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Denise Brown

2018 CSA Conference


Denise Brown


The Caregiving Years: Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey

More than 40 million persons in the US provide care to a family member and the numbers will continue to grow. Research conducted by shows that family caregivers rate their stress at 4.16 o a scale from 1 to 5 with 5 being the most stressed.

How do we help them today and tomorrow?

Through this presentation, professionals learn about the experience of caring for a family member. Family caregivers have questions ("Why me?" "Why now?" "What now?") and look to us for answers. Throughout the caregiving journey, which can last from six months to more than 10 years, the role of family caregivers evolves and so should the services and the support they receive. The Caregiving Years describes the path that family caregivers take — from Expectant Caregiver, to Freshman Caregiver, to Entrenched Caregiver, to Pragmatic Caregiver to Transitioning Caregiver to Godspeed Caregiver. Denise will share the common stumbles family caregivers encounter in each stage and how we can steady those family caregiver stumbles. Finally, she'll provide a map for family caregivers (and their travel companions, professionals) to navigate successfully through the caregiving journey.

Developed in 1997, Denise has tweaked the stages over the past 20 years. She'll describe which stage may be the most challenging for professionals and which stage challenges family caregivers to change a long-held caregiving habit. She'll also offer ideas and insights to help you communicate more effectively with family caregivers so your referrals and resources are received and accepted. She'll also share stories of family caregivers throughout the stages to deepen your understanding about how to best help family caregivers.

Learning Objectives

  1. To educate professionals about the evolution of the caregiving experience, which changes over time.
  2. To inform professionals about effective referrals they can make given the family caregiver’s stage.
  3. To provide health care professionals a frame work which describes the family caregiver experience so they can be an appropriate support during each caregiving stage.

About Denise

In 1996, Denise M. Brown launched, one of the first websites to add online caregiving support groups, daily caregiving chats and blogs written by family caregivers.

In 2016, Denise debuted the Certified Caregiving Consultant training program and the National Caregiving Conference. Next Avenue named Denise a 2017 Influencer in Aging. She is the author of several books including The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey and the Take Comfort series.

Visit the Schedule at a Glance for session dates, times, and locations. 

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