9th Annual Caregiver Retreat Offers Pampering and Relaxation Day For Caregivers

9th Annual Caregiver Retreat Offers 
Pampering and Relaxation Day For 

EAST LANSING - The 9th annual Caregiver Retreat took place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 28 at the Eagle Eye Banquet Center.

"This is the ninth annual caregiver retreat, which is a free day for everyone who takes care of a loved one to be renewed," Breakfast sponsor and event committee member Sherry Gast said.

The event is for those who spent many hours of their own days taking care of others.

"We've got more than 200 caregivers here, a number of sponsors and vendors and people out to just have a fabulous day fro local caregivers. It's a day full of education, pampering, rejuvenation, and really just connecting people to let them know they are not alone in their journey," Alzheimer's Association Michigan Great Lakes Chapter Executive Director Jennifer Howard said.

Caregivers can apply to attend the free event, in which they are able to get manicures, massages, breakfast, lunch, participate in special lectures and more.

The Alzheimer's Association is the event's title sponsor.

Run by volunteers, the Caregiver Retreat agenda starts with registration at 9 a.m., together with massages, manicures, vendors and breakfast.

Many said the event is important, because caregivers forget to take care of themselves and need to be reminded to take the time to do so.

At 10 a.m., people are welcomed to the event and at 10:15 a.m., keynote speaker Bob Hoffman spoke at the Grand Garden Room.

Hoffman is a motivational speaker, who gave a lecture about The Power of Giving.

Hoffman gave explained why he speaks about giving to others, how people can help and how they will feel after they give, whether it's time, money or an act of kindness.

After Hoffman spoke, attendees were able to choose between four different letters: Easy, Nutritious Meals by Matt Schroeder, Legal/Estate Planning by Michelle Lane, Taking Care of Yourself by Judy McQueen, and Virtual Dementia Tours by Jason Gauna.

The Virtual Dementia Tours allowed caregivers to have their own senses diminished so that they would know what it felt like to be someone in need.

"It can really help our caregivers to understand what their family members are going through and it helps them in their caregiving," Howard said.

Caregivers were a spoken to and asked to perform specific tasks while impaired to further understand how to help patients with dementia.

Lunch happened at 12:30 p.m. at the Grand Garden Room, followed by Make and Take Sessions at 1:45 p.m.

Make and Take include mini gardens, spa items, Art of Zentangle and backyard birds.

A relaxation Yoga class took place at 3 p.m. with Elizabeth Price.

Lastly, caregivers could have dessert and a chance to win door prizes at 3:30 p.m.

Other sponsors of the event include Arcadia Home & Care Staffing, Eagle Eye, Grandhaven Living Center, McLaren Greater Lansing and others.

"This is my ninth year of coming to the caregiver retreat," Attendee and caregiver Charlene Crosby said. "I absolutely love it, it's just a relaxing day, where I know I can get pampered, meet friends, get lots of great information about how to take care of my loved ones."

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