Helping families care for their senior loved ones

Mary Anne Oglesby-Sutherly, founder and executive director of Veranda Ministries, will share Positive Techniques for Memory Care during a five-day speaking tour May 7-11 in Texas.

The engagements are public service events sponsored by the MRC Healthy Living Community locations in Texarkana, Lufkin, Huntsville, College Station and Clear Lake as part of their "A Proactive Approach to Dementia" series in recognition of Older Americans Month.

"I'm grateful to MRC for the opportunity to help families learn ways to care for their loved ones with dementia," Oglesby-Sutherly said. "It's an honor for me the help others learn how to celebrate the blessings that our seniors bring to our lives.

"My goal is to help families understand that we have to go into their loved one’s current world and meet them where they are, because they can no longer come into ours,” she said.

“The dementia journey is by no means an easy one, but it’s ok to laugh, have fun and find ways to enjoy this season of their loved ones’ life. This time can be one that provides opportunities for families to grow stronger in their relationships with each other and the Lord.”

JULY 29, 2018

Sumner county caregiver conference set for Sept. 12 in hendersonville

Veranda Ministries is among 10 organizations sponsoring the Sumner County Caregiver Conference on Sept. 12 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Hendersonville. The six-hour educational coaching event is free, but registration is required before Sept. 7. Lunch is provided. Six hours of CEs are offered for nurses. Each attendee will receive a "Certificate of Attendance" for six hours of training. In this translational event: Nurses will gain from the professional clinical content; Families will be brought alongside the nurses’ learning. Everyone is welcome!

The conference features facilitator Dr. Beth Nolan, Ph.D., director of research, grants and policy with Postive Approach® to Care (PAC). PAC is a training and advocacy organization offering techniques used by professionals and families working or living with dementia or other brain changes.

JUNE 2018


Mary Anne Oglesby-Sutherly, founder and executive director of Veranda Ministries in Gallatin, Tenn., has been appointed to the board of directors for Tennessee Association of Adult Day Services (TAADS). Sutherly will serve as vice president of legislative affairs until the term expires Dec. 31, 2019.

The appointment recently was announced by Bill Zagorski, chief executive officer of American Senior Care Centers, Inc.

“In my role as President of the Tennessee Association of Adult Day Services, I have had the honor of meeting and getting to know Mary Anne over the past few years, and personally sought her for this position when it became available,” Zagorski said.

“Mary Anne's experience in the field, combined with her passion to serve and improve the lives of those in need gives her the unique ability to be a leader in the field, and help promote the effort of the association and adult day service providers statewide,” he said. “On behalf of the Tennessee Association of Adult Day Services, we thank and welcome Mary Anne, and hope for her continued service in our great state.”

As vice president of legislative affairs, Sutherly shall monitor state and federal legislation, in conjunction with the TAADS’ contracted legislative correspondent, Clifton Government Relations, which directly or indirectly affects adult day services and report to the Executive Committee and the membership on a regularly scheduled basis. Sutherly also will serve as the lead public affairs correspondent for the association for initiatives regarding legislation and legislative efforts.

“I look forward to working with Bill and the TAADS board in serving Tennessee and helping our senior adult population,” Sutherly said. “As the senior population continues to grow, it’s imperative that care services increase to help address the rising needs.”

Seven years ago, Sutherly saw a need in the Gallatin area and established Veranda Ministries. The Veranda, a primary outreach of Veranda Ministries and a ministry supported by Impact Fellowship Church, provides a time of nurturing respite care to allow family caregivers much needed time for themselves. Services for family also include a monthly support group for caregivers and a semi-annual caregiver conference.

When a 2017 state law threatened to close their respite program's doors, she took action again and enlisted her local legislators Sen. Ferrell Haile and Rep. Courtney Rogers. As a result of Sutherly and her board committee’s crusade to make the case for supporting the ability of The Veranda as well as other respite ministries to help caregivers, a new state law was passed during the 110th Tennessee General Assembly. The legislation enables churches in Tennessee to help families caring for loved ones with dementia, Alzheimer's or other aging issues like never before.

Sutherly holds dual certification as PAC consultant and coach in Teepa Snow's "Positive Approach to Care" and also is certified in Alzheimer’s care by both the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer's Federation of America.

She has appeared on the Nashville Public Television's "NPT Reports: Aging Matters," a series designed to open a community-based conversation about what Middle Tennessee's older citizens need to optimize their quality of life and helping prepare communities for the coming explosion in the aging population.

In March 2018, Mary Anne was recognized during "Huck's Heroes," a special segment of Gov. Mike Huckabee's show "Huckabee" that airs nationally on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN.) Her selection as a "Huck's Hero" resulted from her vision of establishing Veranda Ministries and its work in Sumner County.

TAADS acts as a planning, researching, and training body for adult day services across the state of Tennessee. The organization educates the public and policy makers about the needs of adults in the area of adult day services, adult day treatment, as well as other supportive services. For more information about TAADS, contact Zagorski at or


APRIL 2018

Veranda Director TO SPEAK as part of five-city texas tour

TAADS Officers Mahon Fritts, Mary Anne Oglesby-Sutherly and Bill Zagorski