sealPurdue News

February 13, 2003

Caregiver workshops address emergency preparedness, response

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Teamwork and communication are critical in emergency situations. When seconds count, coordination between responders can mean the difference between life and death, especially for the homebound.

A Purdue University workshop series examines the important link connecting emergency services personnel with professional and family caregivers. The fourth annual Caregiving in the Heartland series will take place at five Indiana locations from March 6 to April 17.

The workshop theme, "Caregiving in Uncertain Times," will provide participants with information on traditional caregiver topics, such as financial planning and social service programs, plus special sessions on emergency planning, crisis response, enhanced 911 service, recovering from disasters and other topics.

"This year we're placing a special emphasis on emergency preparedness," said Paul Jones, program manager of Purdue's Breaking New Ground, a workshop sponsor. "We'll also look at responding to and recovering from emergencies. We want to raise awareness of these issues and encourage emergency personnel and caregivers to interact with each other."

Although emergency services personnel and caregivers work toward a common goal when a crisis strikes, the two groups don't always understand all the issues involved, Jones said.

"When preparing for an emergency you've got to know what is needed in the home, especially for people with disabilities," he said. "You've got to know what to do if they're stuck at home in an emergency with no water or heat.

"There are always local procedures in place for responding and handling emergencies. Then when the recovery period begins you've got programs in place, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Red Cross, and church and nonprofit groups, that provide assistance."

Featured workshop speakers include Randy Beaver, director of safety and training, Unity Healthcare, Lafayette; Ed Bell, a farmer and the executive director of Independent Living Center of Eastern Indiana; Bill Field, project leader, Purdue's Breaking New Ground; and Mark Laker, assistant director, Indiana Bureau of Aging and In-Home Services.

Workshops are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

• March 6 – Providence Center at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Sisters of Providence, Terre Haute, Ind.

• March 25 – John H. Miller Community Center, 2900 North Park Road, Connersville, Ind.

• March 27 – Faith Baptist Church, 5526 E. Indiana 26, Lafayette, Ind.

• April 10 – Stonehenge Lodge, 911 Constitution Ave., Bedford, Ind.

• April 17 – Schergen's Center, 1140 31st St., Tell City, Ind.

Registration is $20 and includes lunch, refreshments and caregiving materials. The registration deadline is one week prior to workshop dates. After the deadline, registration is $25. To register or for more information, contact Breaking New Ground toll-free at (800) 825-4264 or log onto the program's Web site.

In addition to the workshop sessions, the Butler University School of Pharmacy will conduct a "brown bag pharmaceutical check" of prescription medications at each location. Attendees may bring prescription bottles with them for examination of possible drug interactions.

A trade show also is planned at workshop sites. Vendors include service provider agencies and companies that distribute fire safety equipment and durable medical goods.

EMTs attending a workshop can earn three continuing in-service credits.

The Indiana State Office of Rural Health also is a workshop series sponsor, and more than 25 organizations are participating in the planning process.

Breaking New Ground is an outreach program within Purdue's Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. The program offers services and resources for persons with disabilities working in agriculture.

Writer: Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415,

Source: Paul Jones, (765) 494-1221,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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