Family Caregiver Conference

Washington County is in its 18th year of holding a conference dedicated to family and friend caregivers. Held every year in November, this event aims to provide a safe and welcoming space for caregivers to come together to connect with one another, learn new skills and find valuable community resources.FCG Hands Together

Registration is now open for the 2021 Virtual Family Caregiver Conference!
This year's theme is "Building a Community for Caregivers." Workshop presentations will be held virually on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the month of November. Register online here.

Workshop Descriptions

Understanding Trauma for Family Caregivers
Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Presented by Jessicer Leitnner, MSW and Oregon Care Partners

During this webinar, a behavioral expert will define trauma and explain how trauma and stress impact a person's thinking, behaviors and way of relating. You'll learn how trauma can affect families, including both the caregiver and the person receiving care. This presentation will also explore the impact of care in terms of stress and burnout on the caregiver.

Talking with Your Doctor and Pharmacist About Safe Medication Use
Friday, November 5, 2021, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Presented by Linda Bifano, DNP, MPA, RN and Oregon Care Partners

During this webinar, a Registered Nurse will highlight the benefits and importance of identifying personal health goals and scheduling regular medication reviews with your doctos and pharmacist. You'll learn about the risks of overprescribing and the important questions to ask to advocate for yourself and your loved one's healthcare goals.

"You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat:" How to avoid the jaws of burnout, depression and anxiety (or cope with it if you're already there)
Saturday, November 6, 2021, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Presented by Jennifer Morris, MA, LPC

This presentation aims to provide information that will help caregivers recognize anxiety and depression in themselves and in the person(s) they care for. Strategies for reducing risk and coping with anxiety and depression will be presented.

Self Care Starts with Compassion
Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 12-1 p.m.
Presented by Kristi Barth, M.S. Ed.

Learn some tips and tools to take care of yourself in a season where you are bone tired and don't have time to catch your breath.

Caregiver Café
Friday, November 12, 2021, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Join the conversation! Discuss relevant topics related to the challenges, experiences and gifts of caregiving with fellow caregivers. Facilitated small group discussions on a variety of topics including changing roles, communication, cognitive impairment, caregiver fatigue, making decisions and navigating family dynamics.

Quick, Easy and Healthy Meals for Caregivers and Those They Care For
Saturday, November 13, 2021, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Presented by Heidi Petrowsky, RD, CDCES

Making meals for individuals on special diets can be daunting. We will discuss some basic guidelines for diabetes and heart disease with ideas for easy meals that fit. We will also discuss the challenges of picky and emotional eaters. Finally, we will talk about the struggles of staying well-fed as a caregiver.

Caregiving in the Time of COVID
Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 1-2 p.m.
Presented by Susan Hedlund, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C

The challenges of providing care for a loved one were hard enough before a pandemic entered the picture. COVID-19 has challenged all of us to adapt to a changed life and world. For caregivers, the need for self-care became even more essential due to the isolation that came with the pandemic. This presentation will consider the needs of caregivers to proactively build self-care strategies and to cultivate resilience. Strategies to balance physical health with mental health and wellbeing will be considered.

Finding Positive Meanings in the Face of Grief
Friday, November 19, 2021, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Presented by Susie Snyder LCSW

Grief becomes extra heavy and complicated when it is loaded up with meanings or beliefs that make it harder to bear. There are ways to help hold grief with a sense of peace, gratitude and ongoing connection to the people we have lost. This presentation will use strategies from Narrative Therapy to access and support meaning systems that can make grieving easier. These strategies include the use of healing conversations and letter writing.

Supportive Strategies for Difficult Conversations
Friday, November 19, 2021, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Presented by Susie Snyder LCSW

In the face of challenging behaviors or uncomfortable interactions it is valuable to find positive alternatives to the two most common reactions: avoidance or destructive criticism. We will review 10 strategies for supportive confrontation that will allow one to have difficult conversations that have a constructive impact.

Anger, Agitation and Frustration: Understanding Behaviors with Dementia
Saturday, November 20, 2021, 12-1 p.m.
Presented by Shelly Edwards MLS and Barney Nelson

Presenters will discuss what it's like to live with Lewy Body Dementia (as well as other types of dementia) and learn how to manage your own issues as a care partner. Participants will come to an understanding of how these behaviors are actually communication tools for someone living with dementia.

Have an idea for future conferences or interested in presenting a workshop next time? Please reach out via email to