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Seminars at Calvert Hospice, an Interview With Steve Lyle

Calvert Hospice seminars

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. - Attending a seminar has numerous benefits, including improving communication skills, gaining expert knowledge, networking with others and renewing motivation and confidence.

Calvert Hospice offers seminars monthly at no cost to help educate our community on important topics that will help in their daily lives and prepare them for the future. Our seminars are held in the afternoon between the hours of 1:00-2:30 pm, typically on the second Tuesday of each month. We cover a variety of topics that include: Wills and Estate planning, VA benefits, Caregiving, Advance Directives & MOLST forms, Dementia, How to talk with your healthcare professional, Medication Management, Mind and Mood in Dementia and more!

I recently had an interview with Steve Lyle about our Educational Seminars and asked him how he felt about the quality of education he was receiving at no cost. He explains our seminars are “worth every cent! Seriously, a very helpful and rewarding informational series for those of us who have gotten an unexpected and unfamiliar diagnosis of a serious condition. Doctors provide physical, symptomatic and condition-centered treatment, but the "support stuff" is every bit as critical to helping
maintain quality of life. The well planned and presented informational seminars we have attended have been very helpful. Care Partners can easily burn out without the self-support education, relaxation techniques, comfort and counseling offered by Calvert Hospice staff at these seminars.”

Each seminar is presented by a professional in the field of study and show knowledge and expertise in their field. Steve shares his thoughts about the presenters he has encountered at these seminars. “Given the lack of any preparation for most patients and their partners for dealing with difficult diagnoses, such knowledgeable presentations by staff are priceless in identifying how to begin - and continue along the journey nobody wants to take. Staff seem very careful not to overwhelm with jargon or tech. talk, and are sensitive to the "audience" they are presenting to.”

I went on to ask Steve about the type of topics that we cover and if he had any suggestions for what he would like to see in the future. He shared the seminars are “Well thought out and relevant. Staff carefully select topics that they have experienced as most important to patients and care partners alike. Just becoming aware of community mental health resources was especially interesting and helpful. Elder law, tax & estate planning topics would also be a great help for many.”

Steve explained to me how he has used the information he gained during our Educational Seminars and shared them with others. Steve is the facilitator of the Calvert County Parkinson’s Disease Support Group and told me how valuable the information from our seminars is to their support group members. He enjoys that many seminars provide handouts and helpful resource booklets at no charge that you are able to keep and reference as well as, copy and share with others. Steve said he “took lots of notes, edited them down specific to our needs, then presented it to the Calvert County Parkinson's Disease Support Group and shared at our next meetings. Members then took down the information and reported it was very useful to help in their situation(s).”

Steve encourages others to attend our seminars, and when they do they share how grateful they are that we offer such an excellent resource and they are so happy they came and will definitely come again!

I asked Steve how he felt about hospice expanding their focus to include helping people plan for their later years, coping with challenges of aging, and making decisions about end-of-life options, including palliative care and hospice. Steve shared with me that “recently this came up at another one of the PD Support group meetings: people were very interested in Palliative Care (ongoing support for folks with chronic, progressive diseases, i.e. needing transportation to exercise facilities, home visits for the immobile, etc.) There are FEW resources for information about aging-in-place (i.e. at home vs. facility care). This has been an ongoing discussion with our PD Group. Also, care partner respite options seems critical for long-term care patients, since loss of an effective partner can be as harmful to a patient as the disease itself.”

I encourage everyone to take advantage of these wonderful seminars that greatly enrich our lives. We welcome recommendations of new topics that you would like to see offered. Please check our website www.CalvertHospice.org to register and find out more about our next educational seminar topics being offered. Any questions or comments please call Peggy at 410-535-0892 x4011.

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