not easy. Join as three family members (husband, daughter, and sister) share their experiences and answer questions on how they navigate having a family member in a residential care community.

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PowerPoint Presentation

Facility Inspections, Ratings, Penalties and Licensure Actions

Long-Term Care Insurance

Speaker: Bill Comfort, Owner of Comfort Long-Term Care

Air Date: December 2022

This presentation covers a brief overview of long-term care insurance, the key steps to filing a claim, how to navigate a denial, and when to start using coverage and why it’s best not to wait. Tune in to learn how to plan ahead!

Leaving Home Vs. Staying Home: Understanding Costs and Considerations

Speaker: Liisa Ogburn, Owner of Aging Advisors NC 

Air Date: July 2021

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

Video Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation

Paying for Long-Term Care

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

Air Date: March 2021

March’s Caregiver Connections discussed issues that are important for dementia family caregivers worrying about paying for long-term care. 

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

Air Date: October 2020

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


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

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

Air Date: June 2021

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.

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PowerPoint Presentation

Legal Matters

Helping a Loved One with Declining Capacity: A discussion with attorney Jonathan Williams

Air Date: January 2023

Jonathan Williams from Clarity Legal discusses topics about when a loved one needs your help but resists it, when a loved one is making poor decisions that are harming their health or financial well-being, what legal tools are available and when they can be used, and which tools are available outside of legals documents and courts.

Legal Tools for the Family Caregiver

Speaker: Dori Dixon, Elder Law Attorney at Southpoint Estate Planning

Air Date: November 2022

This presentation will cover planning for incapacity and explain the need and benefit of various legal documents, such as health care powers of attorney and living wills, financial powers of attorney, and caregiver agreements. The speaker will also review Medicaid eligibility, including spousal protections. 

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Powerpoint Presentation

Guardianship in Dementia: Perspective from a Professional Guardianship Provider

Speaker: Meike Wiest, MSW, CMC at Arosa

Air Date: May 2021

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.

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PowerPoint Presentation

Legal Issues for Family Caregivers During a Pandemic

Air Date: July 2020

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 

Life At Home

Graying with Grace

Speaker: Scott Grant, Certified Senior Advisor and Founder of Graying with Grace

Air date: May 2022

Have you considered how technology might assist you in your role as caregiver? This webinar will introduce care partners to a variety of products to make caregiving easier. Products discussed will include those that can help with medication management, fall detection, wandering, and more.

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PowerPoint Presentation

Dementia Caregiver Resources from Graying with Grace

Changes to Intimacy & Sexuality with Dementia

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

Air Date: February 2021

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.

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Powerpoint Presentation

Home Safety & Dementia

Speaker: Marie Dagger, Occupational Therapist

Air Date: January 2021

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

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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. 

Caregiving During the Holidays

Speaker: Dr. Cheryl Greenberg, Ed. D

Air Date: November 2020

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

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

Air Date: May 2020

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.

Managing Caregiver Stress PowerPoint Presentation

Managing Caregiver Stress Video Presentation

End of Life

The Death and Dying Process of Persons Living with Dementia

Air Date: August 2023

Speaker: Jennifer Gentry, DNP, ANP-BC, GNP, ACHPN, FPCN

This presentation aimed to prepare family caregivers for what they might expect as their loved one with dementia is in end-stage dementia. No journey is the same, but this presentation will highlight some of the common experiences.

Dr. Gentry is a nurse practitioner with the Duke University Palliative Care Consult Service. She is passionate about caring for patients with serious illnesses and their families. Prior to her current role, she provided medical care for frail, older adults in acute, community and skilled nursing facility settings.

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PowerPoint Presentation

Hospice 101 with Duke HomeCare & Hospice

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

Air Date: April 2021

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.

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Powerpoint Presentation


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