Elder Care Workshop At CSCC Is Open To The Public

Monday, November 1, 2021
As a part of the mission to serve the local community, Cleveland State Community College is providing a workshop on Elder Care open to the public on Nov. 6 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Humanities Building on campus. In addition to several of its own faculty, the college has invited local eldercare professionals, such as nurses, social workers, care center coordinators and a lawyer to provide guidance and advice on a variety of themes, with plenty of time for attendees to ask questions following the presentations.
Topics will include the basics of planning for financial challenges, preventing elder abuse, avoiding scams, caring for parents with dementia, helpful tools for caregivers and a round table discussion on various care options. 

“Our goal is to provide as many resources as possible to help members of our community better understand how to assist elders, provide protective measures for elders, share helpful caregiver support tips and prepare ourselves for the next life stage as we age,” stated Melodee Alexander, assistant professor of psychology at CSCC.

Ms. Alexander continued, “I first began attending Elder Care educational programs because my heart has always been drawn to the stages of life from the midpoint onward. When we were young, we couldn't wait to be older. When we became adults, we looked forward to the next stage of life. When we realized we were middle-aged, we chose to stop looking ahead and planning because our attention was drawn toward being part of the lives around us. Then, we began to realize that we age, whether we planned or not, we age. This is not a bad thing, but we do need to prepare in every way: psychologically, emotionally, physically, and financially. Let's embrace this later stage with joy and preparedness. If we learn now, we can better prepare younger generations for successful aging.”

Organizers said, "Middle-age is an ideal time to prepare for elder care. If you are beyond "middle-age," there's no better time than today to prepare for the future. This workshop is also for those who  have a passion for helping elders."

Below is a brief outline of the presenters and their topics for Saturday's event:

8:30 a.m. - Doors open for on-site registration

9 a.m. - Keynote: 
“Elder Planning ABCs” by Dana Perry, chair of the Elder Law and Special Needs Planning groups at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. A Certified Elder Law Attorney with more than 30 years of experience, she advises individuals and families on all of their options for multi-generational estate and tax planning, long-term care and end of life planning, benefits including Medicaid and Medicare, various trusts, and beyond.

10:20 a.m. - Sessions:

“Elder Abuse and Prevention” by Jana Pankey, MSSW, associate professor, Social Work Program coordinator, Social Science Department chair. 
This breakout session will discuss types of elder abuse (physical, sexual, psychological/emotional/verbal, neglect (self-neglect, passive and active), and financial exploitation.  How to recognize signs of abuse in later life will be discussed and ways we as caregivers and community members can be proactive in preventing abuse and neglect will also be addressed. 
“Caring for Mom and Dad: Understanding Dementia” by Julie Fulbright, English professor at Cleveland State Community College
In this session, the presenter will cover personal experiences caring for parents with Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Other topics will include the importance of attaining Powers of Attorney, communication challenges, physical challenges, family participation, sitters, Hospice services, and the difference between assisted living/nursing home memory care versus living at home.  

“Elder Scams & How to Avoid Them” by Marcus Easley, Criminal Justice instructor, and Criminal Justice Program director. Based on his 27-year career in law enforcement, Mr. Easley will provide valuable information on safety issues related to scams perpetrated against the elder population. Participants will learn detailed information about the reporting process, warning signs, and more. 
Noon - Lunch & Learn: 
Light Lunch and Round-Table Discussion with Elder Care Professionals

Nena Mitchell, DON Avail Senior Living Cleveland Tennessee
Nurse: Home health, assisted living, and memory care; Home health administrator; Assisted living and memory care director of nursing; Wellness director for independent senior living; Launched "Memory Fair"

Christin McWhorter, BS
Community Outreach manager with the Southeast Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability; Medicare counseling, health promotion programs and programming/development for senior centers.

Amy Boulware, LAP MSW
Eldercare and special needs care manager at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C.; Tennessee Licensed Advanced Practice social worker (LAP MSW). Serving elders, people with disabilities, and their families through advocacy and geriatric and special needs care coordination.

1 p.m. - Keynote: 
“Caregiver Tools:  Thriving in the Unexpected” by Terri Ruff, LMSW
Medical social worker with Hospice of Chattanooga, NHC Home Health, director of Social Services/Caregiver Support Group facilitator with Alexian Brothers Community Services PACE Program, professor/director of Field Education in the Social Work and Family Studies Department at Southern Adventist University and educational trainer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee and has taught as an adjunct professor at Cleveland State Community College and Tennessee Wesleyan University.  Current social worker for the Senior Care Behavioral Health Program/Geri-Psych Unit at Starr Regional Medical Center in Etowah, Tn.

In this session, each participant will be given practical tools for thriving in the caregiving role. Utilization of poetry, personal experiences and the importance of self-care will be emphasized.  This presentation will be informal, informative and fun.  Come prepared to experience a toolbox full of help for your caregiver journey.

CSCC Nursing students plan to attend and offer biometric and preventative services.

“On behalf of Cleveland State, we are very excited to offer what we think will be some very useful information for members of our community,” stated Dr. Ryan Thompson, dean of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences at CSCC.  “As my father-in-law's health continued to deteriorate earlier this year, watching my wife's family work together to meet his needs was inspiring. But it also gave me plenty to reflect on as I thought about what my parents and grandparents might need as well. I think this workshop will help provide me with a lot of answers to those questions.”

For more information or to RSVP for the event, go to https://mycs.cc/eldercareworkshop.

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