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Family Caregiver Conference goes virtual Feb. 20, invites participants statewide to celebrate resilience

The 10th Annual Family Caregiver Conference invites participants from across Idaho and beyond for a virtual event on Saturday, Feb. 20. The conference is sponsored by the Idaho Caregiver Alliance and Boise State University’s Center for the Study of Aging. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Resilience.”

The conference provides community building and educational opportunities for informal family caregivers. The Idaho Caregiver Alliance estimates that one in four Idahoans care for someone with a physical, intellectual or cognitive disability, or mental health condition. In Nov. 2020, Idaho Gov. Brad Little released a proclamation in support of family caregivers, acknowledging they provide 201 million hours in unpaid labor in Idaho annually. They also struggle to find formal support systems.

The conference will kick off with a keynote speech from Jen Griffis, an advocate for the parent voice in child-serving programs and member of the new Idaho Behavioral Health Council. Participants can then choose from one of three tracks: Resiliency is Radical Self-Care in Action, Building a Resilient Plan or Resilient Encounters in the Healthcare Setting. Other organizations holding sessions include the Alzheimer’s Association, Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Idaho Commission on Aging, and Idaho Parents Unlimited and Rural Social Service Solutions, to name a few. Topics will look at caregiving across the lifespan, such as transitioning children with disabilities into adulthood, advances in telehealth and assistive technologies, and the new consumer-directed respite program geared towards rural Idahoans.

Sarah Toevs

“For 10 years, the Family Caregiver Conference has provided vital support for caregivers in Idaho, and this year’s virtual event is designed to celebrate resiliency and to learn from and connect with family caregivers,” said Sarah Toevs, director of the Center for the Study of Aging. “We are excited for the opportunity to welcome participants from all over the state in a virtual setting. Caregivers in rural communities often feel isolated with minimal resources and support. This is a great chance to build community and learn new tools to support caregivers in their journey.”

The daylong event will take place virtually via Zoom. Currently, it costs $15 to attend, and the price will increase to $25 on Feb. 15. More details, including a full agenda of the conference, are available here.

Organizations interested in purchasing tickets in bulk or sponsorship options may contact Destinie Triplett at destinietriplett@boisestate.edu or call (208) 426-5899.