Register Today for the 7th Annual Allegany County Conference on Aging

Don’t miss the 7th Annual Conference on Aging, sponsored by the Allegany County Community Partnership on Aging; scheduled for Thursday, May 19, 2011, at Alfred University, Alfred, New York. This year’s conference is entitled “The State of Aging” and will feature national, state and regional experts who are committed to enhancing quality of life for older adults, caregivers and professionals. Registration costs are just $25.00 for caregivers and $40.00 for professionals. Pre-registration is required by contacting the Allegany/Western Steuben Rural Health Network, Inc. at 585-593-5223, ext. 10.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Bill Thomas will join us as our inspirational Keynote Address. Dr. Thomas advocates for improved quality of life for all older adults through his online Changing Aging movement and as a world-renowned authority on geriatric medicine and eldercare. Bill is founder of two movements to reshape long-term care globally – The Eden Alternative and Green House Project.

Bill’s Eden Alternative philosophy put forward a radical critique of long-term care and offered a creative way to “change the culture” of nursing homes by bringing growth and laughter into the lives of elders. Now a global non-profit, the Eden Alternative has affiliates in Japan, Australia, Scandinavia, Europe, Canada, the United Kingdom and all 50 states. Bill continues to serve as president.

A self-described “nursing-home abolitionist”, Bill recognized that America’s nursing home buildings are “aging faster than the people living inside them.” This led him to imagine a radical alternative to nursing homes that became known as the Green House® Project. The model creates small, intentional communities where 7-10 elders and staff focus on living full and vibrant lives. Dr. Thomas graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1986, and was selected by the Mead Johnson Foundation as one of the top Family Medicine residents in the country during his three-year residency at the University of Rochester. He earned board certification in Family Medicine in 1992 and added a certificate in Geriatrics in 1994. Dr. Thomas travels the country addressing academics, healthcare professionals, and researchers. His lectures confront issues related to aging and longevity as well as the wise use of prescription drugs.

Mr. Greg Olsen, Acting Director of the New York State Office for the Aging, (NYSOFA) will join conference attendees to share information about the current state of affairs for aging services and its impact on elders. Mr. Olsen previously worked as the NYSOFA Deputy Director of the Division of Policy, Research and Legislative Affairs since 2007.

In addition, participants can choose to attend two workshops offered throughout the day.  National and state-wide presenters will share their insight and expertise on vital topics; including social media and technology for long-distance caregivers, social media for professionals, late-life suicide prevention efforts, and Alzheimer ’s disease and Dementia.

The event will conclude with a panel presentation entitled, “The State of Confusion” featuring experts on Medicaid and Medicare Reform. Ms. Ann Monroe, President and CEO of the Community Health Foundation of Western New York and member of Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid Reform Team; Mr. Bill Armbruster, Associate Director of NYS AARP; and Mr. Eric Hausman, NYC Department of Aging, will help audience members better understand the ever changing dynamics of Medicaid/Medicare Reform.

The conference cost includes a continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon refreshments and all conference materials. “I am looking forward to this exciting educational event,” explained Helen Evans, Program Manager of the Allegany/Western Steuben Rural Health Network, Inc.  “In the past, over one-hundred fifty professionals, volunteers and community members have participated in the conference. This year we hope to break attendance records with such a dynamic agenda.”

“Without the generous support of our co-sponsors, this conference would not be possible. We would like to thank the following organizations and providers: ACCORD Corporation, Alfred State College, Alfred University, Allegany County Department of Social Services, Allegany County Office for the Aging, Allegany County Senior Foundation, Allegany/Western Steuben Rural Health Network, Inc., Cuba Memorial Hospital, Directions in Independent Living Center, Eden Heights, Ithaca College Gerontology Institute FLGEC, New York Connects-Allegany County, NYS EPIC, Total Senior Care, and Wellsville Manor Care Center.” continued Evans.

Pre-registration is required to attend the conference.  Limited scholarships are available for caregivers and seniors. For further information or to pre-register, please contact the Allegany/Western Steuben Rural Health Network at 585-593-5223, ext. 10.

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