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Community Education Webinars 2024

Our Community Education programs facilitate constructive conversations in the community about loss, grief and other end-of-life issues. 

Thank you to our Community Education Funding Partner

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For information on Community Education, please contact

Leigh Bluestein, or 301-990-7927

Live Well to Die Well: An Interactive Talk with Author & Educator Chris Palmer
Thursday, June 6, 2024

To live well is to get ready to die well. Our daily lives create the person we will be when we die and, thus, the kind of death we will experience. This educational talk explores goals, strategies, and tactics we can adopt to live meaningful, fulfilled, and productive lives.

Chris leads participants in a reflection of the following:

  • contemplate what matters deeply to us

  • consider how we find purpose and meaning

  • devise a personal mission statement

  • examine how to take better care of ourselves

  • explore how all of these practices can impact on the quality of our death


Chris Palmer is an author, speaker, wildlife filmmaker, conservationist, educator, professor, and grandfather. He dedicated his professional career to conservation but now devotes his life to death and dying issues. His 10th book, Achieving a Good Death: A Practical Guide to the End of Life, will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in October 2024. He is a trained hospice volunteer and founded and runs an aging, death, and dying group for the Bethesda Metro Area Village.

Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy: Extending Compassion and Whole Person Healing

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

People living with serious illness or approaching end-of-life often experience anxiety and depression despite evidence-based counseling, medical interventions, and compassionate palliative care. Many medications to treat anxiety and depression cause notable side effects, take time to become effective, and may not alleviate the emotional suffering and anguish from serious illness or a terminal diagnosis.


This webinar explores the history of psychedelic drugs, research results and opportunities, available resources, and their potential to alleviate suffering and improve quality of life for those experiencing serious illness, such as cancer, or those approaching end-of-life.


Please note: While CaringMatters does not take an official position on the use of psychedelic drugs and specific psychedelic-assisted therapies, we are proud to provide a forum for discussion and education.

Presenter: Mark Bates, Clinical Psychologist, Sunstone Therapies

Mark Bates is a clinical psychologist at Sunstone Therapies who provides psychedelic-assisted therapy with a focus on whole person healing. Mark believes that psychedelic therapy helps people heal core wounds and access their higher selves in unique ways. Mark received his clinical psychology degree from the military's medical school and completed the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research certificate program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He has also received training in multiple psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies and participated in ethnobotany studies in Ecuador and Brazil.

Cognitive Change:
Understanding, Connecting, and Creating Moments of Joy 
Thursday, February 22, 2024

Presented in partnership with

This  important webinar provides information about Alzheimer’s and dementia, free resources from the Alzheimer’s Association and guidance on how to compassionately connect with people experiencing cognitive change.

Long-time CaringMatters volunteer, Carolyn Schick, shares insights from her 23-year journey as a caregiver for her parents and how a special book, “Creating Moments of Joy” by Jolene Brackey, fundamentally transformed her mindset. Carolyn shares personal anecdotes showing how she embraced her parents’ reality and used dynamic storytelling to create moments of joy for her family amidst progressive dementia.


Key idea for creating moments of joy: Find their love language and embrace their reality. 

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel."
- Carl W. Buehner



•    Laura Byer, Program Manager, Alzheimer’s Association, National Capital Chapter
•    Michael Brick, Community Education, Alzheimer’s Association, National Capital Chapter
•    Carolyn Schick, CaringMatters Volunteer

Prepare for the Inevitable: 
Financial Planning to Prepare for the Death of a Family Member

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Presented in partnership with

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The loss of a spouse or family member can be overwhelming. In addition to the grieving process, the surviving family must take steps to put financial affairs in order. One of the best gifts you can give your loved ones is organizing your financial affairs ahead of time. Whether you are preparing to help aging parents, or a senior citizen, this two-part webinar will show you what you’ll need and how to organize yourself to make things easier for your family.  


Part 1
Presenter Tamara Haskins, CPA and Financial Service Professional with New York Life, shares an overview of what needs to be done in the case of a death or disabling condition in a family. Ms. Haskins reviews steps to be taken (and in what order), documents you’ll need, and how to talk with family members ahead of time to prevent issues later.  Tools and resources are shared. 

Prepare for the Inevitable: 
Financial Planning to Prepare for the Death of a Family Member

Part 2: Organizing Your Personal Information

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Part 2

CaringMatters Board Member Sue DeGraba provides a hands-on approach to getting your financial paperwork and other important information organized. Helpful tips and resources, like the Gaithersburg Financial Empowerment Center, are presented. 

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