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Community Education

Our Community Education programs facilitate constructive conversations in the community about serious illness, caregiving challenges, end-of-life and grief. 

CaringMatters strives to develop community knowledge and skills around serious illness, caregiving challenges, end-of-life and grief-related topics that can be applied to daily life. Our meaningful educational events and discussions help build a caring and compassionate community.

For information on Community Education, please contact

Leigh Bluestein, leighb@caringmatters.org or 301-990-7927

Thank you to our Community Education funding partner

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How to Support Grieving People with
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 

Thursday, January 19, 2023, 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Every person, regardless of their background, race, gender, ability or disability, has the right to have their grief acknowledged with the time, support and opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings and emotions. For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, appropriate grief support resources and intentional, compassionate strategies can make a positive difference.  
 

This panel discussion explores these resources, strategies and the impact of grief and loss on children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Participants will hear from both the professional and family perspective about the developmental considerations impacting the grieving experiences for people with developmental disabilities and learn strategies for inclusive grief support.

Learning Objectives

  • Explore the impact of grief and loss on individuals with developmental disabilities

  • Professional and family perspectives about the developmental considerations impacting the grieving experiences for individuals with developmental disabilities

  • Discuss strategies for inclusive grief support and learn from the family perspective

Panelists:

Arlen Gaines, LCSW-C, APHSW-C, is the Director of Social Services, JSSA Hospice, where she supervises the social work, chaplaincy, volunteer and bereavement departments. Arlen is the co-author of the award-winning "I Have a Question" series, which addresses complicated topics for children, inclusive of kids with special needs. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Palliative Care through the University of Maryland, Baltimore with a research interest in the impact of grief on children with developmental disabilities.

 

Gilly Cannon, CaringMatters, Director of Children's Bereavement Services, has three decades of experience in education, counseling, community work and volunteer management in schools and hospice. Gilly directs the Good Grief Club Program, a peer support program for grieving students across grades K-12. She also advises schools after the death of a school community member and is a grief resource for families, school principals and counselors, pediatricians, social workers and other allied professionals. Gilly facilitates groups as needed for grieving parents and teachers after a school community loss. 

 

Eva Cowen, CaringMatters, Director, Camp Erin, has dedicated her 35 year career to creating opportunities for people with a full range of disabilities to fully participate in all aspects of life.  For over 20 years, she served as the Director of Inclusion at the Bender Jewish Community Center in Rockville, Maryland, where she coordinated and oversaw the inclusion of people with disabilities into all Center programs and activities. For 37 consecutive summers she has been a member of leadership team of Camp JCC, supervising the inclusion of campers with disabilities into camp and running the summer program for teens and young adults with multiple disabilities. From the personal perspective, Eva has a close relationship with her older brother, Roger, who has intellectual and developmental disabilities and lives in a group home. 

Maria Alvarez, CaringMatters, Office Manager/Administrative Volunteer Coordinator, brings deep personal experience to this discussion and this topic. Her daughter, Angela, who had intellectual and developmental disabilities, passed away several years ago. Maria has supported her son, Eduardo, who also has intellectual and developmental disabilities, through his grief over the loss of his beloved sister.

Free Webinar - Register Now!

Suffocated Grief and Black Youth Coping with Loss
Thursday, February 9, 2023, 1:00pm - 2:00pm (EST)
Presenter: Tashel C. Bordere, PhD, CT

CaringMatters is honored to host Dr. Tashel C. Bordere, a well-respected,nationally-known expert in the field of children's bereavement, for this important webinar.  This interactive presentation is designed to contextualize the multidimensional components that characterize loss, trauma, and suffocated grief for youth and families from marginalized backgrounds with focus on Black youth and families. Research, theory, and case examples will be integrated as we examine systemic inequities in loss and coping and some practices that are essential to culturally relevant support of bereaved Black youth.
 

Objectives:

  • Describe patterns of loss, bereavement and suffocated grief among youth and families of marginalized backgrounds with focus on Black youth

  • Examine coping in multiple contexts (social, familial, education systems)

  • Discuss culturally relevant, evidence-based approaches to supporting bereaved children, teens and families socially located from positions of marginality

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Presenter: Tashel C. Bordere, PhD, CT

Tashel C. Bordere, PhD, CT is an author, internationally-known speaker, and grant-funded researcher at the Center for Family Policy and Research at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is Vice-President of the National Alliance for Children’s Grief and serves on the Board of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) and Advisory Council of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). Dr. Bordere is a former Forward Promise Fellow (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) and has received numerous awards including the Ronald K. Barrett National Award (ADEC) and 2022 Excellence in Engagement in Outreach Award at the University of Missouri. Her research, publications, consultations, and trainings focus on cultural trauma, stigmatized loss (homicide loss), Black youth and family bereavement, suffocated grief (a term she coined), and culturally relevant research and practices. She has a co-edited/co-written book - Handbook of Social Justice in Loss and Grief (Routledge).

Past Community Education Presentations Include:

  • Webinar - Caregiver Stress in Asian American Communities

  • Webinar - Providing Inclusive and Affirming Care for the LGBTQ+ Community

  • Webinar - Caring for the Caregiver

  • Webinar - The End-of-Life Doulas: A Collaborative Approach to End-of-Life Care

  • Webinar - Grief Support for the Black Community: Understanding the Culture of Trauma and Developing an Empathy-Driven Mindset

  • Webinar: Grief: Support for Yourself and Those You Care About

  • Webinar - Grief in the Workplace: Guidance for Employees and Employers

  • Webinar - ​Voice Your Choice: Preparing for Health Care Emergencies

  • Webinar - Speaking Grief Film Discussion

  • Webinar - LGBTQ+ Seriously Ill Seniors: Opportunities for Better Care

  • Webinar - Grief and Self-Care in the Time of COVID-19

  • Webinar - Supporting Grieving Students After a Death: How We Can Help Them Build Resilience in a Time of Physical Distancing

  • Navigating Transitions for Your Loved One's Care

  • Nine To Ninety Film Screening & Discussion

  • Caregivers' Toolkit: Community Resources for Patients & Families Facing Serious Illness

  • Voices of Grief Film Screening & Discussion

  • Managing Grief in the Age of 24-Hour News & Social Media

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