Elder care informational seminar slated for Sunday at First UMC

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BUCKHANNON – An idea for a public, community-wide seminar on caring for aging family members grew out of conversations members of the women’s group at the First United Methodist Church had been having.

An Elder Care Information and Planning event is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, April 7 at First UMC’s Godwin Fellowship Hall and will cover topics ranging from supporting caregivers to addressing seniors’ spiritual needs as they approach the end of life to financial planning.

The event will be co-sponsored by the First United Methodist Women and the Nurture Team of the church, which is located at 52 S. Florida St.

First United Methodist Women’s Group member Lynn Petrosky said the group decided to schedule the event and invite a variety of experts on subjects pertinent to assisting aging family members.

“It initially started out when we were planning programs for the year for the United Methodist Women, and some of us are dealing with elderly parents and trying to understand the whole pathway that leads to caring for elderly adults,” Lynne Petrosky, a member of the women’s group, said Friday. “We thought that if it would be of benefit to us, we should plan something along the same lines but involve more than just our church and extend it beyond the bounds of the church.”

“But it definitely grew from our needs within our own membership because we had been sort of out there, dealing with that, sort of fumbling in the dark,” she added.

Subsequently, a team of five members of the women’s group planned the event. Presentations pertaining to elder care will be given. Jamie O’Brien, an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson, will act as moderator. Local attorney Daya Masada Wright will discuss last will and testaments; durable powers of attorney; medical Powers of Attorney; and living wills.

Lisa Cain, financial advisor with Edward Jones, will brief attendees on estate planning, and Mary McCartney of West Virginia Hospice will deliver an overview of hospice services, focusing on myths and facts about hospice services, which are available both at home and in long-term care facilities.

Finally, Barry Moll, a retired UM pastor, will talk about the ways pastors and other spiritual leaders can assist caregivers and how spiritual needs and life change issues of elderly individuals can best be addressed.

Each presenter will have 30 minutes to present information and answer questions from attendees. There will be a short break in the middle with refreshments and cookies.

All community members are invited to come learn more about how to deal with the issues which elderly persons face, and to receive information on how to better plan for, and meet the needs of, aging family members.

Refreshments will be served. More information about the event is available by calling Lynne Petrosky at 304-472-0555 or by contacting the church office at 304-472-9494.