Photo by State Senator Judy Schwank

State Senator Judy Schwank (D-Berks) is again hosting a free Aging Parent Conference on Sept. 5, 2019, at Muhlenberg Middle School, 801 E Bellevue Avenue.

The conference is aimed to serve the adults who already are caring for their elderly parents, those concerned about doing so soon and those planning for themselves.

The itinerary includes panel discussions with experts in eldercare, legal and financial issues. Attendees will have the option to attend a Dementia Live workshop, a dementia simulation experience, and other workshops where they can get answers to questions they have.

Of note is a new session on Community HealthChoices, a managed long-term services and supports program that launched in January, presented by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Service’s Office of Long-Term Living. Community HealthChoices will coordinate health care coverage to improve quality for older Pennsylvanians and those with physical disabilities, serving more people in communities rather than in facilities, giving them the opportunity to work, spend more time with their families, and experience an overall better quality of life. The third phase of implementing CHC is scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2020.

Also new this year is a presentation by the Delaware Valley chapter of the national Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s 101: What You Need to Know. The session will cover normal aging vs. dementia; warning signs; disease basics; and how healthy lifestyles can reduce risk.

“This is clearly an issue people are concerned about,” she said. “And it’s not just about your parents, it’s about preparing yourself and your family for issues as you age.”

Schwank said she hopes the conference is a catalyst for its attendees. “As a Baby Boomer myself, I am already considering what I want. I do not want my family to be left guessing what that looks like,” Schwank said. “You’ve been in charge of your life for so long, why abdicate that responsibility to someone else?”

A conference schedule can be found at senatorschwank.com/agingparent.