Celebrating Caregivers Conference Wednesday in Yoakum

Sonny Long

May 8, 2010 at 12:08 a.m.

YOAKUM - Caregivers, those who take care of children or the elderly including their own parents, are invited to attend the Celebrating Caregivers Conference on Wednesday at the Yoakum Community Center.

"There is overwhelming stress in the caregiver community," said Pauline Rivera of Accolade Home Care, one of the sponsors of the conference. "This conference is designed to give them a break for at least one day."

Shirley Sommer, director of area development for Accolade Hospice, another event sponsor, agreed.

"We thought of this caregiver conference as a way to give current caregivers a break," Sommer said. "The day will include some humor, a lot of information and lunch."

Information booths will be available on such topics as pharmacy, long-term care insurance, advance directive, diet and more, according to a news release from the Accolade Hospice Foundation, lead sponsor of the event.

Sommer stressed that the conference is for past, present and future caregivers.

"For past caregivers, it is a reward for a job well done and an opportunity for them to connect and mentor current caregivers," Sommer said. "For future caregivers, it is a good start and information for when their time comes. This is for both professional and nonprofessional caregivers."

The program features guest speaker Jim Comer, a nationally known speaker and speech writer.

Comer worked for 25 years writing speeches for Fortune 500 companies such as Avon and Rockwell International. His articles have appeared in Reader's Digest and on the opinion pages of the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.

His latest book, "When Roles Reverse: A Guide to Parenting Your Parents" was a finalist for the Violet Crown Award as the best non-fiction book of 2007 by the Writers League of Texas.

Comer's appearance is made possible in part by a grant from the Yoakum Economic Development Corporation.

Other event sponsors include Stevens Healthcare and Rehabilitation, Yoakum Community Hospital and Yoakum Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

The event is free, but attendees are asked to register in advance.

Nurses and social workers can also receive an hour of continuing education credit for attending a 3 p.m session with Comer on Helping Others Parent Their Parents - a Healthcare Perspective.

Sommer said the caregiver population is a growing.



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