NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- As long-time New Rochelle residents, Gwen and Alvin Clayton support a host of community events and programs. In November, they will share their expertise as caregivers for elderly parents.
The Claytons will be the keynote speakers for The Art of Caregiving, a conference scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 19, at New Rochelle Public Library. The conference will help caregivers address the emotional and physical challenges of caring for loved ones. It takes place from 4:30-7 p.m. at the library, located at 1 Lawton St.
Barbara Davis, the community relations coordinator for the library, said the conference will also have representatives from different organizations such as attorneys, social workers and elderly care businesses for people to have one-on-one consultations.
“This conference fits perfectly in line with our mission and providing a space where people feel comfortable talking about a challenge that faces them,’’ Davis said. “It’s a huge advantage when you can have that 1-on-1 contact. This is something I’ve been wanting to do.”
Alvin owns Alvin & Friends restaurant in New Rochelle, and is also an accomplished artist and former model. Examples of Clayton’s artwork will be on display at the Caregivers Conference.
The Claytons are also experienced at coping with the stresses that are placed on families when they need to care for an elderly parent. Davis said hearing the Claytons share their story will resonate with guests at the conference.
“It will help them identify,’’ Davis said. “People will be able to hear how they were able to do it, how they would find the resources and the strength. I think they’ll also find out there are benefits to being caregivers. That’s not something everyone thinks about.”
Davis, who also served as an elderly caregiver, says it can be an enriching experience. “There’s a lot of benefit of being a caregiver,’’ she said. “There’s a tremendous value in the relationship that you form with them. It’s a new kind of relationship. Once you’re on that leveling field, all kinds of new things open up.”
People can register for the free conference by sending an email to Jennifer Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 914-813-6263. Reservations are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome.