Caregivers conference to be held Saturday

March 30, 2003

"Caring for Those Who Care: A Conference for Caregivers" will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the McFaul Activities Center, 525 W. MacPhail Road in Bel Air.

The purpose of the sixth annual free conference is to provide information, resources and encouragement to this growing segment of the community, according to the Geriatric Assistance and Information Network. Serving as the conference sponsor, GAIN is a coalition of 114 organizations, businesses and agencies serving Harford County's senior population.

More than a quarter of Harford County's adults have provided care for a chronically ill, disabled or elderly family member or friend during the past year, according to event organizers. Men make up 44 percent of the caregivers.

These statistics point to other issues. With nearly two-thirds of caregivers working outside the home, a recent study calculated, American businesses lose between $11 billion and $29 billion each year to employees' need to care for loved ones 50 and older.

The conference's keynote speaker will be Channel 2/ABC News morning anchor Jamie Costello, whose topic will be "Share the Caring."

The scheduled workshops will be "You Are Not Alone," "A Guided Discussion Caregiver to Caregiver," "Legal Tools for Caregivers: Planning for Financial & Medical Needs," "I Can't Take it Anymore: How to Cope with Difficult Behaviors," "What's Wrong with Me? Why do I Feel This Way?" "The Emotional Roller Coaster of Care Giving" and "What Do We Do Now -- Care Options for Caregivers."

Exhibitors representing services for caregivers will provide resources, answer questions and distribute literature. Lunch will be provided.

The conference is free to the public. To register or for information, call the Harford County Office on Aging's Outreach Section at 410-638-3025.

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