3rd Annual Williamson County Caregiver Conference Returns September 17th

wilco_conference_2016_logoAGE of Central Texas will host the 3rd Annual “Williamson County Caregiver Conference” on Saturday, September 17th, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Wingate by Wyndham Round Rock Hotel & Conference Center.  Sponsored by AARP Texas, the free Conference includes a keynote presentation by Dr. David Zuniga, break-out sessions, and community resources to support family members who are caring for a senior adult.

The annual event was created to help ease the challenges of caring for an aging family member by providing unpaid caregivers with relevant information and vital resources.  The attendees will discover local resources, acquire skills to better manage their caregiving situation, and connect with other caregivers and local experts on aging.  The day also includes workshops on topics related to caregiving, with experts available for questions. Continue reading

15th Annual “Striking a Balance” Caregiver Conference Coming Aug. 20th

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AGE of Central Texas and the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area are again partnering this year for the 15th Annual “Striking a Balance” Caregiver Conference on Saturday, August 20th, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Austin.  The free seminar includes keynote presentations, breakout sessions, and community resources to support family members who are caring for a senior adult.

The largest, longest-run free caregiver conference in Central Texas, the annual event helps to ease the challenges of caring for an aging family member by providing unpaid caregivers with relevant information and vital resources.  The attendees will discover local resources, acquire skills to better manage their caregiving situation, and connect with other caregivers and local experts on aging.  The day also includes workshops on topics related to caregiving, with experts available for questions.

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Tips for Surviving the Sandwich Generation Gaps

July is National “Sandwich Generation” Month, but if you’re a member, you probably feelsandwich_generation_month_logo more like the rope in a game of tug-of-war than a PB&J!

The “Sandwich Generation” refers to the more than 9 million Americans, typically in their 30s and 40s, who are squished in the middle – the meat or the cheese – as the primary caregiver for their children and an older adult, often a parent – the bread. As anyone who is tuna salad between two slices of whole wheat will tell you, they are endlessly being pulled in multiple directions trying to make sure that everyone is safe, healthy, and, at least most of the time, happy.

Instead of thinking of caring for the children and the older adult in your life as two separate roles – parent and caregiver – here’s a little secret. The thing is, although distinctly different situations, some of the same techniques used with kids can do double duty to help the older adult reach a happy place. Use those parenting skills to manage the whole household and feel like a hero sandwich! Continue reading

AGE of Central Texas Partners with City of Austin to Provide Transportation Options for Older Adults Living in HACA Properties

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To provide additional support for senior adults living in City of Austin housing, AGE of Central Texas has partnered with the City and fellow community non-profit partner Family Eldercare to provide transportation opportunities for low income senior adults living at seven of the Housing Authority of City of Austin (HACA) residential properties.

As a member of the City’s social services “Living Well! Collaborative,” AGE of Central Texas will offer free, ongoing weekly routes to area shopping centers and group activities to the residents, utilizing the non-profit organization’s existing handicap-accessible vans.  AGE will help “promote self-sufficiency across the Life Continuum” as described as the purpose of the City grant after the original provider was unable to fulfill the responsibilities of the contract. Continue reading

Misconceptions About Dementia

dementia_umbrella_graphicBy Lisa Daly

Yesterday, I overheard a health professional describe her own mother as not having “Alzheimer’s” but just “dementia.” I have heard this many times throughout my career in the memory care field, and it is something that I would like to clarify.

“Dementia” is actually an umbrella term used to describe a severe degeneration in the brain function of adults. This degeneration is progressive and extreme enough to interfere with a person’s Instrumental Activities of Daily Life (IADLs) – such as driving, managing finances, and cooking. As the dementia progresses, it most often will affect a person’s ability manage their own Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) – such as bathing, dressing, and toileting.

Alzheimer’s disease is one category under the dementia umbrella. There are many types and categories of dementias. I ask families to think of it this way: if a doctor says your loved one has cancer, what would your next question be? “What type of cancer?” As with cancer, dementia is the general term.

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The Importance of Fun/Life Balance

hatday_blog.jpgBy Heidi Fischer, Program Director
AGE of Central Texas Austin Adult Day Health Center

So many of us get caught up in the whirlwind of life that it becomes really challenging to find time to smell the roses.  At the AGE of Central Texas Adult Day Health Centers, we believe that the proper amount of fun/life balance is an essential component of wellness.

Respite provides the perfect opportunity for embracing who we really are without other distractions.  The benefits of respite care are many, so let’s break this down a bit and look at what respite really feels like:

  • The caregiver relaxes and enjoys respite when two things happen:  their loved one is in a safe place AND their loved one is in an environment that is stimulating and enjoyable to them.
  • Their loved one, in turn, relaxes and enjoys being in a safe, caring, and softly dynamic environment.

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AGE of Central Texas Celebrates 30th Year of Service to the Community

AGE of Central Texas celebrates its 30th year in 2016.  To mark this landmark anniversary, the community organization will debut a new “Caregiver Lecture Series,” recognize philanthropic leaders with the 22nd annual AGE Awards, and launch the Bert Kruger Smith and Willie Kocurek Legacy Fund in honor of the organization’s co-founders.

Bert_Kruger_Smith_and_Willie_Kocurek_captionedFounded 30 years ago as “Austin Groups for the Elderly,” AGE of Central Texas has grown extensively to serve older adults and their caregivers throughout Travis, Williamson, Bastrop, and Hays counties.  Census numbers indicate the population of adults 60 and older in Central Texas will grow by 67% by the Year 2020, so the need for services for older adults and family caregivers will climb rapidly during the next few years.

Today, an estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease or similar dementia, and the number of individuals diagnosed each year is growing steadily as the population ages. Today’s treatments only temporarily ease some dementia symptoms, so the need for AGE’s programs and resources – including therapeutic adult day health care in Austin and Round Rock, caregiver education and resources, and early memory loss support – remains at an all-time high and growing.

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