It’s hard to argue with organizers who call Senior Care Conference 2020 the area’s “number one educational event on senior care.” Presented by SeniorSource in conjunction with Fawcett Memorial Hospital and Chelsea Place Senior Care, the free conference is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 14, at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, 75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda.

The event features an impressive line-up of expert speakers covering many important issues facing seniors and caregivers.

Keynote speaker Linn Possell is a mentor and consultant with Positive Approach to Care, a company that provides dementia care training, services and products around the world. She is a national Certified Dementia Practitioner trainer and a speaker for Teepa Snow, founder of PAC and one of the world’s leading educators on dementia and the care that accompanies it.

Possell will address the PAC system of caregiver education that explains the brain’s physical changes and why performing tasks, thinking, reasoning and processing becomes difficult for people with dementia.

Other topics being addressed by guest experts include:

• Understanding Alzheimer’s disease — Amy Schenk, RN, BSN, MS ED, Program Manager for the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

• Urinary tract infection effects on the brain — Dr. Odel Ruano of the Millennium Physician Group.

• Neurology — Amy Mellor, M.D., Board-Certified General Neurologist.

• Elder law and estate planning — Attorney Mary Byrski of Byrski Estate & Elder Law.

• Independent Living — Sue Perkins of River Commons.

• Adult day care — Debbie Spear of Chelsea Place Adult Day Care.

• Assisted living — Noelle LaPonte of Lexington Manor.

• Skilled nursing and rehabilitation — Kristin Cardona of the Life Care Center of Punta Gorda.

• Inpatient Rehabilitation — Janice Knott and Jonathan Hankley of Encompass Health.

• Professional guardianship —Robin Vazquez of Estate & Guardianship Management Services, Inc.

• Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) — Brian Hess, MBA of South Port Square.

• Private Duty Home Care — Jamie Brown of Chelsea Place Home Care.

• Retirement planning and long-term care insurance — Jeff Tamas and Corey Cyr of Ideal Retirement Solutions.

• Reverse Mortgages — Toby Lynn of The Mortgage Firm.

• Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) — Lisa Kopp of Hope PACE.

• Hospice care — Jennifer Neuman of Tidewell Hospice.

• Veterans’ benefits — Ivey Winkler, veteran services officer for the Charlotte County Commission.

• Statewide Medicaid Managed Care & Medicare Co-pay Assistance — Camilita Aldridge, Sarah Richard of Area Agency on Aging.

• A Five-Step Guide to Senior Care — Kris Chana and Amie Conti, Chelsea Place Senior Care.

• Cremation services preplanning — Rachelle Pastorfield, National Cremation Society.

• Original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage — Dave Marziale, The Insurance Guys.

• Parkinson’s disease — Chelsea Dooley of the Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s.

Each of these topics has numerous subtexts that will be explored.

“This conference is designed for anyone caring for themselves or their aging parents, spouse or family,” said Chana. “It will provide the education and support they need to make informed decisions for themselves and their loved ones.”

Preplanning and taking a proactive approach can help avert what Chana called “crisis care.”

“The overwhelming majority of people we help are already in a crisis when we meet with them,” he said. “This conference will show people how to become proactive, plan early and avoid a family caregiving crisis.”

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