From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper: April 2021

From the Desk of CEO Judy Halper

Keeping the Spirit Alive Conference for Caregivers is Sunday, May 2

Maya Angelou famously said, “People will forget what you said and they’ll forget what you did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” When it comes to caregiving, nothing could be truer. Caring for a loved one who is frail, ill, experiencing memory loss, feeling isolated, and all or some of the above, is an act of kindness. It is also an awesome responsibility that can take a large toll on the caregiver, no matter how selfless or sincere the caregiver might be.

It’s been well over a decade that I’ve been providing increasing amounts of care to my own mother, now in her mid-90s. She teaches me things every day about caregiving, and these are life lessons I hope to pass onto my own children, so they’ll know what it means to caregive when it’s their time.

That’s why, many years ago, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis, in partnership with other community organizations supporting caregivers, launched what has become known as the Keeping The Spirit Alive Conference for caregivers and those supporting a loved one with dementia. This year, the conference will take place on Sunday, May 2, from 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. via Zoom, and if you are a caregiver or know of one, you should sign up now. You will not want to miss the opportunity to learn from experts in the field of caregiving on topics ranging from care coordination and coaching to planning for end-of-life conversations, and much more. The conference is free and open to everyone.

We want every participant to walk away with resources they didn’t know about, support from caregivers just like themselves, and new tools for managing the many challenges of providing caregiving. Most importantly, we want caregivers to leave the conference valuing the work they do and knowing how to care for themselves as they provide this important service to their loved ones.

A person with dementia most certainly won’t remember what you said, and very likely won’t remember what you did, but many of us hope and believe they will remember how you made them feel.