Event Details

Elderwerks and the Veterans Assistance Commission of McHenry County have put together a series of educational seminars to help veterans and at-home caregivers. Please note that the same Zoom link will be used all five days.


  • May 24, 2021

  • May 25, 2021

  • May 26, 2021

  • May 27, 2021

  • May 28, 2021

10 AM - 11 AM
Veterans Benefits
A discussion of programs offered by the VBA and VHA to support veterans and their spouses such as adaptive housing grants, VHA grants for medically needed adaptations, in-home care, day care...
A discussion of programs offered by the VBA and VHA to support veterans and their spouses such as adaptive housing grants, VHA grants for medically needed adaptations, in-home care, day care, and more.
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  • Gregory Barry (Attorney at Law, Public Guardian & Public Administrator of McHenry County at Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle)

    Gregory Barry

    Attorney at Law, Public Guardian & Public Administrator of McHenry County at Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle

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  • Theresa Coomer (Illinois Fellow at Hidden Heroes)

    Theresa Coomer

    Illinois Fellow at Hidden Heroes


    Theresa Coomer is a master educator with over a decade teaching, caregiver to her wounded warrior partner, and the Illinois Fellow for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. Theresa and Marcus are the parents of two young children, Timothy (2) and Violet (1). Theresa and Marcus met in 2008, a year after Marcus was medically discharged from the Army. While in service Marcus had broken his back, luckily just the bones and not the spinal cord,and sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury in an explosion while driving his tank in Samara, Iraq. After his separation from service, Marcus was diagnosed with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Theresa has helped Marcus with his daily activities including cooking, cleaning, scheduling appointments, accompanying him to appointments, monitoring medications, and advocating for him at the VA due Marcus’s anxiety and memory issues. Together, Theresa and Marcus have overcome many obstacles that have arisen from his wounds of war including drug addictions and suicide attempts.

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    Jane Dorfner

    Assistant Superintendent at Veteran's Assistance Commission of McHenry County

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  • Michael Iwanicki (Superintendent at Veterans Assistance Commission of McHenry County)

    Michael Iwanicki

    Superintendent at Veterans Assistance Commission of McHenry County


    Michael Iwanicki served honorably in the US Navy. After earning his degree in Management and Economics he began his career in Retail Management and Customer Service. In 1998 Mike was offered a position with the Veterans Assistance Commission and was elected to the position of Superintendent by the county’s veterans service organizations in 2003. Working with the Commission the VAC’s mission was redefined to include prioritizing assisting veterans and their families with the presentation and prosecution of VA claims. Michael shares his knowledge of working with the VA to help train other Veterans Service Officers as well as the public. Michael had served 6 years as President of the Illinois Association of County Veterans Assistance Commissions, and is currently serving as President of the Illinois Association of County Officials. He lives with his wife Stacy their 2 dogs and 2 cats. When not helping veterans and their families he enjoys gardening, beekeeping, and cooking.

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  • Chris Petrik, RN, BS (Training Specialist at Elderwerks)

    Chris Petrik, RN, BS

    Training Specialist at Elderwerks


    Chris Petrik comes to Elderwerks with over 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. From bedside nursing to education, Chris brings a cross section of experience. As past adjunct faculty at a local community college, Chris helped develop and implement curriculum. Holding positions of Director of Staff education and Resident wellness, Chris soon learned her passion surrounded the arena of education of Dementia, and became a certified dementia educator so that staff could learn about the disease, leading to a more positive interactions between staff and the person living with dementia

    Chris is also available for various onsite and offsite trainings related to IDPR regulations as well as other relevant topics related to senior living.

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  • Jennifer Prell (President at Elderwerks Educational Services)

    Jennifer Prell

    President at Elderwerks Educational Services


    For over 17 years, Jennifer Prell, President of Elderwerks Educational Services, has been an expert in senior housing, care and the transitioning of older adults. She helps facilitate services and new living arrangements for seniors. Through education Jennifer believes we can better prepare for aging and avoid crisis’s that can occur. She is a Board member of CHUG (Collaborative Healthcare Urgency Group), Vice President of Continuity of Care McHenry/Lake, Board member of the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce, Board Member of the Palatine Chamber of Commerce, member of the McHenry County Task Force on Aging and a member of many other groups supporting older adults in Illinois.

    Jennifer is also the founder and president of Paxem, Inc. an A+ Accredited Senior Move Management company that helps seniors and families through the sorting, right-sizing and moving process.

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  • Sarah Schrempf (Executive Director of Senior Care Volunteer Network McHenry County)

    Sarah Schrempf

    Executive Director of Senior Care Volunteer Network McHenry County


    Sarah has lived, worked, and volunteered in the McHenry County area her entire life however it was not until 2010 when both her brother and elderly mother fell ill that she was introduced to the term “caregiver” and all the challenges that came along with it. Through both personal experience and her 20 years of working and volunteering in nonprofit management, Sarah was a perfect fit for Senior Care Volunteer Network (SCVN) when the organization was searching for a new Volunteer Program Director in 2014. After a year in that role, Sarah was promoted to Executive Director of SCVN which is the role she still holds today.

    Connecting people to community resources available to seniors and their families can be a daunting task when considering the unique challenges each family may be facing; especially the past 14 months. Sarah will introduce some local resources available to seniors, families, and caregivers that we hope will provide some direction for those needing a place to begin without being so overwhelmed. Sarah would like to remind folks that even when people are lost, they are never truly alone if you know there is someone to listen and hear them.

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    Randall Tyner

    Assistant Attorney General at Illinois Attorney General's Office

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  • Melissa Wick (Elder Law Attorney at Wick Elder Law, P.C.)

    Melissa Wick

    Elder Law Attorney at Wick Elder Law, P.C.


    Melissa Wick is an Elder Law Attorney with more than 25 years of experience. Melissa concentrates her practice in advising clients and their families on how to protect their hard earned life savings from the devastating costs of long term health care needs. She focuses on Estate Planning, including Medicaid applications, VA Aid & Attendance, guardianship and other Elder Law issues.

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Veterans and Caregivers Aging Well Series

Upon registration, you will receive the Zoom link to join. The same link to join will be used all week.

Standard Price Free