— United Way of Northern New Jersey Caregivers Coalition will hold a Caregivers Conference on Saturday, April 22, providing area caregivers with access to information and resources critical to their role of caring for a loved one.

Held at the Newton Medical Center, Romano Conference and Education Center, 175 High Street, in Newton from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the free conference will provide presentations and resources to help unpaid caregivers who assist loved ones of any age who are ill, frail or living with a disability or mental illness. Complimentary breakfast and lunch will be provided.

The fifth annual Caregivers Conference in Sussex County will explore topics that provide family caregivers with valuable information from local experts and connections to local resources.

“Caregivers often find themselves in this role without preparation or education and all while juggling their own lives,” said United Way Caregivers Coalition Manager Robin Ennis. “United Way is dedicated to ensuring caregivers within our communities have access to the supports and resources they need to sustain themselves as caregivers.”

During the conference caregivers can attend the following presentations:

• Why Sleep? presented by Joanna Hayden, PhD, a certified health education specialist and principal of Associates for Health Education and Behavior, LLC

• Caregiving Across the Lifespan Panel. Experts will discuss common issues faced by caregivers. Panelists include Brianne Lermond, support coordinator, DAWN Center for Independent Living; Diane Friedberg, senior program development specialist, Aging, Sussex County Division of Senior Services; Rachel Helt, director, Family Partners of Morris & Sussex Counties; Jeri Doherty, executive trustee, National Alliance on Mental Illness Sussex

• The Art of Relaxing with Coloring led by Allie Kay, art therapist, Healing Arts Program at Newton Medical Center

The Coalition brings together caregivers, medical professionals, social service agencies, businesses, and other community groups to support unpaid caregivers.

Copies of the recently updated United Way Caregivers Coalition’s “Pathways for Caregivers” will also be available. This free guide contains information, ideas and support for providing care for loved ones. There are separate sections on aging, disabilities, and mental health issues, as well as information on veteran services. The guide is also available online at www.UnitedWayNNJ.org/CaregiverTools.

Caregivers are the family members and friends who help their loved ones with a range of tasks from paying bills or driving to doctors, to personal care such as bathing and dressing, to medical care such as administering medication.

Conference space is limited. Register by April 14 by visiting www.UnitedWayNNJ.org/CaregiversConferences. For more information, email Robin.Ennis@UnitedWayNNJ.org or call 973.993.1160, x305.