Department of Family Services – Older Adults

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
703-324-7948 TTY 711
12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 708
Fairfax, VA 22035
Trina Mayhan-Webb

37th Annual Caregiver's Conference: When Caregiving Calls: Building a Framework for Resilience

37th Annual Caregiver’s Conference: When Caregiving Calls: Building a Framework for Resilience

37th Annual Caregiver's Conference

When Caregiving Calls: Building a Framework for Resilience

Friday, November 10, 2023, 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Korean Central Presbyterian Church, 15451 Lee Hwy., Centreville, Virginia 20121

Please join us for the largest dementia conference in the region that is specifically for family and professional caregivers.

Conference Information

This conference sells out quickly so purchase your ticket today! $35 conference fee. Fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, snack, materials and certificate of attendance. 

Registration will end on November 6 or earlier if capacity is reached. Visit to register!

View full conference program. For more information about the conference, please call 703-578-7431.

Interested in having your company as a conference exhibitor? Contact for more information.

If you require an accommodation for any type of disability to participate, please call 703-746-5694. We kindly request seven days advance notice.

8 am - 8:30 am – Check-In, Breakfast and Exhibitor Showcase

8:30 am - 8:45 am – Welcome

8:45 am - 9:45 am – Keynote: Building Caregiver Resilience: A Framework for Care (Dr. Aaron Blight, Caregiving Kinetics)

Keynote Sponsored by Goodwin Living 

Goodwin Living

9:45 am - 10:30 am Understanding Dementia for Caregivers (Dr. Abigail Lawler, Inova Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center)

10:30 am - 10:45 am – Break and Visit Exhibitors

10:45 am - 11:45 am Practical Tips in Caregiving (Regina Foster) 

11:45 am - 12:30 pm – Lunch

Lunch Sponsored by ACC and Synergy

ACC Family logo Synergy

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm From Confusion to Clarity: Demystifying Advance Care Planning & the Essential Documents for Advocacy (Dr. Brittany Lamb and Tamara Turner)

1:30 pm - 2:15 pm Caring for the Spirit of the Family Caregiver (Rev. Dr. Beryl Dennis) 

2:15 pm - 2:30 pm – Break and Visit Exhibitors

2:30 pm - 3 pm Simple, Delicious & Nutritious (Alexandra Freiman, Alison Neov & Brian Patterson, Goodwin Living)

3 pm - 3:30 pm A Patriotic Celebration Honoring our Veteran’s with the Sentimental Journey Singers (Mary Ann Easton, Sentimental Journey Singers) 

3:30 pm – Adjourn

Aaron Blight, Ed.D., is an international speaker and consultant on caregiving, aging and healthcare. He is the founder of Caregiving Kinetics and has been recognized as a “Top 100 Healthcare Leader” by the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare. Aaron’s passion for supporting caregivers is rooted in his personal experience as a family caregiver; his professional work as the owner of a large home care company and as a leader at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; and his study of caregiving as a phenomenon of social science. Aaron serves as an adjunct professor at Shenandoah University, an honorary board member of the Well Spouse Association, and an advisory board member of the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree from the University of Baltimore, and a doctorate degree from The George Washington University. Aaron and his wife, Jessica, live outside of Washington DC, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. They have four children and two grandchildren. Aaron enjoys exercise, music, travel, cats, and ice cream.

Rev. Dr. Beryl Dennis is a woman of faith, a cancer survivor, and an advocate for family caregivers everywhere. Her experience caring for her parents was a journey of love, compassion and faith. She is an avid photographer, and her photography collection, “Reflections of God: His Works and His Word,” serves as a tool for outreach ministry. Her favorite scripture is Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Dr. Dennis holds a doctorate degree in ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary. She was licensed to preach the gospel in 1998 and ordained in 2005 through the American Baptist Churches, USA under the leadership of Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. of Metropolitan Baptist Church, Washington, DC. 

Dr. Mary Ann East is the director of arts for life with Encore Creativity for Older Adults and the director of the Sentimental Singers. Mary Ann has been with Encore Creativity for Older Adults since August 2018 when she began conducting the Encore Chorale at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads. In September of 2019, Mary Ann became the program director of Sentimental Journey Singers, Encore’s choral program for singers with early to mid-stage cognitive change and their care partners. In 2022, Mary Ann became the director of arts for life working to expand Encore’s programing for those with cognitive change. Mary Ann has taught music to ages 3-93. She is a former Fairfax County Public School music teacher where she taught elementary general music through high school choir and former adjunct professor at George Mason University. Mary Ann is currently the music director at Community of Faith UMC in Herndon, Virginia and co-founder/artistic director of Capital Harmonia, a local women’s chorus whose mission is to bring music composed by women and for women’s voices to the DC area through partnerships with local women’s organizations. Mary Ann holds a doctorate degree in musical arts in music education from Boston University, a master’s degree in music in choral conducting and vocal performance from George Mason University, and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Indiana University.

Regina Foster is a gerontologist that also practices as a physician assistant. She completed her first master's degree at Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2003. Becoming a healthcare provider enabled her to work with a diverse population; however, seniors have always held a special place in her heart. Regina returned to school to gain more knowledge about the aging process and completed a second master's in gerontology at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018. She is a licensed assisted living administrator, certified dementia practitioner, certified Alzheimer's disease & dementia care trainer through NCCDP, certified consultant using Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care, and a professional facilitator/trainer with VCU’s Department of Gerontology. More recently she enrolled in a health-related sciences Ph.D. program at VCU with research interests in person-centered care and ageism in the health and beauty industries.
On a personal level, her family also cared for her grandmother, who lived with dementia for about 10 years. Regina understands the challenges faced in caring for her. These personal experiences have developed a passion to train other healthcare professionals in person-centered care.

Alexandra Freiman is a registered dietitian and a board-certified specialist in gerontological nutrition.  She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in dietetics and completed her dietetic internship at Virginia Tech with an emphasis in leadership and public policy.  She is involved in the Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and has held roles as president, state delegate, and member services chair.  She has been awarded fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which recognizes members who have distinguished themselves in their communities for their service to the profession.  She currently works for Goodwin Living and enjoys enhancing the lives of older adults through food and nutrition. 

Dr. Brittany Lamb is a board-certified emergency medicine physician, dementia family educator and advocate. In the ER she sees the stress people go through when having to make medical decisions unexpectedly. Family members choosing on behalf of their person living with dementia have even greater challenges. Outside of the ER, Dr. Lamb supports and educates dementia family caregivers on the importance of and how to plan for future medical decisions. Her goal is to deliver the information needed to make informed decisions into the hands of family caregivers through social media, a blog and an online program. Caregivers who work with her inside her online program, Make Your Plan with Dr. Lamb, create a medical decision plan unique to their person so they can choose confidently and have peace of mind. She graduated from medical school at the Florida University College of Medicine and was residency trained at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Abigail Lawler is a board-certified member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Originally from Ohio she completed undergrad at Ohio University and also studied abroad through Duke University in Costa Rica where she completed a Spanish immersion program. She attended medical school at University of Toledo and completed residency training in neurology at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington DC, where she served as chief resident. Dr. Lawler completed a fellowship in movement and memory disorders at Georgetown University, helped start the first ever Parkinson’s and dementia clinic, and participated in baseline cognitive and neurologic assessments of retired NFL players for the NFL Players association. Dr. Lawler is well versed in treating many neurologic conditions and specializes in treating movement disorders offering a wide variety of treatment options beyond traditional medical management for Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Lawler also specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of autonomic conditions, muscle dystonia as well as spasticity using Botulinum toxin injections, as well as the various types of dementia. Prior to joining the Inova Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center as the autonomics director, she served as medical director with the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego. 

Alison Neov is a registered dietitian and a board-certified specialist in gerontological nutrition. She graduated from James Madison University with a degree in dietetics and worked for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) after graduating. She has worked for Goodwin Living for almost seven years and is passionate about providing nourishing, tasty foods for older adults.

Brian Patterson, Goodwin Living Innovation and Development Chef, supports the dining services operations at the three Goodwin Living senior living communities—Goodwin House Alexandria, Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads and The View Alexandria. Brian takes part in menu development, collaborates on themed events and engages with residents to promote sustainability. Brian also partners with local culinary programs to host internships designed to smooth the transition from the classroom to professional work in a senior living setting. He joined Goodwin Living in 2020, having previously worked for the American Medical Association, L’Academie de Cuisine and Glenstone Museum.  

Tamara Turner is a consultant, educator and advocate for health equity to enable every person to live their best life to the end. She graduated from the Erickson School of Aging Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a master’s in the management of aging services and a post-graduate certificate in the management of dementia care services. With over 15 years of experience in health and human services, her mission is to empower people with information and resources that can improve their quality of life and well-being. 

Sentimental Journey Singers is a chorus for singers with early to mid-stage cognitive change and their care partners. The choir sings a variety of repertoire in three-part harmony. They rehearse once a week for 15 weeks followed by a concert. They are led by Dr. Mary Ann East, director of arts for life, of Encore Creativity for Older Adults.

The 37th Annual Caregivers Conference is provided by the Northern Virginia Dementia Care Consortium.

  • AARP Virginia
  • Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services, Division of Aging and Adult Services
  • Arlington Aging and Disability Services
  • Alzheimer’s Association, National Capital Area
  • ElderLink
  • Fairfax Area Agency on Aging
  • Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS)
  • Goodwin Living 
  • Graceful Care, Inc.
  • Insight Memory Care Center
  • Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging
  • Prince William County Area Agency on Aging

Major Support Provided by: 

  • AARP Virginia
  • Goodwin Living
  • GraceFul Care
  • Greenspring
  • ACC and Synergy

Graceful CareDo you need someone to care for your loved one with dementia so you can attend the conference? In-home free respite care for people with dementia living in Northern Virginia will be provided by GraceFul Care. Limited support is available so call 703-904-3994 no later than October 19th.

Learn about Fairfax County Department of Family Services Older Adults' Services and Family Caregiver Support Programs.

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