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Organization: SCV Senior Center
Date: May 29, 2009
Caregiver Resource Day
    On Saturday, June 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m, the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center's Supportive Services Department will host its Annual Caregiver Resource Day.
    Geared to empower, educate and support caregivers, the free symposium will provide news about the latest research and therapies in treating Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, presented by leading scientists in those fields. A discussion on care-giving. along with an array of care-giving-related vendors and services, raffles and a Pacifica Senior Living Santa Clarita-sponsored breakfast is also on tap.
    With Comfort Keepers In-Home Care as title sponsor, the event will feature the following keynote speakers:
    • Joshua Grill, Ph.D., director of the Katherine and Benjamin Kagan Alzheimer's Disease Treatment Development Program at UCLA's Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research, who will discuss recent strides in Alzheimer's research, including clinical trials. Grill, also Associate Director of the Deane F. Johnson Center for Neurotherapeutics at UCLA, earned his doctorate in Neuroscience in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. His areas of expertise include neurobiological changes that accompany normal aging and disease, with current research focused on testing new treatments for Alzheimer's disease.
     • Research Scientist Dr. James Makous, who leads the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Program for Parkinson's at Boston Scientific Neuromodulation (BSN) in Valencia, will deliver an overview of Parkinson's research and an upcoming clinical trial expected to begin in 2010, as well as discuss pain management. Makous, who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Neurophysiology and completed post-doctoral fellowships at Syracuse University and Washington University (St. Louis), evaluates new technology as a core member of Boston Scientific's Emerging Indications team. He also provides expert field technical support for their 'Precision' Pain Management system.
     • Psychotherapist and mental health consultant Judith Harris, who facilitates numerous support groups at the Senior Center, will moderate the event and talk about the challenges associated with care-giving. True to Harris' penchant for identifying humor and silver linings amid life's potholes — or teaching people how to "suffer in style" as she calls it — the veteran therapist, teacher, and grief counselor will address the need for finding humor and meaning in care-giving.
     • Myles McNamara, owner of Comfort Keepers In-Home Care, will discuss the safety factors and peace-of-mind attainable through securing skilled, reliable, and professional care-giving help in the home.
* * *
    The Alzheimer's Association reports that a new case of Alzheimer's is diagnosed every 70 seconds. The leading cause of dementia, Alzheimer's destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies and social life. Alzheimer's, which is eventually fatal, currently affects some 5.3 million Americans and accounts for nearly 10-million unpaid family caregivers in this nation.
    Also a progressive brain disorder, Parkinson's affects nerve cells, causing loss of the vital chemical, dopamine which allows for smooth, coordinated function of muscles and movement. According to the American Parkinson Disease Association, key signs of the condition include shaking (tremor), slowness in moving, stiffness (rigidity), and difficulty with balance are key signs of the disease. Parkinson's affects about 1.5 million Americans today, and some 60,000 new cases are diagnosed annually.
    Care-giving for those who cannot care for themselves is intense, responsibility-laden, stressful and draining. Most often, those providing care to dependent adult loved ones are senior spouses, each with his or her own age, health, emotional, and financial issues to deal with. Frequently, caregivers are also middle-aged "children" with families and busy careers to manage.
    Research has shown that all too frequently caregivers "wear out" and die from the demands placed on them before those they provide care for expire.
    Clearly, practicing self-care and reaching out to available support systems are protective measures that every caregiver should employ.
    Caregiver Resource Day is designed to help them do just that.
* * *
Vendor and Sponsor Information
     Attendance is projected to be 75-125 people; generally most of them are family caregivers. As a sponsor you will receive: Your business name on 1,000 flyers that will be distributed throughout the community; business name listed in newspaper ad (check must be received by June 12 for ad deadline); business name in event program; choice of table location on first-come, first-served basis. (Event and vendor displays held in Senior Center's spacious dining room.) Sponsor levels are $500 (title) and $250 (platinum). Sponsorships go directly to offsetting seminar costs and helping with advertising expenses.
     Vendors receive a table to promote their business, with business name listed in the program. Vendor tables cost $100 each, but tables can be shared for $50 per vendor.
     The SCV Senior Center is located at 22900 Market Street in Newhall. Respite care is available that day but reservations must be made in advance to guarantee that assistance. For further information/registration contact SuzAnn Nelsen or Diana Sevanian at (661) 255-1588 or email at supportiveservices@scvsc.org, or fax at (661) 255-6069.
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