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Hope for the Caregiver Conference

Saturday, April 22, 2017
9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Plano Campus

Whether you are caring for adults or seeing to the special needs of children, we are offering help and hope. Mark your calendar and make plans to join us for this special conference.

The conference includes more than 25 breakout sessions and opportunities to meet with local vendors.

Topics include:

  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s – the basics, the latest research, getting the support you need
  • Finding living and care options for your loved one – from adult day care, to in-home care, to finding the right senior adult facility, hospice care, and making the final plans
  • What you need to know about long-term care, Medicare, and Social Security
  • Help for the caregiver – managing stress and fatigue, handling guilt and fear, getting the proper nutrition and exercise
  • Caring for loved ones with cancer
  • Caring for special needs children and adults
  • Caring for foster care children
  • And more!

Cost: $10 per family (includes lunch, refreshments and door prizes)

For questions, call 972-820-5192.

Register

Sponsored by Prestonwood Baptist Church and Bent Tree Bible Fellowship


Topics/Speakers

“Finding Peace on the Journey”
Steve Roland

Steve Roland came to faith in college, and from that point on, has had a desire to help people know about Jesus and how much He loves them. Steve received a communications degree from Dallas Baptist University. He has served in college ministry, singles ministry, married ministry, and was both an associate pastor and a lead pastor. For 10 years, Steve has worked in senior care. He has worked as a hospice chaplain for the past five and a half years and has been a part of the Mind, Heart and Soul Ministry of Silverado. In this time, he has been honored to walk with family members and caregivers in some of their most intimate times. He has been witness to Christians living out their faith and the beauty in the ministry that is caregiving. It is his strong passion to equip caregivers for the journey they are on with a knowledge that God will hold them close and never let them go, even in the most difficult times.

“Fear and Guilt as a Caregiver and How to Turn That into Hope!”
Vic Mazmanian
Category – Self-care

Are you afraid of becoming a caregiver? We will address this very important topic as well as other aspects of caregiving. You will walk away with a new understanding of the role of a caregiver as well as a renewed sense of hope!

Are you feeling guilty that you are not doing enough for your loved one? Or just as important, do you feel unqualified or resentful at being asked or expected to be a caregiver? Vic will share his insights and many “God Stories“ that will help you understand your role in the care of your loved one!

Vic Mazmanian is the senior director of faith outreach at Silverado Senior Living and a longtime Alzheimer’s advocate and educator. He is a dynamic speaker who has spoken on this hot topic nationally and internationally. He is a facilitator of several Alzheimer’s support groups for the Alzheimer’s Association and leads the Mind, Heart Soul Ministry for Alzheimer’s and dementia at Saddleback Church, led by Pastor Rick Warren. Vic shares his personal insights and knowledge about the disease process and caregiving for those with Alzheimer’s based on experience as a primary caregiver for his mother, Alice. He believes that through faith and education, we can all make it through our journey with this dreaded disease.

“Caregiver Stress and Family Emotional Baggage: The Hope for God’s Healing”
Vic Mazmanian
Category – Self-care

Do you feel as though you are fighting multiple battles? Are you tired and do you have family members criticizing the way you are caregiving? Do you feel unappreciated, and are you asking where God is when you need Him? Vic will give you many practical tips to help you on this journey with your loved one. He will share his own personal journey and the ways you can connect with God, who will give you His grace and wisdom. This session will help you feel a renewed sense of purpose and the joy that only our Lord can give!

“Climbing the Dementia Mountain”
Della Pruitt
Category – Memory Care

The journey of caring for a loved one with dementia can feel like climbing a mountain. There are many twists and turns, unexpected obstacles, and varied terrains. Each caregiver’s climb is different and unique yet holds commonalities with others. It can be daunting but hold special moments of joy. Practical advice will be discussed as well as encouragement and resources for each step along this journey. Together, let’s make this rigorous and challenging journey rewarding and fulfilling.

Della Pruitt has been a member of Prestonwood for 15 years. She started and continues to facilitate the Memory Care Support Group. Her dementia journey began 16 years ago with several family members’ having Alzheimer’s. She enjoys connecting with other caregivers to give encouragement and share practical advice. She co-owns Strategic Estate Planning Services, Inc. with her husband, Mark Pruitt. She loves to sing and worship and is in the choir as well as the praise team. She has two daughters: Melody, 24, who is in a master’s degree program at Dallas Baptist University, and Morgan, 22, who graduated from the University of North Texas with a business degree and is now working fulltime alongside her parents at Strategic Estate Planning Services Inc.

“Top Questions to Ask When Touring a Senior Living Option”
Paul Markowitz
Category – Caregiving

Paul Markowitz will provide a high-level overview of important questions for families to ask when touring a senior living facility as he relates the story of his mother and how he came to found his company. Paul will discuss in depth the importance of asking questions related to the following topics: experience of the community, staffing ratios, activity level and affordability.

Paul Markowitz is the founder of Senior Living Specialists. Paul provides a free service to help families facing the stressful situation of finding the appropriate long-term senior living option. Senior Living Specialists has been featured on CBS News and in the Dallas Morning News, both of which have reported about how his experience can help families through this stressful and tough process.

“Positive Tips for the Long Haul”
Mary Klentzman
Category – Special Needs

Practical and spiritual tips to support, strengthen, and sustain—long-term—the life and marriage of the caregiver of a child with special needs.

Mary Klentzman is executive director of Cornerstone Ranch, a home and day program for young adults with disabilities in McKinney, Texas. For 10 years, she served as executive director of the Children’s Special Needs Network, a nonprofit in central Texas that provides family support services for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities. For 10 years, she has been a member (two years as chair) of the Texas Children’s Policy Council that is legislatively directed to work with the Texas legislature and Health and Human Services leadership to impact state policies related to children with disabilities. She is also the mother and primary caregiver of a 28-year-old son with multiple disabilities.

“The Importance of Faith in Your Journey”
Helen Morris and Carol Slater
Category – Special Needs

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Now you find yourself on a journey not anticipated. This session will focus on the importance of finding a community of believers for all members of the family. We will share ways the church can show acceptance and accessibility to everyone who comes to worship. We will also look at things you can do to help the church meet the needs of your family members.

Helen Morris is proof that you’re never too old to have the Lord direct you on a new path. Before assuming the position of Director of Special Needs for Prestonwood Baptist Church in October, 2011, Helen spent 46 years in public education. Helen taught both general and special education classes and worked in the field as the importance of special education really began to develop. Her bachelor’s degree is from North Texas State University (now UNT) in elementary education with a minor in English. Only one special education course was offered at the university and no degree was available in the field. During her time at NTSU, she volunteered at the Denton State School (one of the few services available at that time for people with significant disabilities). Her master’s degree is from Texas Woman’s University in special education administration and evaluation. She is certified to teach elementary education (grades 1–8), physically handicapped, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities. You can see how these areas have changed. Now these are considered all-level generic special education. She is certified as an educational diagnostician, mid-management (principal), supervisor and special education supervisor.

Carol Slater has been the special needs coordinator at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship since 2015, serving the families who are affected by physical, intellectual and behavioral disabilities. Miss Slater’s responsibilities include meeting with families to provide support and a positive experience for their children, adapting curriculum for the Sunday morning classes, training and supervising the volunteers, and making hospital visits. Her passion for working with families affected by disabilities has been fueled by more than 30 years of teaching elementary music and more than 15 years of volunteering at Joni and Friends Family Retreats in Texas, Serbia and Cuba. Carol’s joy comes from being with people and seeing God in all circumstances.

“Compassion Fatigue: Managing Caregiver Stress”
Danny Mack
Category – Self-care

This session covers:

  • The warning signs of caregiver stress.
  • The do’s and don’ts of managing caregiver stress.
  • The elements of stress and how to manage them.
  • Six proven strategies for managing caregiver stress.

Danny Mack is a graduate of the University of North Texas and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently a hospice chaplain of Christian Care Hospice. Danny regularly speaks to audiences on a variety of issues. He has been a speaker for the Richard J. Price Caregiver Conference of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, and Cancer Center of North Texas. He is a facilitator of caregiver support groups for the Alzheimer’s Association. Danny has been a presenter for the End of Life Nursing Consortium and the 2008 Texas New Mexico Hospice Organization Convention; he was key note speaker of the Ohio Home Health and Hospice Association. Danny was named the 2008 Hospice Bereavement Coordinator of the Year by the Texas New Mexico Hospice Organization. He is also the president of the Bereavement Coordinators Association. Danny has served on the Board of Mesquite Social Services and Sharing Life Community Outreach; both agencies help people in need of food and clothing. He has started two nonprofit organizations, and currently serves on the Board of the Texas-New Mexico Hospice Association.

“Essential Planning for Long Term Care Needs”
Mark Pruitt
Category – Financial

This workshop will cover documents needed to navigate on behalf of someone plus creative ideas and tools to pay for long-term care so that the money does not run out. The purpose is to avoid mistakes that are made on behalf of a loved one when planning and paying for his or her care. Proactive planning vs. reactive planning is crucial for families taking on the role of caregiver.

Mark Pruitt is the founder and owner of Strategic Estate Planning Services in Dallas, Texas, a comprehensive planning firm that coordinates and provides resources in all areas of estate and financial planning. He is licensed with the department of insurance and is an investment adviser representative. Mark was chosen 2012 Adviser of the Year, a national award given by Senior Market magazine. He serves on the National Advisory Board of Retirement Advisers. His firm has been one of seven companies promoted by Forbes magazine in Dallas, Texas, and voted best in client satisfaction by Texas Monthly magazine.

“Understanding Hospice”
Betsy Magness
Category – Caregiving

This session covers:

  • Medicare Hospice Benefit – What It Covers
  • When It’s Time to Consider Hospice – Patient Eligibility
  • How to Choose Your Hospice Provider

Betsy Magness is a registered nurse and VITAS Healthcare north representative for hospitals and physicians. She has 15 years of experience in the hospice industry, as a clinical manager and patient liaison. As a medical/surgical registered nurse, Betsy uses her experience to approach patients and families to educate them on the benefits of hospice care. As a “patient advocate,” Betsy always strives to educate consumers on the services available to them.

Credentials: current Compact RN license in Texas for 24 states, also licensed in Florida; current Basic Life Support, AED certified; medical surgical nurse manager background

“Caring for My Family While Caring for Foster and Adoptive Children”
David and Cara Von Tress
Category – Foster Care/Adoption

This session covers:

  • Biblical mandate for foster care and adoption – remember God’s calling on your life!
  • Nurturing your soul through biblical community – how the body of Christ can support you while serving/caring for orphans
  • Strategies for parenting children from hard places – you can do this and maintain your sanity!

David and Cara Von Tress have been married for 16 years, and they have five children, ranging in age from 4 to 14. They adopted their youngest two children from the Dallas County foster care system. David and Cara help lead CHOSEN, the foster/adoption ministry at Prestonwood. Besides parenting, serving with CHOSEN and other Prestonwood ministries, the Von Tresses enjoy cooking (and eating), gardening, family vacations, and DIY projects.

“Giving Care, Getting Care: Finding the Proper Balance”
Mirchelle Louis
Category – Cancer Support

Those diagnosed with serious illness often feel (quite rightly) that their lives have been completely overturned. Caregivers experience very similar emotions. All too often, both the patient and the caregiver are usually quite unprepared for the challenges of managing illness and themselves. Caregivers often assume great additional responsibility for the person who is ill, and for all that goes on daily to keep their family functioning. It’s not that easy to “keep calm and carry on.” We’ll discuss what we can do to manage the challenges (and enjoy the rewards) of finding the proper balance when there is serious illness in the family.

Mirchelle Louis is the CEO of Cancer Support Community North Texas, the premier provider of psycho-social and emotional support for everyone living with cancer. She started at the organization in 2006 and has been responsible for developing the program of support and opening new locations in Dallas, Tarrant and Collin Counties.

Mirchelle is a licensed clinical social worker. Her previous experience includes working with children and families in crisis. She is passionate that no one should have to go through cancer alone, and that there should be a program of support that is accessible to everyone wherever they live in the Metroplex. No one is prepared for a cancer diagnosis—not the patient and not anyone supporting the patient, either.

“I’ve worked with many women, men and children living with cancer over the years, and I know just how devastating cancer can be on everyone in the family. I have also experienced first-hand how lives can be transformed when we get psycho-social and emotional support, and how important providing that support in a warm, caring and even fun environment can be – for everyone impacted by the disease.”

When she is not working, Mirchelle enjoys visiting her children, cooking out, walking, hiking, and traveling. Her favorite ways to relax are reading—just about anything—and watching movies, anything but horror.

“Planning Respite Care for Your Loved Ones”
Tom Brewster
Category – Caregiving

This session will cover successful tips and strategies for caregivers to help reduce stress and increase the happiness level of both the caregiver and your loved one through the utilization of in-home care. It will also include suggestions for engaging family members in care decisions and how to select a care provider.

In 2009, Tom and Rhesa Brewster saw a great need for a Christian in-home care company in the Dallas area and launched Heritage Keepers. The concept was to provide care for the physical needs of senior adults and address their emotional and spiritual needs by placing Christian caregivers with clients. By praying with clients and encouraging them in spiritual issues, it was hoped that this would fill a gap that was desperately needed in the senior community.

Years later, it is obvious that this approach has been successful. Heritage Keepers has worked with many seniors and families of seniors over these years and has been blessed to care for some wonderful people. Heritage Keepers’ caregivers are the life-blood of the company, and they do a wonderful job completing the “Circle of Care” for their clients.

 

Tom has been an entrepreneur since 2002, owning several businesses since then. Recently, he decided to go into full-time ministry, leading a missions organization, Engage Hope. He has left the reigns of Heritage Keepers to Mary Kasinger, who has done a fantastic job taking care of clients.

 

Tom and Rhesa have been married for 24 years and have three children, Will, Anna and Holly. They are members of Prestonwood Baptist Church.


“Tips and Strategies for Dealing with Loved Ones with Dementia”
Laura Lester
Category – Caregiving

We will cover tips and strategies for dealing with loved ones who have dementia and discuss the benefits of adult day care.

Prior to owning Encore Memory Care Day Center, Laura Lester has always been an entrepreneur and owned and invested in other small businesses. Because she has cared for loved ones with dementia in her family, this cause is especially dear to her heart. When the opportunity arose to invest in this venture, Laura and her husband gave capital to get it started, never dreaming that eventually she would be running it and looking forward to coming to work there every day. Laura has owned Encore Memory Care Day Center for six years, and she and her staff consider it their ministry. We have created a place that we would have had our loved ones attend, if it had been available when we needed it.

“Recharging Yourself to Be a Healthy Caregiver”
Michelle Teague
Category – Self-care

One of the first areas where caregivers can struggle is personal wellness, both physically and nutritionally. Developing strategies to help maintain overall wellness can be a key ingredient to being a faithful caregiver while also maintaining a necessary level of personal wellness and health. Michelle will explore practical ways to care for your overall fitness and provide helpful nutritional tips to help boost energy and awareness. When a caregiver is healthy, they have more to give over a longer period of time to those they love.

Michelle Teague is a native of Fort Worth. She married Jonathan Teague, Minister to Married Adult 4 at Prestonwood Baptist Church, in 2002 and together they have four children. Michelle graduated from Hardin-Simmons University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and earned a master’s degree in physical therapy from University of Texas Southwestern. She is a licensed physical therapist with 10 years’ experience in clinical, outpatient orthopedics and home health contexts. She holds specializations in women’s health, runner’s assessments and general physical therapy treatments. She enjoys working out, serving her church and spending time with her family.

“Housing Transition Challenges for Seniors”
Ron Blume
Category – Caregiving

For seniors, the assessment process and challenge in making a housing transition are considerably more complicated and emotional than for young buyers or sellers. Evaluation of financial, social, health, family, security, transportation, service, and timing considerations is required to ensure a move in the right direction is made. This seminar discusses alternative housing choices for seniors: the fears, costs, and logistical concerns to be addressed in making any change.

Ron Blume, a licensed realtor and registered professional engineer in the state of Texas, is also a certified senior real estate specialist. He holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and an MBA in finance. He enjoys amateur radio, bridge and family gatherings with his four children and 11 grandchildren. His passion is providing seniors with consultation in identifying their needs, referrals to professionals, home market analysis, tips to prepare the home for aging in place or for sale, and information regarding senior housing options. As appropriate, Ron also provides real estate services for the sale or purchase of property.

“Senior Home Care 101”
Brian Partin
Category – Caregiving

We will discuss the aging process, injury prevention, and long-term care decision making. We will identify options that allow seniors to live independently at home, including home modifications, home healthcare services, and healthcare technology products.

Brian Partin has served in various leadership roles in his 25-year career with Outreach Health Services, including CFO and COO. Brian has served as the CEO of Outreach Health Services for the last five years. Outreach Health Services is a multistate healthcare provider that provides home healthcare, personal emergency response services, financial management services, pediatric home healthcare, and W.I.C. services. Brian served on the board of directors for the Texas Association for Home Healthcare and became the president-elect of the association in 2006. Brian was also the chairman of the Government Affairs Committee and the vice chairman for the Community Care Committee for several terms. He has worked with legislative leaders on a state and national level to advance the cause of home healthcare. Brian was a founding member of the Texas Association for Home Care Political Action Committee. In addition, Brian has served on advisory boards related to national healthcare reform and Texas Medicaid reform. Brian also participated on the Wye River Group on Healthcare Texas Leadership Roundtable for a two-year term. Brian holds a bachelor of science in human resources and business from Amber University in Dallas, Texas. He is passionate about helping those with physical needs receive all required assistance in the setting of their choice.

“Cancer Support Groups for Patients and Caregivers”
Joe and Terri Fornear
Category – Cancer Support

Joe and Terri will share their story of Joe’s intense battle with stage IV cancer. As the caretaker, Terri will share her battle with confusing thoughts and emotions about God and how she navigated the noise.

Joe Fornear is a founder and executive director of Stronghold Ministry (www.mystronghold.org), a nonprofit ministry that provides spiritual help to cancer patients and those in crisis. Joe had what doctors believed to be a terminal case of stage IV metastatic melanoma that had spread to 13 areas including kidney, lung, pancreas and stomach. He was given just “days to live” in 2003. He had a miraculous recovery and has been cancer-free since August of that year. Joe wrote about this amazing journey in his book My Stronghold: A Pastor’s Battle with Cancer and Doubts. With his wife, Terri, he wrote In His Grip: Meditations with the Great Physician, a devotional book on the struggles they faced and lessons they learned. He also wrote a workbook, Journey with God through Suffering, to help people process suffering in light of promises in the Bible. An ordained minister, Joe has a master of theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. He founded and pastored a church in Dallas for 18 years and then launched Stronghold Ministry in 2008. Joe and his wife, Terri, have two grown children, son, Jesse, and daughter, Amy.

Terri Fornear is a founder and assistant director of Stronghold Ministry. She is passionate to share powerful and freeing lessons on prayer and faith that she gleaned while she walked beside Joe through his cancer. Over the last 30 years, she has led numerous support groups for women, and has counseled many caregivers and others in crisis. Terri holds a bachelor of science in individual and family studies. She is a certified language therapist and worked with children that have learning differences for 25 years. Terri has published her caretaker story, Abiding through the Shadows: A Caretaker’s Struggle with God’s Goodness, and has written a Scripture journal called Dealing with Feelings.

“Social Security Basics and Options”
Mike Raitt
Category – Financial

The presentation will cover the following topics related to Social Security:

  • Maximization of Social Security Benefits
  • Understanding your Monthly Benefit
  • Understanding the Divorce Factor
  • Finding Your Primary Insurance Amount
  • Deciding Now or Later
  • Learning Total Benefits over Your Lifetime
  • Understanding the Provisional Income Formula for Income Tax Purposes
  • Understanding the True Impact of Social Security Taxation
  • How to Avoid Taxation of Social Security Benefits

Mike Raitt is president and owner of The Almega Group of Companies. He started his career as a CPA in public accounting in 1985 with the largest public accounting firm in the world at that time. After three years in public accounting, Mike moved into corporate accounting for the ensuing nine years as a controller and vice president of finance of various multi-million-dollar manufacturing companies. In 1997, Mike turned his focus to the personal financial services industry. Mike attained the position of regional vice president as an independent rep with a subsidiary of Citigroup and, in the process of helping hundreds of families with their financial matters, he also recruited, trained and developed dozens of new agents, helping them get a start in the industry. Sensing a need to offer a broader base of competitive products and services, Mike elected to start his own company in February 2001 and has since added additional companies under the “Almega” brand name. Mike graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stephen F. Austin State University.

“The Basics of Alzheimer’s”
Jim Colbert – Alzheimer Speaker Bureau Facilitator
Category – Memory Care

What are the differences between Alzheimer’s, dementia and normal memory loss due to aging? This education presentation provides an overview for those who have concerns about memory loss or have had a diagnosis of dementia. Information will include the disease process, the 10 warning signs that prompt further assessment, and typical issues facing those in the early stages. A question-and-answer session is included.

“Alzheimer’s Research Update”
Rebecca Logan, PA-C, Department of Neurology & Neurotherapeutics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Category – Memory Care

Learn the latest in research on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

“If Aging is a Journey, Where Is My Road Map?”
Cheryl Acres
Category – Caregiving

How would you know how to help your aging parents in case of an emergency? How do you know what to look for to keep them safe/independent? What are the options to care for your loved ones? What are the costs; who pays? Ms. Acres reviews some of the answers to these questions as well as reviewing the role of a care manager as a guide for the journey that we are all on!

Cheryl Acres has been an RN for more than 38 years, and in 1998, she obtained her certification as a case manager (CCM). Her clinical practice area includes acute care and home healthcare. Her case management career has included group health insurance, home healthcare, Workers’ Compensation, disability management and consulting. Ms. Acres’ areas of expertise include geriatrics, chronic illnesses, complex medical/surgical care, brain injuries, spinal cord injury, wound care, oncology and transplants. As an RN and CCM, Ms. Acres advocates for clients and their families through the healthcare maze, focusing on ethical, timely and quality services. She founded her company, Comprehensive Care Management, LLC in 2007, in order to assist seniors and families to develop a “care road map,” providing education about illness and services for their aging loved ones. With her extensive healthcare background and training, Ms. Acres has a broad knowledge of health and service providers, to aid seniors with their goals of maintaining health, independence and aging with dignity. She is a long-term member of the Case Management Society of America (www.cmsa.org) as well as a DFW CMSA Chapter Leader (www.dfwcmsa.com). She was the recipient of the DFW CMSA Chapter’s Case Manager of the Year Award in 2006 and received an honorable mention in geriatric care management from Dorland Health People Awards. She is also a current member of the Aging Life Care Association (www.alca.org) and the Dallas Area Gerontological Society (www.dags.org).

“General Health and Wellness”
Roland Jehl
Category – Self-care

While we can’t be assured of living longer, we can certainly improve our quality of life. Roland will discuss nutritional elements we need to maintain good health and the benefits of exercise and fitness.

“Exercise for Fitness”
Roland Jehl
Category – Self-care

This presentation focuses on a variety of exercises to improve our fitness. Roland will demonstrate the correct technique needed for these exercises, and provide information about the repetitions and time duration. A handout of the actual exercises will be provided.

Roland Jehl owned the Austin Gym in Richardson, Texas, for 20 years. He worked as a personal trainer for 38 years and is certified by National Academy of Sports Medicine. He has taught nutrition and fitness classes at Cliff Sheats’ “Lean Bodies” for two years; he has hosted Weekend Workout on KLIF (570 AM) for three years. He has been a guest on Good Morning Texas and has written the feature “Sets and Reps” for Health & Fitness Magazine for nine years. Roland was a competitive bodybuilder from 1978 to 1985 and competed in three Mr. America competitions. He has served as a judge and master of ceremonies for bodybuilding competitions for 15 years. He has also been a speaker on the subject of health and fitness at a variety of corporations, churches, schools and associations.

“The ABCs and D’s of Medicare”
Mona Odom
Category – Financial

This presentation can also be thought of as Medicare 101. Mona will explain Medicare eligibility and enrollment periods, late enrollment penalties and exceptions, and income-related Medicare premium adjustments. She will also give an overview of Medicare A, B, C and D, including prescription drug coverage changes for 2017 to 2020.

Additionally, she will compare Medicare Advantage Plans (PPOs, HMOs) to Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap). She will present information on choosing the best plan for your healthcare needs and preventive care benefits.

Mona Odom is an independent insurance broker, agency owner and certified senior advisor with offices in Frisco and Tyler. She has been involved with seniors and senior wellbeing for more than 20 years. For the past nine years, she has been educating seniors about their rights and choices for original Medicare, Medicare supplement plans and end-of-life planning. Mona’s expertise can help you make sense of health plans for ages 65 and over and the Affordable Care Act health insurance plans for individuals and families. Odom Insurance Solutions, LLC offers insurance plan choices from more than 30 A-rated companies.

Mona is a board member for the Board of Pension and Health Benefits for North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church; she is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Frisco, and a member of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors.

“The Final Plans: The Conversation”
Cheryl Devoto
Category – Caregiving

None of us like to consider the time of our own or our loved one’s time of passing. Cheryl shares four steps that will enable families to prepare for one of life’s most difficult days and to protect their loved ones. “The Conversation” will provide the tools needed to know what legal, financial and emotional decisions are necessary to relieve the burden for those left behind. Each person will receive a complimentary “Personal Planning Guide” and if applicable, a “Veteran’s Guide.”

As a family services counselor for Dignity Memorial at Sparkman Hillcrest for the last five years, Cheryl Devoto provides compassionate and competent service to families who have lost a loved one. It is also her honor to assist individuals in the process of pre-need arrangements to ease the burden on their families when the time of need occurs. She is committed to helping others see the devastating emotional and financial impact that unexpected deaths have on families. It is her honor to help families navigate through the difficult process at a non-emotional time and to provide a way to have this important conversation with their loved ones. Cheryl has been married to Khris for almost 36 years. A former home-educator for 25 years, she has raised seven children—two “home-made” and five “hand-picked”—and has also been blessed to take care of grandparents living with her for more than a decade. Through these experiences, she has grown in the ability to address many challenges that happen in the lives of families; to assess and respond to crisis with compassion.

“The Caregiver’s Dilemma”
Stephen Hood
Category – Caregiving

Seventy-two percent of all caregivers say they do not visit their doctor as often as they should; 63 percent have poor eating habits; 40–70 percent have clinically significant symptoms of depression; and half of this group can be clinically diagnosed for major depression. On average, 25 percent of caregivers are providing 40+ hours of care per week. Where can a caregiver go for support and experience a respite to recharge their own batteries? This session will focus on local resources available for caregivers to strengthen their own health and manage the challenges of their role and providing the “top tips” for caregivers.

Stephen Hood has always been driven with a passion to serve others and improve the quality of life for everyone. He joined the staff of the Wellness Center for Older Adults as executive director in 2014. In this role, Stephen has focused on building and delivering programs designed to address the unique and growing needs of the senior population but never losing sight of caring for the individual in a holistic approach.

Prior to the Wellness Center, Stephen served in a variety of senior leadership positions in faith-based organizations. With more than 15 years at the Salvation Army, Stephen has served as a local pastor for congregations in Kentucky and in administrative capacities in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. While in Texas, Stephen led the Salvation Army’s DFW Command focusing on 23 service centers with 360 employees, casting vision and bringing a message of hope for the hurting.

Stephen has also provided oversight for the Shelby Kennedy Foundation and the National Bible Bee and served as the executive director for Community Bible Study International, leading the organization to establish culturally relevant Bible Studies in 60 countries and 33 languages. He has served as a consultant for other faith-based organizations in the area of fund development, board development and building strong internal controls with fiscal reporting. Stephen has a degree in business administration and accounting from Houghton College, a master’s in strategic management from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a diploma and officer’s commission from the Salvation Army’s Officers’ Training College. Stephen has three children, Rebecca, Kathryn and Jonathan.

“The Virtual Dementia Tour”
Silverado Care Representatives
Category – Memory Care

Trained dementia-care specialists will lead you through a series of tasks in a way that will help you “walk in the footsteps” of your loved ones. The journey will include equipment that will limit hearing, vision, gait and hand-eye coordination. Not only will you hear things that are not there, this experience will simulate hallucinations. You will try to complete simple tasks with these impairments and gain a greater understanding of what your loved ones are going through.

“When Is Memory Loss Not Just a Part of Getting Old?”
Silverado Care Representatives
Category – Memory Care

This session focuses on what is “normal” memory loss and what is a concern. It is built to alert people of possible challenges as well as help them not overreact when they “walk into a room and can’t find their keys.”

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