Denise, Founder of The Caregiving Years Training Academy

Denise launched The Caregiving Years Training Academy in April 2020 after selling CareGiving.com, an online community she launched in 1996. Denise offers reflects on the personal caregiver experience in her Sunday newsletter.

Connect with Denise through her current initiatives:

In addition to creating support and services for family caregivers, Denise also helps her parents. In a video created for the American Cancer Society, Denise shares her own personal caregiving story. Denise began helping her parents after her father’s bladder cancer diagnosis in 2004.

Denise regularly presents about the caregiving experience and shares her own personal story at conferences and seminars. Learn more about booking Denise for your next caregiving event.

In January 2016, Denise debuted the Certified Caregiving Consultant training program which helps former family caregivers launch a business to help current family caregivers. The program also helps professionals who work with family caregivers communicate effectively and offer the right resource at the right time. She has since added additional programs, including the Certified Caregiving Advocate, Educator, Facilitator and Specialist training programs.

More than 300 individuals from five different countries have enrolled in her training programs. Denise regularly connects her Certified Caregiving Consultants with reporters writing about caregiving issues, most recently connecting three CCCs with a writer for Oprah Magazine Online. Read about our CCCs in the news. Check out our map of CCCs. Watch Denise share about her personal caregiving experience in a video recorded for the American Cancer Society. (Scroll down to “Caregiver Stories.”)

In 1997, Denise began an ongoing project of staging the family caregiver experience. She regularly refines her six stages to reflect the current challenges faced by family caregivers. The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey is now the foundation for her training programs and Master Classes.

Next Avenue named Denise a 2017 Influencer in Aging, one of “50 advocates, researchers, thought leaders, innovators, writers and experts who continue to push beyond traditional boundaries and change our understanding of what it means to grow older.”

Denise organized and hosted the National Caregiving Conference four times between the years of 2016 and 2019. At NCC, family caregivers and former family caregivers were the experts, which meant they presented and participated in panel discussions. Family caregivers and former family caregivers from three countries and 28 states attended the last conference which took place in November 2019.

Attendees to the Third Annual National Caregiving Conference, which convened November 8-11, 2018, said:

"It was amazing. I had lost the last person/my mother in close proximity to the conference. While I wasn't sure if it made sense to attend the conference, it ended up being a very helpful and healing process to do so. Thank you Denise and everyone I encountered over the two days. You helped."

"WOW! How jammed packed full of awesome sessions this was. I wish I had at least 2 more days there to be able to take it all in. There was so much to learn! I felt like I was back in high school changing classes again and it felt wonderful. I met so many incredible people/caregivers. I shared like I've never shared before. Thank you, Denise, for helping make this possible!!! I look forward to next year and as soon as you have a time and place (don't forget how warm it is here in Florida!) I will be sharing with other caregivers and friends. I'm pretty sure everyone knew my name by the time I left. Lots of warmhearted people there."

"A truly amazing and inspirational event, felt so much love and warmth from so many people."

"I felt welcomed! Appreciated! Most exhausting week/weekend that I loved!!"

Denise regularly receives invitations to speak at a various events and participate in panels, round-table discussions and reports about issues faced by family caregivers and potential solutions that can help including:

  • Guest Lecturer: The Family Caregiver's Stress, Loyola University School of Social Work, February 2018 and February 2019
  • Guest Lecturer: The Family Caregiver's Stress, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, May 2018 and May 2019
  • Presenter: The Future of Caregiving, Third Annual National Caregiving Conference, November 2018
  • Presenter: The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey, Society of Certified Senior Advisors Annual Conference, August 2018
  • Panelist: National Family Caregiving Policy - What Might the RAISE Act Inspire, HCBS National Home & Community Based Services Conference, August 2018
  • Presenter: Healing Your Caregiving Hurts, 2018 Family Education Retreat, Alzheimer's Association, Greater Illinois Chapter, April 2018
  • Keynote: The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey, Brethren Village, Lancaster, Penn., November 2017
  • Caregiving expert: LifeSpeak Well-Being Platform for Employers, May 2017
  • Keynote: The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey, Elder Service Providers Annual Caregivers Conference, Bellingham, Wash., March 2017
  • Panelist: Aging in Place, eHI 2016 Annual Conference and Member Meeting, February 2016;
  • Round-table participant: Family Matters in Caregiving and Technology Adoption round-table discussion, part of an Aging Well Expert series sponsored by Philips and Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, April 2015;
  • Panelist: Our Aging Market: Why Businesses Need to Respond sponsored by Harvard Business School Alumni Association of Boston, March 2015;
  • Round-table participant: Catalyzing Technology to Support Family Caregivers sponsored by National Alliance for Caregiving, California Healthcare Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Intel- GE Care Innovations and Institute for the Future, April 2014;
  • Community peer reviewer: Family Caregivers Are Wired for Health, Pew Research Center, June 2013.

Because of her vision, CareGiving.com was the first website to add online caregiving support groups, daily caregiving chats and blogs written by family caregivers. At the time of its sale in March 2020 to Ohio’s Hospice, CareGiving.com held one of the largest online libraries of caregiving stories.

Denise was a team of one -- managing the website’s technology, content, social media and events, including the National Caregiving Conference while also developing and delivering her training programs. CareGiving.com achieved a global ranking of 682,127 on Alexa on January 22, 2020 and generated 60,000 page views per month. On Twitter, Denise launched one of the first chats for family caregivers, which she hosted or co-hosted for ten years. Her Twitter account associated with CareGiving.com attracted 31,000 followers.

Between 1999 and 2018, Denise led Lunch and Learn workshops at employers located in the Midwest on behalf of Employee Assistance Programs and Work/Life Benefit companies. Attendees to her seminars consistently rated her sessions as “Excellent” or “Very Good.”

Attendees to Denise's recent presentations say:

  • “Amazing presentation!!!”
  • “Denise was absolutely wonderful! She spoke with humor, passion and poignance. Her oh-so-important message was augmented by her hilarious and tender stories around her own family caregiving experiences. Denise’s talk was for me a perfect ending to a wonderful conference.”
  • "This is a belated note to say how much I enjoyed hearing you speak at the HCBS conference last week. You were warm, down-to-earth and compelling."
  • "Many thanks for your terrific presentation. Everyone just loved it. You gave each person in the room permission to feel confused and frustrated and challenged. Caregivers need that."

She is the author of nine books that provide insights, comfort and hope to those who care:

  • The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey;
  • Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers;
  • Take Comfort, Too, More Reflections of Hope;
  • Take More Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers:
  • Take Even More Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers;
  • After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again;
  • Caregiving Lists of Your Courage, Hope and Resilience;
  • Take Time, a Journal and Journey Toward Greater Happiness During an Unhappy Time (Caregiving);
  • My Caregiving Journal, My Story of How I Care;
  • Good Morning! Sunny Reflections to Start Your Day.

Her insights have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, US News & World Report, USA Today, SmartMoney.com, Time magazine and Chicago Tribune.

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