What’s New?

Whats New?

Gero at FranU at the Grandparents raising Grandchildren Annual Conference!

 The Grandparents raising Grandchildren (GRG) annual conference is this Friday, April 12th!

Fran U nursing students will offer health screenings under the Community Nursing Course lead Ms. Cindra Schneider and a breakout session on current health topics for older adults will be led by Dr. Lindsay Mullins, Chair of the Gerontology Program. 

Interested in attending?  Please call the GRG office to register or for more information at 225.810.3555. We hope to see you there!


Whats New?

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Annual Conference 2019

The 22nd annual Conference of the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Information Center of Louisiana (GRGICL) will be called to order on Friday April 12, 2019 at 8 a.m. This Conference annually attracts 300+ attendees from all over the state and is a free resource to grandparents raising grandchildren and other persons raising children who are not their own. Throughout the day there will be a number of exhibits from community agencies that provide services for grandparents as well as workshops on various topics of interest.

The opening session will include a keynote address by Governor John Bel Edwards or his representative and welcoming remarks from Marketa Walters, Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services, Senator Regina Barrow, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, and other community leaders. Concurrent workshops on topics to inform kinship caregivers on current issues that affect them and the children in their care will be run through the remainder of the morning. A free lunch is provided at noon.

One of the highlights of the Conference is always the Legal Panel that begins as soon as lunch is served. Led by Attorney Todd Gaudin, the panel’s attorneys will discuss their family practices and offer advice to audience members who submit questions. An array of door prizes and tee shirts will be presented to attendees to close out the day. All grandparents raising grandchildren and others raising children not their own are cordially invited to attend the Conference. It will be held at the Holiday Inn South, 9940 Airline Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70816.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren was co-founded by Dot Thibodeaux and Danna Stone Spayde. Danna is a co-founder and life member of the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Information Center of Louisiana (GRGICL) and currently serves as Vice-president of the Board. She and Dot Thibodeaux began this organization in 1993 as a local support group when Danna was the program developer for the EBR Council on Aging. Over the years it has grown into a statewide 501(c)(3) organization. She and Dot have received regional and national recognition for this program. Dot is currently is President of the Board of this organization and oversees, as a volunteer, various activities. She is a long time group leader of “Second Time Around” monthly support group in Baton Rouge.

Please call our office to register or for more information at 225.810.3555.

Kathy Coleman
Secretary/Treasurer of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.

Whats New?

March is Save Your Vision Month!

You may be aware that our vision changes as we age, but did you know that vision loss may be so subtle that it often becomes quite advanced before treatment is sought? There are a lot of contributors to vision impairment and loss, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or even your medications. The American Optometric Association have identified several age related vision disorders to be aware of which include:

Age related macular degeneration: A disorder of the macula which causes central vision loss. Those with this disorder may notice their peripheral vision is unaffected, while their central vision becomes cloudy.

Cataracts: A cataract is a cloudy area of the normally clear lens of the eye. These may become so large that they affect vision. Cataracts may also make a person more sensitive to glare and have a decreased view of color.

Glaucoma: A group of eye diseases that result from damage to the optic nerve. Older adults, African Americans, and those with a family history of glaucoma are at a greater risk for this disease that can destroy peripheral vision.

Want to learn more? Check out the original article from the American Optometric Association here.

Whats New?

Older Adults and Diabetes

March 22nd is the American Diabetes Association’s alert day, and diabetes is one of several conditions that affects older adults in large numbers. According to the American Diabetes Association, 25% of adults over 60 have diabetes, which can have profound effects on an older adult’s longevity, functional status, and risk for hospitalization. Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce any insulin (Type 1) or does not produce sufficient insulin or is insulin resistant (type 2) leading to high blood sugar levels. Having high blood sugar can damage the eyes and kidneys, raise blood pressure, and can increase the risk of stroke.  If you would like to learn more, click here to download the American Diabetes Association’s guide for healthy living with diabetes for adults 55 and up.

Whats New?

A Tale of Two Families’ Journeys

Last week, I was attending the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative
Medicine’s Annual Assembly in Orlando, Fla. This brings together people from all
the medical disciplines who care for the seriously ill: physicians, nurses, advanced
practice nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, social workers, and chaplains.
Palliative Care deals with serious illness and the end of life. It supports patients
and families in having the best experience when this time inevitably comes.
Because the conference is being held in Orlando, it was no surprise that there
were many, many families on my flight, and their excitement was contagious.
I can say with confidence that most of them were not heading to AAHPM, but to
Disney World.

A Disney vacation is something that is planned with great detail: the parks to visit,
what rides to do, dining with favorite characters, where to stay – each visit
tailored to what suits each family best. Because of this planning a special time is
created that is remembered and cherished by everyone.
It’s interesting how most people recognize that going to Disney without a plan is a
big mistake. No plan would make their vacation at Disney dismal.
Of course, not every family gets to go on a Disney vacation, but there are other
trips and adventures that require similar care and planning to have the best

A big part of the conference focuses on how to get people to plan for what they’d
want if they or their loved ones became seriously ill. Because so often when a
loved one becomes seriously ill, we are shocked and taken by surprise without
any plan about what to do. A difficult experience is made even more challenging
as families try to navigate this unfamiliar world of serious illness without any idea
of what their loved one would want.

But fortunately, there are many people dedicated to making this unwanted
experience better for families, and for this week, many of them are gathered here
in Orlando.

So what I’m thinking about is what we can learn from the creative, talented
Imagineers at Disney? How can we make planning for the journey of serious
illness something that is as normal a part of adult behavior, as the attention,
research and discussion that a journey to Disney entails.
That would be magical indeed.


Matthew Rachleff

Matthew is co-founder and CEO of Naveon, a platform supporting families and care teams during serious illness.