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Morning Pointe Foundation’s Caregiver Café addresses common questions about helping parents as they age

photo of the experts at the Morning Pointe Foundation's 2024 Caregiver Café in Chattanooga, left to right: Mary Ross-Tarkington, Kristi Wick, Amy Boulware, Tara Simpson, and Rebecca Miller

Panelists addressed a variety of questions related to helping aging parents during the Morning Pointe Foundation’s free Caregiver Café on March 18, “How to Make Tough Decisions for Your Aging Loved One.”

Attendees from around the greater Chattanooga area attended the event at the Silverdale Center Creekside Theatre off Bonny Oaks Drive in Chattanooga. A panel of four local experts shared their most frequently asked questions regarding financial planning, Medicaid and Medicare, veterans benefits and geriatric care.

The event ended with opening the floor for direct audience questions, which ranged from VA benefit eligibility to the purpose of various kinds of trusts.

“The session helped me know that I am on the right track and let me know what I need to focus on,” said Gena Harris, one of the attendees.

Her sister-in-law, Lee Ballenger, also attended and found the discussion helpful. She has been caregiving for her mother for 15 years and runs three caregiver support groups in the area. “It’s still a good reminder about being on top of things,” she said.

photo of guests and Morning Pointe representatives visiting after the Caregiver Café session
Guests and Morning Pointe representatives visiting after the Caregiver Café session

The four panelists were Rebecca Miller, elder law attorney with Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel, P.C.; Tara Simpson, licensed insurance agent and patient advocate; Kristi Wick, the Vicky B. Gregg chair of gerontology and assistant professor for the UC Foundation; and Mary Ross-Tarkington, national director of client relations for Elder Veterans Legal Aid Group. Amy Boulware, care manager for elder law and special needs with Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel, P.C., moderated the discussion.

“I thought the event went smoothly and engaged our audience well,” said Miranda Perez, Morning Pointe Foundation executive director. “For adult children of aging parents, having the resources to address their questions can make a big difference, and our panelists and moderator did a great job of not only answering common questions but pointing our guests to further help and counsel on other questions they may have.”

The Morning Pointe Foundation offers its Caregiver Café educational series as a free service to the community each spring as part of its mission to provide caregiver support programs. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Morning Pointe Senior Living founded by senior healthcare entrepreneurs Greg A. Vital and J. Franklin Farrow. In addition to the caregiver support, the nonprofit sponsors educational awareness events and funds scholarships to advance the care of seniors throughout the Southeast.

Founded in 1997 by Vital and Farrow, Morning Pointe Senior Living owns and operates 38 assisted living, personal care, and Alzheimer’s memory care communities in five southeastern states: Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama and Indiana.

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