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  • Writer's pictureNicole Will

A Collaborative Effort to Support Caregivers Caregiver Forum LIVE from ActivAge


Natalie Elliott Handy confessions of a reluctant caregiver

This episode was made possible by all of our wonderful sponsors. Thank you!




On Saturday, April 6, 2024, caregivers gathered at ActivAge Sarasota and The Tribute at the Glen in Virgina for a supportive event, the Caregiving Forum. The forum offered a valuable opportunity for caregivers to connect, learn, and be encouraged.


We podcasted LIVE from this event and my guests shared about the work they are doing to uplift caregivers. This is a great episode highlighting all of the important initiatives that are taking place- you don't want to miss it! See all of my guests listed below.


The highlight of the event was the keynote address by Dr. Rosemary Laird, who captivated the audience with her insights on self-care and the importance of prioritizing one's well-being, aptly titled "The Caregivers Toolkit: Self-Care and Taking Your Oxygen First." Dr. Laird's engaging presentation provided practical strategies and encouragement for caregivers, emphasizing that taking care of oneself is crucial to effectively caring for others.


In addition to the keynote, attendees enjoyed a free breakfast, which provided a warm and welcoming start to the morning. The event also featured various giveaways and access to a wealth of community resources, making it an invaluable experience for all who attended.


The Caregiving Forum was a wonderful opportunity for caregivers to come together, share experiences, and gain knowledge to support their caregiving journeys.


Special thanks to the event sponsors and the dedicated team at ActivAge Sarasota for organizing this impactful event. This podcast was made possible by these wonderful sponsors.


Be sure to stay tuned for future events and resources by visiting ActivAge.


Listen to our episode HERE.



About Our Guests


Dr. Rosemary Laird, M.D., M.H.S.A, Founder and Chief Medical Officer of My Memory Clinic

Dr. Laird received her medical degree with honors from Georgetown University School of

Medicine in 1991. She completed an Internal Medicine residency and Geriatric Fellowship.

Dr. Laird is a recognized expert in diagnosis and care of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and

served for 25 years as a Medical Director for two state of Florida Memory Disorder Clinics

(Health First and AdventHealth Maturing Minds).


Dr. Laird is the founder and Chief Medical Officer of My Memory Clinic, a telehealth memory

specialty clinic. She is also a Principal Investigator at ClinCloud Research in Viera, Florida

focusing on clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease. She is a community faculty member of the

Florida State University Department of Geriatrics.


Dr. Laird is a passionate advocate for the support of family caregivers and co- authored the

book Take Your Oxygen First: Preserving Your Health and Happiness While Caring for a loved

one with Alzheimer’s Disease.


Deanna Vigliotta, National Sales Manager for Seni

Deanna has an extensive 30-year healthcare sales and sales management background. Deanna is the

National Sales Manager for Seni, a premium brand of adult incontinence products. She and her Seni

teammates are on a quest to shift mindset in the USA from adult incontinence products being viewed as

a disposable commodity to high performing incontinence products being viewed as a critical component

to the continuum of care.


Angelette Johnson, Vice President and co-founder of the Small Assisted Living Coalition

Angelett Johnson is the Vice President and co-founder of the Small Assisted Living Coalition, bringing nearly 20 years of experience in assisted living administration to her role. With a deep commitment to

enhancing the quality of life for residents, she has specialized in care coordination and providing comprehensive advisory support for individuals and families navigating the complexities of senior living and care transitions. Angelett’s expertise ensures that residents receive the highest standard of care, while her compassionate guidance helps families make informed decisions during critical transitions.


Wendy Rickenbach, CarePatrol- Certified Alzheimers Disease and Dementia Care Trainer (CADDCT), Certified Dementia Practioner (CDP), Certified Montesori Dementia Care Professional (CMDCP), Certified Transitional Care Fellow (CTCF), Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

Wendy Rickenbach and the team of senior living advisors in Sarasota can help navigate the challenges of finding the right nusing home or senior assisted living facility in Sarasota, Brandenton and surrounding communities. You can count on the expertise and experience they have in helping families find the right home for their unique situation. The expert consutants from Care Patrol of Sarasota can assist with the entire process from start to finish, including arranging tours, helping to understand the pricing, arranging moving and post care questions. If you are searching for a nursing home or assisted living facility in the Sarasota region, make your first call to the team at Care Patrol today.


Valerie Meale, Community Engagement Specialist with Comfort Keepers of Greater Prince William

Our passion is to provide loving, experienced care and support when you can’t be there. We understand the physical and emotional challenges when an aging loved one requires extra help to remain in his or her own home.


Comfort Keepers can ease the pressure on family and friends while providing reliable, expert in-home care. From nutritional meal preparation and grooming to light housekeeping and companionship, Comfort Keepers helps make our clients’ lives brighter, safer, and more enjoyable — all from the comfort of home.


For the past few years Valerie has been working on her personal brand within the Prince William region.

Through her work with such organizations as the Prince William Public Libraries, The Prince William

Chamber of Commerce, 1 Million Cups Prince William and previously, Leadership Prince William and the

Prince William Chapter of The Society for Human Resource Management, to name a few, she has

developed a following as a community-oriented influencer and servant leader who “gets things done”.

In her role as Community Engagement Specialist for Comfort Keepers of Greater Prince William, her

personal mission is to elevate the process of finding care for your loved ones, just as Comfort Keepers’

mission is to elevate the human spirit, by being a resource who creates joy and peace for family

caregivers. Most recently, she has thoroughly enjoyed bringing memory cafes, workshops covering elder

care issues and advanced directives days throughout the county via our public library system.


Adrianna Holderman, Sales Manager at Brookdale Palmer Ranch in Sarasota

Adrianna served as a reporter and anchor for more than 20 years of her life until her mom got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. That’s when she shifted her role from helping people and informing people about the news to now supporting others trying to help their aging parents. Adrianna is making things better faster for families looking for assisted living for their loved ones. She is a proven sales leader who earned the President’s Club distinction during first year of service. She's increased visibility and marketing via social media and secured television coverage of special 104th resident birthday. She has worked with the team to create memorable marketing events and made personal connections with both families, community groups, and healthcare professionals in Sarasota metro area.


Laurie Gredlein, Account Executive with Seni

Laurie has been working in the healthcare/senior living field for over 20yrs – from marketing for a large pharmaceutical company to working in various long term care settings. She is currently an Account Executive for Seni in Florida. She is passionate about educating people on the importance of using high quality incontinence products, as well as helping those in need. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She also enjoys traveling, going to the beach, and reading.


Laurie and her Seni teammates are on a quest to shift mindset in the USA from adult incontinence products being viewed as a disposable commodity to high performing incontinence products being viewed as a critical component to the continuum of care.



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We are not medical professionals and are not providing any medical advice. If you have any medical questions, we recommend that you talk with a medical professional of your choice. willGather has taken care in selecting its speakers but the opinions of our speakers are theirs alone. Thank you for your continued interest in our podcasts.


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Nicole Will is our host and founder of willGather.


*This episode is brought to you by Gigi Betty co., a boutique gift shop raising awareness and funds for caregivers and care partners. Show now at www.gigibettyco.com. Use the special code WILLGATHER20 for 20% off your order- Just for our podcast listeners!


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