The return of the Benevilla “Caregiver Connect” event as a live, in-person experience Nov. 18 was a big success. This free educational event provided family caregivers with support, expert guidance, and valuable information to assist them on their caregiving journey. The event was held at the First Baptist Church of Sun City West, 17419 N. Conquistador Drive.
There were three educational presentations during this event. The first, by Kate Skvarce with the Alzheimer’s Association provided an overview of the science for Alzheimer's research overall and talk about the new drug trials for Lecanemab and other developments.
Dr. David Shprecher and Debra Witthar from Banner Sun Health Research Institute presented on updated research on dementia, Parkinson’s and movement disorders and the resources and support available to caregivers.
The third presentation by Kate Sawert with Geriatric Resources covered the important topic of “Overcoming Loneliness Especially During the Holidays.”
The Benevilla Preferred Partners, local senior services providers, hosted table displays to supply important caregiver information to the attendees. The partners shared information on senior living options, home care choices, insurance alternatives, elder law, hospice and more. Several Benevilla programs were also on hand with information about free C.A.R.E.S. Resource Department including free support groups, home services, and educational workshops as well as Life Enrichment Day Programs and new Benefitness Adaptive Gym.
Benevilla has been helping family caregivers since 1981 when they started as a group of neighbors providing crisis counseling help.
“The Benevilla founders knew family caregivers were bearing a heavy burden caring for their loved ones.” Joanne Thomson, Benevilla President and CEO said. “Caregivers are at increased risk for having multiple chronic diseases as they neglect their own personal health needs while providing care to others. 40.7% of caregivers report having two or more chronic diseases. That’s why getting family caregivers this type of support and information is crucial for our aging communities and their families.”
Benevilla expects to host two Caregiver Connect Events in 2023 in the Spring and in the Fall. Check the website calendar for more information, https://benevilla.org/events-workshops/.