“We know aging isn’t something people want to think about, but we want to make this day serious while also not being sad,” says Lift Caregiving founder Katie Gilstrap.
Lift Caregiving is a website for family caregivers that provides expert content from VCU Medical Center as well as from local service providers. The site offers advice, a list of trusted providers, guides and assessments for caregivers in need of assistance. There is also an online shop through Lift Caregiving that features items to assist in the aging process, such as walkers, canes and shower railings. “This Saturday’s Modern Aging event is a way for us to bring the Lift Caregiving website to life,” Gilstrap says.
(Note: to read a recent Richmond magazine feature on geriatric care, “A Fragmented System,” and accompanying articles, click here.)
Everything offered at the Modern Aging event is completely free to those attending; flu shots, health screenings, on-site respite care, diabetic meter testing, and advanced medical directive consultation and development will be conducted by medical experts from the VCU Department of Gerontology and Section of Geriatric Medicine, as well as representatives from HCA Virginia Health System. Special event programs will run throughout the day as well, including Courageous Conversations, Weathering Work, Financial Footings, Dealing with Dementia and Essential Eating, all of which advise caregivers on the best way to deal with the complicated issues that accompany aging.
A two-part food demonstration is scheduled from noon to 12:45 p.m., with Dr. Peter Boling, director of long-term care and geriatrics at VCU, first discussing the benefits of eating healthy as a person grows older. A brief cooking demonstration will follow Boling’s talk. “Too many people are eating frozen or canned foods for a majority of their meals,” Gilstrap says. “This demonstration will have some great tips on how to keep your loved one eating healthier.”
In addition to advice from medical experts, financial advisors and power of attorney consultations will be offered for free, as well. Medicare experts will also be available to discuss recent Medicare changes and cut-off deadlines. “There will be dozens of opportunities for caregivers and aging individuals of all stages to get assistance with health care,” Gilstrap says. “We will even be offering up free chair massages for caregivers, and who doesn’t love a free massage?”
The Modern Aging event is free and health insurance is not required, although presentation of a health insurance card is necessary to receive a flu shot.