The intention of Family Caregiving Essentials and Wellness is to educate, inform and inspire family caregivers with helpful information and resources, wherever they are in the caregiving journey.  Over 40 local agencies, non-profits and associations will be present to offer advice and assistance.
Presentations will give general information, with opportunities for caregivers to know where they can get more information for specific issues.

This year we are concentrating on taking care of your loved one at home, while taking care of you.

The doors open at 9 am with formal presentations starting at 9:30 am – 2 pm

There will be breaks in between so you can visit support services, health and wellness resources.

We look forward to assisting you!

Here is what you missed in last time…

Program Content
The Conversation Project and Longevity Planning
Every caregiver faces the challenge of asking parents or partners really difficult questions – What are end of life wishes? Is the paperwork in order for medical directives? Does it consider quality of life? Is a third party needed to intercede? What about the opinions of long-distance caregivers? Make those soul-searching questions manageable before a crisis hits.


What is the language of dementia?  Can we really say “it’s just dementia” or are symptoms pointing to a misdiagnosis? Are you speaking to medical health professionals using the right observations and insights?  Can you apply for a clinical trial?

There are many forms of dementia and various stages. And the resulting behaviors can vary from person to person. Learn the latest thinking on what works using tools from structure and schedule, to sensory techniques and stuffed animals. Learn strategies to ease the burdens of caregiving.

Caregivers will also learn about resources for support and education from the Alzheimer’s Association, WNY Alzheimer’s Partnership and others.

Caregivers and Finances
Caregivers in crisis can find themselves overwhelmed with paperwork. Learn how to organize and prepare for the long-term journey of caregiving to make the process easier and less stressful.

Support Services for at Home Care

If the trend or aim is to keep loved ones at home – how do family caregivers become instant health care professionals?  Will insurance pay for education as it relates to specific long-term illnesses?

Is your home ready for long-term patient safety?

Learn the ins and outs of safety for keeping loved ones at home.

How many throw rugs create Black Holes for people with Dementia?

Caregiver Self-Compassion
Caregiving is burdensome and stressful.  Can support groups, EFT (tapping) and mindfulness be an answer to stress management?

Mindfulness in the medical profession – for healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers
A doctor in the VA medical system will give examples of how mindfulness is practiced in healthcare settings and how it makes a difference in the lives of healthcare professional and patients. Added to the conversation is a mindfulness professional that will add perspectives on mindfulness in eldercare, and how it works to bring stress reduction to caregivers.

Speed Dating for Caregivers
Here’s your chance to ask those burning questions for the concerns and challenges you face today. Our panelists are joined by other local service groups and agencies to guide you to the resources that meet your particular needs.

Resources, resources and more!
Meet members of the community who are passionate about caregiving. The presentations and relaxed atmosphere provides a supportive environment that every caregiver needs.

Program Note – The event is based around presentations with breaks to visit resource tables.

Anne-Marie Huurre – Founder, Healing Caregivers

Laurie Menzies, Esq. Senior Partner, Pfalzgraf, Beinhauer & Menzier
Juli Chikarashi, Project Manager, Community Outreach Specialist – Supportive Care and Palliative Medicine, Erie County Medical Center
Leilani Joven Pelletier, Program Manager – University of Buffalo, Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease in Western NY
Dementia Education Specialist, Alzheimer’s Association of WNY
Chris Jemel, Executive Director, National Parkinson’s Foundation, WNY
Marcia Gliss, Support Group Facilitator, National Parkinson’s Foundation WNY
Amanda Bender, Erie County Senior Services
WNY Alzheimer’s Caregiver Partnership
NY Connects
Archana Mishra MD, MS, FCCP, FACCP – Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Longevity Planning

Laurie Menzies, Esq. Senior Partner, Pfalzgraf, Beinhauer & Menzier
Attorney Laurie Menzies guides seniors and their families through the aging process by coordinating their legal and financial concerns and addressing potential or existing care needs. Laurie is passionate about helping families create a plan for aging that helps preserve assets, while providing for the wishes and care needs of her clients.Drawing on her professional expertise as an elder law and estate planning attorney, as well as her personal experience as her parent’s sole caregiver well into their 90s, Laurie has recently published Embracing Elderhood, Planning for the Next Stage of Life.

Juli Chikarashi, Project Manager, Community Outreach Specialist – Supportive Care and Palliative Medicine, Erie County Medical Center
Juli’s passion for healthcare and the medical field stemmed from her time at the University of Illinois where she pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology/Pre-med. After receiving her Master’s degree from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Juli worked for nearly a decade as a genetics laboratory manager. Thereafter, she completed a Masters of Public Health degree from The University at Buffalo which enabled her to transition to her current position, funded by the Health Foundation of Western New York. Her focus is to deepen the impact of the ECMC Conversation Project, “Your Voice, Your Values” and expand the efforts of the ECMC Outreach Team to support community advance care planning efforts in Western New York.


Alzheimer’s Association of WNY

If you are a caregiver of any age, we can help! We assist caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. We help with care consultation and assessment, caregiver support, support groups, caregiver education, respite assistance, enrichment events, caregiver events and transportation.

Marcia Gliss, Support Group Facilitator
While living with PD can be challenging, there are many things you can do to maintain and improve your quality of life and live well with Parkinson’s disease. Marcia guides caregivers with education, support and encouragement.

Chris Jemel, Executive Director, Parkinson’s Foundation Western New York

Mindfulness in the medical profession – for healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers

Archana Mishra MD, MS, FCCP, FACCP – Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo. where she serves as the Associate Clerkship Director for third and fourth year medical students. She was awarded the Women Leaders in Medicine award by the American Medical Student Association.  Dr. Mishra has a passion for bringing the practice of mindfulness to the medical setting to be used by health care professionals personally, as well as when in practice.

Anne-Marie Huurre, Founder – Healing Caregivers