Free caregivers’ conference offers resources and support Sat., Sept 27

I was lucky to have had a third parent in my mother’s mother, who lived with my family my whole life until she died just after I graduated from college. In the beginning, she took care of us four kids and my parents. Toward the end, we mostly took care of her.

She had severe arthritis and used a walker for years. I remember using hyrdogen peroxide to clean the incisions from surgeries on her knees, massaging her back and shoulders sore from the walker, giving her her nightly prescriptions, helping her get dressed, and lots of other things I never thought about. I guess I assumed every teenage girl spent Friday night cutting her grandmother’s toenails.  I’m not going to say it was easy or that I always enjoyed it. It was tough. But it really felt like the least we could do since she practically raised us.

Anyone who’s taken care of an elderly or ill loved-one knows how tough that can be – and lonely. And even though it’s inevitable that some of us will take on this role sometime in our lives, most of us go it alone without the support we need to maintain our sanity.

On Saturday, September 27, AGE of Austin will host the 7th Annual caregivers’ conference, “Striking a Balance,” aimed at anyone who finds themself in that role now. The conference will help you find the resources and support you need to manage caregiving responsiblities and make them work with the rest of your life.

They offer a light breakfast and lunch – and they’ll care for your loved on while you attend the conference. Elderhaven Adult Day Center of Austin and Williamson County has signed on, but you’ll have to call them to make reservations at 512-458-6305.

7th Annual Caregivers’ Conference – FREE
Saturday, September 27, 2008
2525 West Anderson Lane, Northcross Mall
Norris Conference Center – Red Oak Ballroom
9 AM – 2 PM
Doors open 8:30 AM for registration
Light breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Go to Age of Austin for more information.

Want to donate for back-to-school? Check store registries

Austin children benefit from back to school donations to Manos de Cristo

Your wedding, your baby shower, your kid’s birthday… your own birthday. Registering for gifts has always seemed kind of icky to me, which doesn’t make much sense considering that I love when other people register – it lets me give them exactly what they want.

That’s why I love the idea of Manos de Cristo registering for back-to-school donations at Target. If you go to Target’s Web site and click on “Target Lists,” you can choose the “Advanced Find” link and enter “manos de cristo” in the organization search. (Or just click here.) There you’ll see a list of items you can buy in-store or online, then bring to Manos by July 15 for their back-to-school event.

Manos will hand out donated new and gently used clothes August 5-9 and August 12-16. Last year Manos helped more than 1500 Austin children get ready for school, and thanks to your donations, almost everything was covered. Manos especially needs new and gently used kids’ T-shirts… lots and lots of T-shirts. Bring T-shirts, school supplies, and cash donations to Manos by July 15.

Would you rather volunteer? Sorting takes place between July 28 and August 1, and they’ll need lots of extra hands to help. Click here for lots more information.

Gift registries aren’t icky anymore… they’re genius.