By Chris Bavender
The Shepherd’s Center of Hamilton County will host a Senior Summit from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 29 at the Mill Church of Nazarene in Noblesville. This is the third year for the event.
“Our first Senior Summit was in 2018 and we hosted another in 2019. Both were met with an overwhelming response from seniors,” said Vicki Burdick, director of marketing and events for the Shepherd’s Center. “Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we did not have a Senior Summit in 2020 and 2021. We are glad to be able to host again in 2022, especially because seniors were so negatively impacted by the pandemic, they need services now more than ever.”
The Senior Summit was the idea of Shepherd’s Center Executive Director Lauren Guynn.
“When we first decided to host a Senior Summit it was about having more open conversations and discussions in the community at-large about aging,” Guynn said. “It shouldn’t be something that is stigmatized or ‘bad,’ but something we can talk about in a positive way and help people be proactive about the options as they age.”
The summit is open to anyone caring for a senior, who may be caring for a senior in the future or is a senior wanting to find resources to help them age safely.
“Caregivers have such a tough job, and we recognize that. Many caregivers are part of what is called ‘the sandwich generation,’ meaning they are not only taking care of a senior such as mom and dad, but also are still caring for children at home,” Burdick said. “This can cause an overwhelming amount of stress. Our goal is to make their job easier by identifying resources available to them and the senior they love that may aid in their caregiving.”
Besides the Shepherd’s Center, several senior service partner agencies will be on-site to share information about their services and answer questions.
“Central Indiana is fortunate to have a wealth of great organizations that provide services in the senior space. However, many caregivers are unaware they are out there,” Burdick said. “Senior Summit provides them a one-stop-shop, so to speak, to learn about these resources.”
Burdick said the summit is important because it allows seniors and their caregivers to be proactive about aging instead of reactive.
“Many caregivers and seniors don’t start looking for services until they have had a trigger moment that necessitates services,” she said. “By attending Senior Summit, seniors and caregivers can collect information, talk to experts and ask questions so if that trigger moment happens, they will immediately have the resources they need to make what may be life-changing decisions.”
Tickets are $10 and available at shepherdscenterofhamiltoncounty.org/event. The deadline to purchase tickets is midnight June 28.