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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Carolina Women’s Center sponsors lunchtime series on elder care

About 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months, according to a survey by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the American Association of Retired Persons. To help University employees who are dealing with this situation, the Carolina Women’s Center is sponsoring Elder Care: A Series, five Wednesday lunchtime sessions led by experts on caring for an elder loved one. 

These educational sessions are free, and lunch is provided for those who register. Each session starts at noon and focuses on a separate topic. Participants may attend any or all sessions. 

Sept. 12

Wilson Library Pleasants Family Room

A Look at the Caregiving Journey. Caring for an aging family member presents many complex challenges. Paul Klever, executive director of the Charles House Association, will lead a look at the phases and changes over the caregiving journey. This session will start with a brief review of topics the other sessions will cover.

Sept. 19

Wilson Library Pleasants Family Room

Later-Life Housing: Finding or Creating the Best Fit. Many adults will struggle to stay in homes that are not designed to accommodate their changing needs. Cherie Rosemond, the director of Carolina’s Partnerships in Aging, and Jenny Womack, professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, will explain the housing options already available, including nursing homes, assisted living, eldercare and shared housing. They will also discuss ways to create or adapt existing housing for “best fit.”

Sept. 26

Wilson Library Pleasants Family Room

Perspectives on Caring. This session will explore caregivers’ experiences as their relationships with their family members evolve. Willetha Barnette, founder of the Institute for Family Caregiving Inc. and author of The Caregiver’s Secrets, and Lisa Gwyther, a social worker from the Duke (Alzheimer’s) Family Support Program, will lead a conversation for caregivers to examine their own experiences and changing roles.

Oct. 3

Health Sciences Library 527

University and Community Resources. Jessica Pyjas, HR work/life and wellness program manager, will introduce the University benefits and resources available for caring for elders and other dependent adults. Dennis Streets, executive director of the Chatham County Council on Aging, will review community, county and state resources available in the Triangle and in many North Carolina counties.

Oct. 10

Health Sciences Library 527

Paying for Healthcare Services. Jeanne
Chamberlin, coordinator for SHIIP & VITA Programs with the Orange County Department on Aging, will cover the basics of Medicare and the State Health Plan for retirees. Participants will also discuss long-term care insurance, Medicaid and other programs to reduce
medical and drug costs. The Senior Health Insurance Information Program is a division of the N.C. Department of Insurance and provides free and unbiased education and assistance in understanding Medicare costs, benefits and options.