MACHIAS, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- When a family member loses the ability to live independently, often times a younger family member will take responsibility for his or her care. But sometimes those who provide care are not prepared for the multitude of things that can happen as we grow older. A Maine conference held today sought to remind those who care for family and friends that they are not alone. There are an abundance of resources available in the state to help them provide the best care they can to the ones that matter most.
Naida Pennell, Coordinator of Community Services at the University of Maine at Machias, struggled to find answers as a caregiver for her mother. That challenge led her to organize the 2013 Caregivers Conference. The free event held today on the UMM campus brought together experts from around the state to answer questions on topics such as hands on care, protecting family assets and the impacts conditions like dementia can have on a person. Experts say the need for this type of information will only increase, especially in Maine.
"Maine being the oldest state by median age in the country, we need to be preparing for these things," said Kathryn Pears, CEO of Dementia Care. "Families need to be getting the information. There isn't enough information in the long term care system to provide professional services, so we really need to do everything we can to support the family members."
Ultimately, organizations said the goal was to remind caretakers in Eastern Maine that there is help out there. And most importantly, that they are not alone.
Those interested in researching more about caregiving can visit the following sites: