Bureau of aging to hold 9th annual Caregivers Conference on Oct. 20

Whether you're taking care of an older adult, or aging in place yourself, the Carroll County Bureau of Aging and Disabilities, in conjunction with AARP, are presenting a conference to help make it easier. The ninth annual Caregivers Conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Westminster Senior and Community Center, with a theme of "Gliding into the Future."

"I like to try to find catchy titles, number one," said Nancy Ensor, caregiver coordinator with the bureau. "This is just kind of helping people to look forward, to think about what’s going to happen down the road."


Speakers will address topics such as getting an estate in order, the meaning behind body language and other non-verbal behaviors, tai chi and long-term care insurance versus reverse mortgages.

"We do an evaluation form at the end of each conference and we ask them what they would like to see at next year’s conference," Ensor said. "That one has come up the last several years."

The conference is free and open to the public, but those interested are asked to register in advance by calling 410-386-3800, according to Ensor.

"Registration is required because there is a free continental breakfast and lunch," she said.

All of the topics were selected, and materials will be provided, to help ensure those who attend are connected to resources to really help them "glide" into their future, said Celene Steckel, chief of the Bureau of Aging and Disabilities, regardless of where they are in that journey.

"We look at this as a caregiver conference but we certainly are targeting not just caregivers of older adults, but also older adults themselves, because a lot of this is relevant to people who are aging," she said. "Even the baby boomers who are maybe on the cusp of needing services themselves, but also maybe in that pinch of still caring for their mom and dad who are aging."

The discussion around long-term care insurance versus a reverse mortgage, for instance, may be applicable to those deciding on one today, or planning for their future, according to Steckel.

“People look at ways when they are aging that they can really afford care. Whether that’s care in a long-term care facility or care in their own home through a reverse mortgage,” she said. “They are very detailed investments, both of them. If people don’t have a good understanding, that’s when they feel like they have been tricked into something they didn’t want, but they maybe didn’t have enough information moving into it.”

A discussion on keeping the brain fit will address what is sometimes left behind in emphasizing physical activity, according to Ensor.

“People think about physical activity, but they don’t think about exercising their brains and learning something new and doing something new,” she said. “You need to keep your mind as active as you keep your body.”

Though the conference will also get people moving with the session on tai chi.

“They will give a preview of what tai chi is, and then it’s going to be more like a chair tai chi as people will be sitting,” Ensor said. “It will be something that’s good for people of advanced age.”

Paul Zimmermann, Carroll County register of wills, will lead the session on getting estates in order, according to Ensor.

“Getting their ducks in a row as I would say,” she said, “so it’s not left for their children to do.”