Rosalynn Carter Institute hosts annual caregiver summit, celebrates 25 years

AMERICUS, GA (WTVM) - For a quarter-century, the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) has promoted the mental health and well-being of individuals, families and professional caregivers.

The RCI's annual Summit and Training Institute is scheduled for Oct. 24 and 25 at its home on Georgia Southwestern State University's (GSW) campus. This year's theme is "Enabling Caregiving Communities Across the Lifespan."

"The needs of caregivers are a growing global concern, and we must enable caring communities to adopt programs to help them," said former First Lady and RCI Board President Rosalynn Carter. "I appreciate the support of Johnson & Johnson and am proud of the leadership of the Rosalynn Carter Institute in addressing challenges in caregiving today. I think this will be one of the best Summits we have hosted."

The Summit will provide practical tools to help community leaders, agencies and citizens work collaboratively to build support for family caregivers across the lifespan. Attendees will learn best practices in supporting those caring for returning soldiers, individuals with disabilities, stroke victims and individuals with mental health/substance abuse issues.

"The topics presented at the RCI Summit truly address evidence-based programs across the lifespan," said Leisa Easom, Ph.D., RCI executive director. "Our nation's escalating numbers of chronic disabilities as well as an aging population increase the need for caregivers."

Confirmed speakers include Col. Brent Bracewell, director of the Joint Staff Headquarters, Georgia National Guard; Donald Lollar, Ed.D., Oregon Health & Science University; Patricia Clarke, Ph.D., Georgia State University; Gregory L. Fricchione, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital; Malcolm Lewis Marler, DMin, UAB Hospital; and  Raymond P. Lorion, Ph.D., Towson University.

Pre-Summit Training Workshops will be held Wednesday, Oct. 24 covering legal issues, remaining healthy and faith-based community engagement. "Serving as a caregiver is a role for which not everyone is prepared," Easom added. "The caregiving workshops will target everyday questions that family caregivers struggle to address"

Also on Wednesday, there will be a special free convocation given by colleagues from RCI-Korea concerning the "Present State of Caregiving for the Elderly in South Korea" and "Migrant Women and Caregiving in South Korea: A Socio-cultural Approach." No registration is required for this session.

A 25th anniversary Gala Awards Banquet recognizing the Georgia Caregivers of the Year and winners of the 2012 Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 25.

Johnson & Johnson is the primary sponsor for the Summit. They are dedicated to supporting family caregivers across the nation, particularly through their partnership with RCI which was established in 2001. This valued partnership builds on the work accomplished by RCI as well as on the social responsibility credo of Johnson & Johnson to be "responsible to the communities in which we live and work," and to "encourage…better health and education."

For more details, visit their Summit website at To register for these free workshops, call (229) 931-2034.

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