Conference slated on dementia
Linda Higueras likens her experience with caring for her father, who lives with Lewy body dementia, to a Russian novel.
"You get past this issue, and there's another issue right behind it," she said with a weary laugh.
Higueras has jumped through every hoop there is to find her father proper care, and get it paid for. She now is organizing the free Lewy Body Dementia and Other Types of Dementia Conference to help other caregivers understand more about the illness and the services available to help support those supporting sick loved ones.
"We're not pushing products, we're letting people know what services are out there," she said. "There's comes a point where you have to ask for help."
The event takes place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Sonoma Valley Inn Conference Center, 550 Second St. W. It includes a panel of speakers who will share information and take questions from the audience. Various service providers, such as Sorted Lives, which helps caretakers organize the logistics of caring for sick loved ones, will have information booths.
The speakers include Aimee Chagnon, a neurologist at Sonoma Valley Hospital; Dorothy Foster, a marriage and family therapist with the Redwood Caregiver Resource Center; and Jan Bosson, a nurse at Hospice By the Bay.
Higueras has also booked noted dementia psychotherapist Nader R. Shabahangi, founder of the Pacific Institute and AgeSong.
"He is a true expert on aging and specifically dementia," Higueras said.
Higueras will also speak about her own experience watching her father slip away to the disease. She said without the support of others, including friends, family and service organizations, she would not have gotten by and she is eager to help connect those facing the same challenges with information to make the transition to caregiver more simple.
"They always say it takes a village to raise a child, well that same is true for aging parents," she said. "Bette Davis once said 'Old age is not for sissies.'"
There is no cost to attend to conference on Aug. 13 and attendees do not need to register, just show up the day of the event. For more details, call Higueras at 888-1296.