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Online  Caregiver Wellness Retreat
Recorded Live From Houston On January 21, 2021

Welcome Caregivers!

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Recorded Live from Houston

with Melissa Smith-Wilkinson

Founder of Caregiver Wellness Retreat

Start here! Our live segment where we chatted with all of our experts and ​answered questions from caregivers. Make time to watch or review this video and take notes! A lot of wonderful content and tools for you as a caregiver to implement simply, right now. Click here to download the CHAT TRANSCRIPT.

Each of our expert presenters shares their strategies for self-care and wellbeing. Below are short, 5 minute segments with, even more, inspirational segments just for you. Take a moment now to set a sacred space for yourself to enjoy these talks. Make a cup of tea, exhale and know that we are holding you virtually in a hug! 

After you watch the videos, please take a moment to submit your survey and receive a bonus gift from us. 

Enjoy the respite, 


Melissa is the Executive Director of Caregiver Wellness Retreat which she founded after her step-mother was diagnosed with Early On-set. Her passion for creating connection through community and offering the gift of wellness to caregivers began with her journey in the wellness industry at the age of 17. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband and son, Drew, and operates a boutique yoga studio, Pranava Yoga Studio, and hosts teacher trainings and renewal retreats. 


Part 2

with Melissa Smith-Wilkinson

Founder of Caregiver Wellness Retreat

After you watch the videos, please take a moment to submit your survey and receive a bonus gift from us. 

More videos and Bonus Materials Below.


Bonus Video: The Science of Breathing

with Dr. Hazel Cebrum Archie

Dr. Hazel Cebrun-Archie shares with us the benefits of breath-work and a very simple practice you can do now.


Dr. Hazel Cebrun-Archie is a Physician, Wellness Advocate and Entrepreneur who specializes in Emergency and Integrative Medicine. As a speaker and educator, she has developed a program that empowers people to embrace and sustain healthy lifestyles. In 2006, she founded an integrative health practice, Synthesis Health, to help her clients achieve their health and wellness goals.

As a practicing physician, she saw the huge disconnect between the great strides being made in the fields of nutrition and wellness and the actual translation of that information into her patient’s lives. Synthesis Health is an effort to close that gap through greater accessibility to health and wellness counseling and practical tools and/or treatments for daily living. Synthesis Health emphasizes a focus on health within the context of bio-individuality and personal account- ability.

Synthesis Health is grounded in Dr. Cebrun’s diverse academic and clinical training. She works for improvement in community healthcare disparities through her work with her church and sorority. She is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Integrative Medicine for the Underserved and is a published author and researcher. She also shares her thoughts and ideas online where she writes and contributes to health and wellness blogs.

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Looking At Art With the MFAH

with Stephanie Piefer Niemeyer

Most people feel rushed and pressured to “see it all” when visiting an art museum. “Looking at Art with the MFAH” encourages all of us to slow down and take our time with works of art to read them as we would a good book. Slowing down in the galleries helps us think about what we are seeing and allows us to make our own conclusions about the meaning and connecting with not only the art, but the world around us, and with the people, we are sharing the moment. Trust yourself and your instincts and slowly look!

Stephanie has over twenty years of experience working in art museums as a museum educator. She is currently the Manager of Learning and Interpretation at Rienzi, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Center for European Decorative Arts. One of her great passions is working with guests in the galleries to look slowly and carefully at works of art.

For the past two years, Rienzi educators, under Stephanie’s guidance, have developed a program for Houston’s Amazing Place, encouraging art-making and art looking in the galleries, and now during Covid-19, online. Stephanie enjoys herb gardening, riding bicycles with her husband Terry, and snuggling her three spoiled cats.




Bonus Video: The Politics Of Care, Advocacy Advice For Overwhelm

with G.J. Hodson

Does becoming a dementia caregiver take over so much of our lives that we have to disengage entirely from news and politics? Maybe yes, maybe no. This quick tutorial will help you be more thoughtful about how we consume news and engage politics, with bonus tips on advocacy opportunities that serve dementia caregivers.


G.J. Hodson is a social researcher and former dementia caregiver. After five years caring solo for a beloved grandfather, G.J. enrolled in graduate school to research isolation and inequality for caregivers, graduating into a pandemic with a Master's in Sociology and a certificate in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies. G.J. has been a volunteer for the Caregivers of Dementia Wellness Retreats and other organizations since 2017, facilitates two DFW support groups for dementia caregivers, and recently began freelancing as a care coach.

For more information on when and how to say no, check out G.J.'s blog

and the podcast interview on family caregiving.


Bonus Video: Living With Ambiguous Loss 

with ​​Leslie Marchand

The type of stress, loss, and grief that you experience as a family caregiver is called ambiguous loss. In this discussion, we’ll foster self-compassion, resilience, and ways to connect with your loved one and your own intuition.Leslie shares with us about grief, and its impact on caregivers, and a short practice to return to center.


Leslie is a therapist who gently guides people toward their own sense of health and wellness in the midst of life’s joys and challenges. She specializes in working with family caregivers, people with terminal illness, those who have recently lost a loved one, and mental health and health care professionals. She is the Bereavement Counselor for Silverado Hospice of North Houston. She is an author and online course creator through her business, SoYoCo Wellness.



Bonus Video: Yoga For Neck & Shoulder Tension 

with Ellen MacKay

​Learn a few tricks to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders. Plus, discover your own mantra to help relax at any time. As a previous caregiver, Ellen understands the variety of emotions that come along with the role. Yoga helped me relieve tension and find some peace during my caregiving journey.

Ellen MacKay is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (500hr) with a degree in Social Work. Ellen is the Yoga4Caregivers Seva Project Program Director and helps cultivate and grow the community while supporting the broader efforts of the nonprofit. She understands the Caregiving journey from personal experience having served as a Caregiver to her mother during her battle with lung cancer and her father in the final stages of COPD. Ellen is passionate about empowering others to find healing by turning inward to connect with the body, mind, and spirit.

Check out our Podcast interview with Yoga4Caregivers.

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Music Therapy 

with Chris Webb

Chris shares with us the power of music. How we can connect with others, improve our mood, and access memory through the making of a playlist. How will careful curation of our music we can validate our feelings and transform our emotional state.

Chris Webb has worked in psychiatry for 27 years. She enjoys helping individuals learn to express themselves, identify their wellness goals and reach.


She teaches cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, wellness planning, and how to live a balanced life. Additionally, she offers music therapy, functional, leisure, and vocational consults.

Links to articles about the Iso-Principle:  

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Bonus Video: How To Prevent Guardianship and Why

with Kimberly Hegwood

What are the key documents you need to have in place now to prevent guardianship and create peace of mind by planning well? Kim shares consciously exactly what will ease stress by being legally and financially prepared. 

Kim Hegwood has been a practicing Attorney since she graduated from South Texas College of Law in 1996. After watching her grandparents struggle to maintain their independence as they grew older, trying to navigate the challenges of aging, and deal with the legal, financial and emotional challenges that our loved ones face in their golden years, Kim dedicated her career to helping families preserve their dignity and protect their assets.

Kim started
her own law firm in 1998 so she could practice law her way – with a focus on family. Kim is passionate about educating her clients, helping them choose legal strategies that will achieve their goals and help them age with security and dignity. As a mother of three, Kim enjoys spending most of her free time with her children and grandchildren when she is not volunteering at one of her favorite charities.

Kim’s practice focuses exclusively on Elder Law, Asset Protection, Estate Planning, Medicaid Crisis Planning, Probate, and Guardianship. By witnessing what her grandparents endured, Kim understands what her clients are going through and dedicates herself and her practice to treating each of her clients as if they were her own family.

Order your FREE copies of Kim Hegwood’s books on how to cope with Alzheimer’s Disease. They are available for individuals diagnosed with dementia as well as their caregivers!
Click HERE to order yours today!

Getting your affairs in order, care planning by the National Institute on Aging.

Hegwood Law Group, PLLC Facebook Page


Bonus Video: Caregiver Resources

with Kathryn Watson

Having the right resources can save you time and headaches. Kathryn discuss 3 resources that will help you in your role as a caregiver.


Like many Kathryn Watson was thrust into a caregiving role without preparation. Struggling to find and learn the information she needed and find the best resources to care for her aging mother and mother-in-law Kathryn realized that most families needed help.


Kathryn is the author of Help! My Parents Are Aging and Help! I Can’t Do This Alone. She is the creator and Founder of Find Houston Senior Care, a local web directory helping families connect with professionals and resources they need. As the producer and host of the Life After 50 Show, Kathryn interviews experts in all topics to help people navigate the second half of their life. In 2019 Kathryn partnered with CarePartners™ to produce and host a series of online senior conferences to educate and inform. Additionally, Kathryn works with a select group of businesses in the care industry to help them find better ways to market their business online to reach the people who need their services.


Bonus Video: Thoppo Karanam

with Jeanette Sealy

Jeanette shares with us a a form of practice of discipline for wellness called Thoppo Karanam.


Thoppo Kranam is a Tamil word that means "to hold the ears" and is a traditional South Indian practice that has been used for centuries with children as a way to increase attention and enhance learning. Evidence shows that Thoppu Karanam encourages cross brain communication, helps improve memory, focus, and concentration as well as reduce anxiety and enhance clear mental states.

Jeanette is a life doula specializing in ushering women through life’s moments of transition. She has over 20 years of experience working in Hospice and Long term care and is an Internationally Certified Yoga Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Dementia Care Practitioner.⁠

She helps conscious women who are healers, caregivers, and leaders go deeper into their evolution so that they have the support, systems and tools to reach a heightened level of inner peace, sovereignty, and spirituality.⁠

For free virtual summit to compassionate end of life care for caregivers, click here

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Closing Discussion: Life After Caregiving

with David Davis

David is Executive Director Memory Care Alliance, Our Mission: To provide pro-active comprehensive on-going support, education and resources for those families living with Alzheimer’s and all other dementia-related illnesses. To educate and raise community awareness concerning the level of need. To remove the stigma associated with dementia-related illnesses and replace it with compassionate understanding.


Bonus Video: Self Care Practice

with Jeanette Sealy

Jeanette shares with us a a form of Self Care.

For free virtual summit to compassionate end of life care for caregivers, click here.

Thank you for joining us!

Houston2021 sponsors
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