Conference Schedule

Thursday, May 14, 2015
8:00 am - 3 pm
Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel- 81 Boston Post Road West- Marlborough, MA, 01752

 8:00 am : Registration/Coffee & Continental Breakfast/Exhibits


 9:00 am: Welcome:  Amy Nazaire, Program Director
                                    Massachusetts Lifespan Respite Coalition


  9:15 am:  Plenary Panel: Community Caregivers Making Respite Happen!  

 10:30 am: Keynote Speaker: Rita Shainao

 11:30 am: Workshops- Session One

               1. All in the Family: Siblings as Caregivers
              2. Respite Matchmaking:
                  Tips for Finding, Hiring and Keeping Respite Support
              3. Art As Therapy:
                 A Place That is Who You Are (or a little bit of art goes a long                        way!) 
              4. Male Caregivers: Building Your Respite Tool Box!


12:45 am:  Lunch/ Networking/ Exhibits

  2:00 pm:  Workshops- Session Two

                5.  Money Matters: Volunteer Options for Respite
               6. Art As Therapy:
                   A Place That is Who You Are (or a little bit of art goes a long                        way!)

               7. Caring for the Caregiver:
                   Recharge and Revive with Practical Tools and Respite
Respite Now: Self-Care for the Busy Caregiver

Plenary Panel- Community Caregivers Making Respite Happen!

As family caregivers know, the definition of respite and what families need is as unique as each care 

recipient and family unit.  Hear from four members of our caregiver community as they share their 

stories of how each of them created a respite opportunity.  Representing the lifespan, our speakers will 

highlight the challenges and successes they encountered while presenting their model programs that 

have been a benefit to the community at large.  

For Chuck Felix, a parent of a young adult with special needs, respite happens when his child can 

participate in productive work and learning opportunities in the community.  Helena Liedtke, a parent of 

a young child with complex medical needs, shares her vision for getting and providing respite for family 

caregivers and siblings of children with special needs through the creation of an inclusive dance 

program.  Beth Soltzberg, an Elder Services provider, has taken respite in a different direction, using an 

existing model of Memory Café and developing a collaborative intergenerational experience for 

caregivers of individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  Lenard Zohn, a parent of a child with 

Autism, has networked in his community to offer yet another option for respite that involves dining out, 

called Autism Eats.

Keynote Speaker: Rita Shiano
Managing Caregiver Stress Through Resilience

Many caregivers are considered to be "hidden patients," for they fail to notice the signs of stress in their own lives.

With their attention so focused on the care and needs of their loved one, their own potentially harmful symptoms go

unnoticed. The warning signs of stress can attack so subtly and lead to an increase in physical and mental health

deterioration. Stress management and resilience strategist Rita Schiano will focus on types of stressors predominant

for caregivers. Topics include:

• Techniques to recognize when the body is under stress
• Exploring, uncovering, and discovering caregiver stress triggers
• Identifying the characteristics and factors that make for resilience
• Techniques for adopting and developing resilient skills and attitudes

Presenter:  Rita Schiano

All in the Family:   Siblings Make Respite Happen

Throughout the lifespan siblings play an important role helping brothers and sisters who need 

additional support.  Some experiences are lifelong when a sibling is born with a disability.  Other 

situations can occur overnight as a result of an accident or adult onset illness, and the sibling very 

suddenly finds themselves possibly caring for aging parents as well as a sibling with special needs.  As 

parents age and siblings transition into a more prominent caregiving role, the siblings find themselves in 

need of respite support!  Join our panel discussion – sibling to sibling – about how to take care of 



Respite Matchmaking:  Tips for Finding, Hiring and Keeping Respite Support

Need respite?  Join our interactive discussion about finding your own respite provider.  Follow one 

caregiver’s journey to find in-home assistance using internet resources, receive a How-To Guide for 

Families, and get tips on other considerations for hiring competent providers.  Participants will be 

encouraged to share successes and challenges with the group.

Presenter: Merle Edwards-Orr

Male Caregivers:  Building Your Respite Toolbox!

Please join us for a discussion that debunks the common myth that caregiving is exclusively "women's 

work." Join us as four men discuss their caregiving experience -- their commitment to their loved ones and their

commitment to caring for themselves. They will share how they make respite happen in their lives and 

invite you to do the same!

Panel Facilitator: Michael Bloom

Art As Therapy:  A Place That is Who You Are (or a little bit of art goes a long way!)

Sometimes Respite is a state of mind. As caregivers we are always "on" and it can be hard to take even a 

moment for ourselves. Give yourself, permission today, and join us for a  hands on workshop to see how 

fun, easy and not scary art can be.  Try a simple project and lose yourself in the creative process for a 

few moments.  Remember the excitement of making something that is uniquely you.  All materials 

provided, just bring yourself!

Presenter: Stacey Hammerlind


Money Matters:  Volunteer Options for Respite

Family caregivers face daily challenges, but when it comes to respite, the concern voiced most often is 

financial - How am I going to pay for respite services?  In an economic climate when so many human 

service programs are competing for the same dollar, we need to think creatively, outside the box and 

investigate volunteer options for respite services.  This workshop will explore existing volunteer models 

in our community, faith-based models initiated in other parts of the country, resources to connect you 

to volunteer possibilities and training opportunities for potential volunteer providers.  Join us for an 

interactive discussion!

Caring for the Caregiver - Recharge and Revive with Practical Tools and Respite

Learn practical tips, tools and coping strategies to help caregivers stay energized and committed to the important, life

saving work they do. Discover new ways to:  Release the fear of not being good enough to meet the intensity of your loved one’s needs;

-Sharpen your caregiving expertise so you can collaborate, lead, and provide effective support to your loved one for the long-term;

- Communicate with calm and clarity with your loved one, other family members, and involved professionals so

 you can deal with any situation;

-Care for your loved one in a way that leaves room for joy and freedom in your own life.

Presenter: Michael Bloom

Respite Now: Self-Care for the Busy Caregiver

This interactive seminar gives caregivers a chance for respite during the busy conference day and to experience

the benefits of self-care.  The session will begin with a brief overview of the impact of caregiving on caregiver

health and brainstorming about barriers to self-care.  This will be followed by a chair yoga and meditation session

appropriate for participants of any experience level and any health status.  Aromatherapy and Reiki will also be

shared to deepen the opportunity for relaxation.  We will close the seminar with practical tips for increasing self-

care in the midst of the busy-ness of caregiving. 

Presenter:  Emily Jean Davidson, MD, MPH