Elder Care Conference – 2019 2019-08-23T09:58:06-04:00
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2019 Elder Care Conference

 Thursday, September 5, noon to 5:00 p.m. and
Friday, September 6, 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

 Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge


Conference Schedule

 Click the tabs below for session details and presenter bios. 

Opening Keynote: Finding Life Satisfaction
Presenter: Edward Ansello, PhD, Director of the Virginia Center on Aging
We grow less alike, more ourselves, as we grow older. This process is called individuation. So there are many contributors to individual life satisfaction. Three of the most important are having a confidante, having friends of substance, and participating in meaningful activities. While some of these components may become missing with advancing years, there are positive actions we can take to maintain well-being and overall satisfaction with our lives. This session will discuss these.

A to Z Guide for Caregivers of Persons Living with Dementia
Presenter: Jane Foy, Community Outreach Liaison for the Weldon Copper Center
Jane Foy’s journal became her first book. In it, she shares the experiences she has encountered with her loved one from the date of diagnosis to her current everyday living challenges. It is a hopeful, sometimes funny guide for people, who like her were not trained to be caregivers and did not aspire to the job!

Foot Care for Good Health
Presenter: Dr. Chris Stewart, Podiatric Foot & Ankle Surgeon
The feet can be an indicator of overall health and problems with feet can lead to more serious issues. Proper foot care is especially important for individuals who have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or any other health issue that causes poor circulation in the feet. Caregivers who take the time to check their patients’ feet regularly are likely to recognize problems early, preventing discomfort, improving mobility, and avoiding infection and possible amputation. Dr. Stewart’s practice has had an emphasis on preventing and treating toenail fungus, and he has published findings on his innovative approaches.

Getting Better at Getting Older
Presenter: James Collins, Pivot Physical Therapy
This session will provide participants with a summary of aging actively strategies. The focus will be on using current research to develop sustainable habits to foster improved balance, strength and endurance. Participants will be given necessary anatomy and physiology information presented in an understandable and meaningful manner. Ultimately, the goal is to provide instruction on maintaining an independent, active life, with an emphasis on fall prevention and exercise strategies.

Scams, Fraud and Abuse
Presenter: Ron Farmer, TRIAD
Learn how not to become a victim. What are some of the current scams to take your money? You have worked hard for what you have. Be armed with knowledge and resources to protect yourself and not fall prey to these wolves and Internet thieves.

The Science and Practice of Compassion
Presenter: Anna DeLong, UVA Faculty & Employee Assistance Program (FEAP)
Recent research provides good evidence to suggest practicing compassion, (including self- compassion) has an overall positive impact on health and wellbeing, and can serve to diminish negative consequences of stressful situations. Join us for learn how empathy, (associated with burnout), and compassion, (associated with wellbeing) differ. Discover strategies to help you cultivate the practice of compassion in your own experiences. This session will feature information-sharing as well as several brief opportunities to practice exercises shown to cultivate sustainable compassion.

Overcoming the Stigma of Hospice Services
 Presenter: Ron Cottrell, Hospice of the Piedmont
Often times the word “hospice” is frightening to people. End-of-life is a topic that we know we will all face, however not always planned for or talked about. Learning more about hospice can lead to maximizing quality of life, at the end of life. This presentation will review the core elements of hospice care, the benefits to patients and families and will dispel the myths around hospice services.

Effective Communication Strategies for Caregivers of Persons Living with Dementia
Presenter: Annie Marrs, Alzheimer’s Association
As the disease progresses, communication skills decline. These changes can be challenging and lead to frustration for the person living with the disease as well as for caregivers, friends and family. Caregivers will learn how to understand what changes may occur in early, middle and late stages, take steps to prepare, and adjust their own behavior to lessen frustration and engage in successful communication.

Enjoyable and Meaningful Activities
Presenter: Presenter: Laurie Sewell, InnovAge Virginia PACE-Blue Ridge
From the time that we are children to end of life, we all pass through phases of exploring recreation options and developing leisure skills. Activities that each of us find meaningful enhance our quality of life. As we age, our ability to engage in our favorite leisure interests is affected. Changes in vision, hearing, physical abilities, communication, and cognition impact our opportunities for fulfillment. Often, peers and family members assume caregiver roles and have little time or energy to focus on pure enjoyment. This session focuses on a variety of recreation domains. It provides examples, demonstrates techniques and is intended to bring enjoyment to all involved.

Geriatric Assessment (break-out session)
Presenter: Jessica Cooper, RN, BSN, OCN, Senior Service Program Coordinator Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital
As we age, we become more likely to develop different kinds of health problems. These problems are referred as geriatric syndromes, which are problems that are multifactorial and associated with poor outcomes and a decrease in quality of life. Not all health problems are a “normal” part of aging. In this session, you will learn about the most common geriatric syndromes, what is and is not a normal part of aging, and some recommendations to help you or your loved one maintain independence and quality of life.

Improving Sleep to Maintain Brain Health (break-out session)
Presenter: Meghan Mattos, Assistant Professor, UVA School of Nursing
We know that we feel better after a good night’s rest, and that healthy, consistent sleep promotes maintenance of our brain health. There is also a growing amount of evidence showing that poorer sleep is associated with worse cognitive functioning. In this session, participants will learn about the relationship between sleep and cognition, expected age-related changes in sleep, and ways to improve their own sleep.

ABCs of Caregiver Self-Care: Attention, Balance, and Coping
Presenter: Suzanne Hilton Smith
This session will explore the values, beliefs and expectations that we bring to our roles as caregivers.  We’ll also consider the expectations others have of us. We’ll discuss how we can discover the balance that is right for each of us as we move from one stage to another in caregiving.

Dr. Edward F. Ansello is the Director of the Virginia Center on Aging and of the Virginia Geriatric Education Center, at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. His work in the field of aging spans more than 40 years. He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE). He currently serves on the boards of several organizations dedicated to improving later life.

James Collins, PT CSCS, is the Area Manager and a physical therapist at Pivot Physical Therapy in Charlottesville (Pantops). He is the former owner of Pantops Physical Therapy, rebranded in 2017 as Pivot Physical Therapy. James holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from State University of New York at Buffalo and graduated Magna Cum Laude from State University of New York at Buffalo with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology. James enjoys learning, perfecting his skills and applying new information to his practice every day. He maintains professional memberships with the American Physical Therapy Association and the Vestibular Disorders Association. He has published a variety of articles in Advance publications. James has been a professional educator to his peers and, more recently, has found a passion teaching the public. He teaches courses emphasizing aging actively through the Senior Center and OLLI.

Jessica Cooper, RN, BSN, OCN, is the Senior Service Program Coordinator at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital. She has been a nurse with SMJH for 11 years, working in a variety of areas with in the hospital on an inpatient and outpatient basis. She received her Associates Degree in Nursing from PVCC and her BSN with Old Dominion University. She also is an Oncology Certified Nurse. She serves the senior population to evaluate their needs and helps coordinate services for them and their caregivers, helping them to understand what options available to them and navigating the health care system.  As a community liaison, Jessica makes it a priority to identify and develop relationships with our community so that she can make navigating the healthcare system easier, helping to overcome barriers to care, and being a knowledge base of options available in the community.  She also supports seniors in healthy aging by keeping them informed of educational programs, creating senior level exercise programs at SMJH, and connecting them to support systems as needed. Jessica lives in Louisa with her Husband and two children.

Ronald Cottrell has been the President and CEO of Hospice of the Piedmont (HOP) since October 2016. He has more than 30 years of experience in hospital administration and management. Prior to joining HOP, he was a longtime administrator with Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, where he worked since 1989. Most recently, he was Vice President of Business Development of the Blue Ridge Region of Sentara Healthcare, which includes Martha Jefferson Hospital in Albemarle County and Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg. Mr. Cottrell serves as past chair for Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development and has been a community council member of the Charlottesville/Albemarle Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Cottrell is a board member for the Martha Jefferson Hospital Physician Hospital Organization and is Vice Chair of the Virginia Association of Hospice and Palliative Care. He graduated from Central Michigan University and received a Master’s of Business Administration degree from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. Mr. Cottrell and his wife, Dawn, live in Charlottesville, and have four sons.

Anna DeLong, LCSW, CEAP has more than 30 years of experience as a psychotherapist and has been an avid practitioner of Mindfulness since the early ‘90s.  Anna is trained and sanctioned by UMASS Medical School to teach Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, (MBSR). Anna has been developing “Begin Where You Are” and “Real Life Mindfulness” strategies to invite a gentle exploration and practice at a self-directed pace. Anna is a voracious student of neuropsychology and stays on top of evidence-based strategies to promote wellness, healthy relationships and living with ease. Anna has developed workshops and programs on various topics of interest. Anna believes inherently in the resiliency of the human spirit and in our power to recover, to heal, to grown and to learn. Anna believes learning these skills, tools and strategies can make the difference between living your life as a feather bounced around at the whim of the wind, or as an eagle who respects and works with the power of the wind to soar on a path of intention and purpose.

Ron Farmer, DPP, ISP, serves on the Albemarle County Police Community Advisory Team for the Jefferson District, supports TRIAD, and serves in leadership on the Security and Safety Team at Northside Baptist Church. He maintains two professional certifications: Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Industrial Security Professional (ISP). Ron began his crime prevention career with the Glendale Police Department, and was involved in investigations and corporate consulting for 25 years as an owner and partner in private firms. He is currently the Facility Security Officer (FSO) and Manager at Northrop Grumman in Charlottesville. The Charlottesville -Albemarle TRIAD works at the local level to improve the quality of life for seniors by providing an active exchange of information between local law enforcement and seniors. Our local TRIAD comprises the Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office, the Charlottesville City Sheriff’s Office and dedicated, volunteer senior citizens all working together to reduce criminal victimization of the elderly.

Jane Foy is a veteran broadcaster whose career began by way of the theater. After attending the Pittsburgh Playhouse School of the Theater (later Point Park College) she became a Stage Manager at Arena Stage, Washington, DC. When she returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, she began her broadcasting career with KDKA-TV and WPXI-TV, then on to radio news as an anchor and producer for WWSW-AM and WPEZ-FM. She also owned a special-events planning company, “The Pleasure of Your Company.” Prior to moving to Virginia, she was the Public Relations Director for the Pittsburgh Blind Association. Moving to Virginia in 1994, she and her husband, Patrick, settled in Middleburg where they owned Reynard’s Grill and Inn. She also hosted “The Loudon Showcase of Homes” television program for Loudon County TV. Jane and Pat moved to Charlottesville in 1997, where she was a documentary producer for ESI productions. From 1998 to 2018 Jane was the producer and co-host of the WINA Morning News in Charlottesville. Currently, Ms. Foy serves as the Community Outreach Liaison for the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service project: BeHeardCVA. Ms Foy has served on the Virginia Advisory Board for Career and Technical Education and served in an advisory capacity for numerous local non-profit organizations.

Annie Marrs is the Family Services Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Central and Western Virginia Chapter, celebrating over ten years with the organization. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Annie serves individuals impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in many ways; some of which include facilitating support groups, presenting in the community and to our first responders, as well as providing family and individual care consultations to help navigate the progression of this disease. Annie also enjoys training new volunteers to help join the Cause by sharing their own gifts of support, public speaking, event assistance, and more. Annie lives in Louisa with her husband and two young children and enjoys taking pictures and walking through our state and national parks.

Meghan Mattos, PhD, RN, CNL, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Nursing. Her research focuses on the prevention and treatment of cognitive impairment in older adults, particularly those living in rural areas with limited access to care. Dr. Mattos received her BA from UVA and obtained her Masters of Science in Nursing in 2009. She practiced clinically in both acute and critical care settings prior to pursuing her PhD, which is where she developed her research interests in gerontology, cognitive health, and health equity. She obtained a PhD at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and a Health Equity Certificate from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Her continued commitment to providing care to underserved and aging communities drives her research, clinical, and teaching interests.

Laurie Sewell is a Recreational Therapist with InnovAge Virginia PACE – Blue Ridge, as the Adult Day Health Care Manager/Recreation Therapy Manager. She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and has spent her career providing recreation opportunities for people with disabilities, with a focus on treating individuals with respect and dignity. She received her BA degree from Northeastern University. She utilizes modified techniques and adaptive recreation equipment to facilitate success-oriented leisure skill development. Her roles have included serving as past Chairman of the Board for the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA), Arthritis Aquatics Instructor, Support Group facilitator, Intergenerational programmer, and Art Fusion Specialist.

Suzanne Hilton Smith is a graduate of Towson State College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She trained as a clinical chaplain at University of Virginia Medical Center. Other education included a fellowship program in biomedical ethics at UVA, palliative care, certification as a facilitator and instructors for Respecting Choices advanced care planning, oncology care, Crisis Intervention Stress Management, and the role of spirituality in coping with illness. She served as chaplain for Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital from 1994 to 2018. In addition to clinical care for inpatients, she provided oncology and bereavement out-patient support groups, education for all employees, moral distress assistance and burnout prevention for staff, and crisis intervention.

Dr. Christopher Stewart received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland at College Park. He graduated from the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine with the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. He completed his surgical training at the Allegheny Podiatric Residency at Parkview in Philadelphia, where he served as Chief Resident. Dr. Stewart is board certified and a member of the American Board of Podiatric Surgeons (ABPS), Diplomate of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) as well as the Virginia Podiatric Medical Association (VPMA) and the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). He has privileges at the Monticello Community Surgery Center and with Sentara/Martha Jefferson Hospital where he maintains his active staff designation. He is founder and CEO of NovoNail, LLC which is a company dedicated to educating podiatrists in the application of “best practices” using a multifactorial approach inclusive of laser-based technologies in the treatment and prevention of onychomycosis.

Materials from past Conferences:

2018 Conference
2017 Conference
2016 Conference