2021 marked the 20th anniversary of the annual Striking a Balance Caregiver Conference – the largest, longest-run free caregiver conference in Central Texas, co-hosted by AGE of Central Texas and the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area.

During this free annual conference, family caregivers discover local resources, learn new skills to meet the needs of their caregiving situation, and connect with other caregivers and local experts on aging.

For 2021, participants experienced 3 days of virtual expert presentations on August 17th through 19th — see the schedule below, with links to recordings of each presentation and the conference materials.

NOTE:  Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in our community, the celebratory in-person luncheon scheduled for Saturday, August 21st, at Norris Conference Center in Austin, will be rescheduled to Saturday, January 22nd.  The luncheon will include a Caregiver Resource Fair and keynote presentation by Chet Garner, star of TV’s The Daytripper.  Registration is free, but space is limited.  For more information or to RSVP, call the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area at (512) 916-6182.

PRESENTING SPONSOR:

– 2021 Conference Schedule –

Tuesday, August 17th:
Wednesday, August 18th:
Thursday, August 19th:
  • 10:00 – 11:30 am: “Caregiving Round Table – What I’ve Learned as a Caregiver”
    Watch the Video
  • 1:00 – 2:30 pm: “What Does the Future Hold for Caregiving?” with Bob Stephen, Vice President of Family Caregiving and Long Term Care at AARP
    Watch the Video
    Download the Powerpoint Slides
      – Featured Speakers –
      Michael Gill
      Texas Senior Living Locators

      Michael Gill is the President of Texas Senior Living Locators, which works with families to help them find the best senior housing options in Central Texas. Michael is widely considered one of the leading regional experts in senior living options with extensive knowledge in Veterans benefits, home health care, non-medical home care, geriatric care management, long term care insurance, senior real estate specialists, senior movers, and a myriad of other senior adult services.

      Having earned the respected Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)® designation, Michael stays current on local and national elder care developments and resources. His corporate background includes banking and finance. As an investment professional, first in venture capital and later on Wall Street, he worked for prestigious firms such as JP Morgan and Austin Capital Management. Wanting to make a difference and help families, Mike moved from the esoteric world of high finance and founded Texas Senior Living Locators in 2012.

      Mike first moved to Austin in 1980 to attend graduate school at The University of Texas, where he received his MBA. He graduated from Villanova University with a degree in economics and history, and also studied in Seville, Spain, where he became fluent in Spanish. During the academic phase of his career, Mike co-authored two books: Financing and Managing Fast Growth Companies: The Venture Capital Process and The New Business Incubator: Linking Talent, Technology, Capital and Know-How. In addition to holding the CSA certification, Mike is also a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and has taken the Texas Assisted Living Manager Courses from the Texas Assisted Living Association.

      Sarah Hyde-Williams
      Senior Living Advisors of Texas

      Sarah Hyde-Williams is deeply passionate about serving seniors and their families in navigating the various options offered by the senior housing and eldercare industry. She has long been an elder care expert and community resource through her various roles within Assisted Living & Dementia-Supportive Communities, along with Home Health & Hospice Care. She has profound respect for the families she guides through what is often a difficult and overwhelming time, becoming a trusted resource and unbiased confidant. Her focus of practice includes senior housing placement, advance care planning, educational/speaking events, training and support groups. She currently serves the Central Texas area as the Facilitator/Educator for the Lewy Body Dementia Association, and active member of both National Association of Senior Advocates and National Placement & Referral Alliance. She currently holds the following certifications/licensures: State of Texas Certified Assisted Living Manager, Certified Dementia Practitioner, Certified Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Care Trainer, Certified Montessori Dementia Care Professional, Certified Dementia Care Manager, Certified Online Training Professional.

      Dr. Barry J. Jacobs
      Author and National Columnist

      Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist, family therapist and a Principal in the Philadelphia office of Health Management Associates, a national healthcare consulting firm. A former journalist, he is the author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers (2006) and the co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers (2016) and the just-released AARP Love and Meaning After 50. He also writes a monthly self-help column for family caregivers on AARP.org. He is the national spokesperson on family caregiving for the American Heart Association and an Honorary Board Member of the Well Spouse Association.

      Bob Stephen
      Vice President of Family Caregiving and Long Term Care at AARP

      Bob Stephen is the Vice President of Family Caregiving and Long Term Care at AARP.  He has dedicated almost a decade to spearheading this effort, leading AARP’s development and implementation of strategy to support all family caregivers in America. Whether through advocacy, products/services, market influence, digital tools, community change efforts or consumer programs, Stephen has set the caregiving strategies for the entire nation and established partnerships with leading caregiving and health organizations to increase AARP’s impact.

      He is a leader with more than 20 years of professional experience working in organizations ranging from start-up firms to large corporations. Leading change to ensure all adults have the care options they want and need as they age.  He holds an M.B.A. in Finance and Business Policy, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

      Nancy Turco
      Dementia and Caregiving Expert

      Nancy has worked with Alzheimer’s residents and families for more than 25 years, with music therapy and activities. In addition to having written and performed jingles and parodies for KVET/Clear Channel radio, Nancy is currently working on her third exercise DVD with sing-along music for older adults.

      She is the facilitator of a monthly support group for families supporting a loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease, and she has facilitated numerous workshops, seminars, and conferences for families of those living with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as for nurses, social workers, and activity directors.  She is also an Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association.

      She specializes in working with those living with dementia, and motivating them with music and meaningful activity programs, as well as being a support system for families traveling through this difficult journey. Her exercise videos are available at Best Alzheimer’s Products.

      2021 Conference Sponsors

      PRESENTING SPONSOR:

      GOLD SPONSORS:

      SILVER SPONSORS:

      MEDIA SPONSORS: