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Schuylkill organization hosts caregiver conference

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    An organization in Schuylkill County wants to help caregivers get questions answered with a new caregiver conference. METROGRAPHICS

Published September 17. 2019 12:35PM


Taking care of a loved one is hard, and sometimes caregivers just need a little break.

That’s why Schuylkill Caregiver, a ministry of the First United Methodist Church in Schuylkill Haven, is hosting a free conference that will provide caregivers with a day of relaxation while getting a little help finding resources and support to provide them with what they need to best continue the care for a loved one.

On Nov. 7, caregivers from around the region are invited to the inaugural Take a Break Caregiving Conference. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Four Square Gospel Church, 2300 Mahantongo St., Pottsville.

The conference is open to all people caring for a friend or family member of any age or condition.

“Caregiving comes in many forms, depending on the age and condition of the care receiver,” said Karen Shiffert, chairwoman of the Health & Welfare Committee. “Some caregivers start from the birth of their child and continue well into the adult life of that child. Some start when a loved one has an accident or stroke; some grow into the job as their care receiver’s condition deteriorates and the person becomes less and less able to care for themselves.

“Whatever the situation, the person giving the care faces a life of mental, physical and emotional stress. It can be a very lonely, isolated life. Besides physical burnout and exhaustion, the caregiver needs the mental stimulation of conversation with others, friends, family other caregivers. They need outlets for their fears and frustrations. Where does a caregiver find a safe place to vent and share, where they won’t be embarrassed or judged? The Take a Break Caregiving Conference is a starting point.”

The conference is free to attend, but each attendee must preregister and choose from the lunch menu.

The event will cover a wide variety of topics, including bringing together people in a variety of caring situations, a host of panelists who can provide resources and answer questions caregivers may have and a gathering place of people who can help support the caregiver’s decision to care for their loved one. There will also be vendors offering information about their products or services.

“We understand the nature of caregiving, having been in that role ourselves,” Shiffert said.

Seating is limited, so Shiffert encourages caregivers to register early, and notes that the conference understands that the person may or may not be able to attend based on the caregiving needs for that day.

Each attendee must register individually online at or by phone at 570-624-3018.


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