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W01  Person-Environment Fit: Designs for Optimal Aging

 

Saturday, April 28, 2012 | 1:00 p.m. — 5:00 p.m.

Presenters:

Judah L. Ronch, PhD, Dean of the Erickson School at UMBC, Baltimore, Maryland
William H. Thomas, MD, Founder, Changing Aging; Founder, The Eden Alternative and Green House Project
Margaret Calkins, PhD, CAPS, EDAC, President, I.D.E.A.S., Inc.

$249 for EFA.12 attendees, $349 for non-attendees.

This boot camp will address designs for optimal aging by looking at the range of changes that are typical in the aging adult. The objective is to understand the effects of these changes on a person’s function, psychosocial engagement and quality of life, and how to optimize these with environmental design.

Workshop Agenda

1:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. 
Introduction
William H. Thomas, MD, Founder, Changing Aging; Founder, The Eden Alternative and Green House Project


1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Sensory Changes
Margaret Calkins, PhD, CAPS, EDAC, President, I.D.E.A.S., Inc.

Many changes in sensory perception affect elders’ interaction with the environment. Dr. Calkins will describe changes in visual perception, hearing, smell & taste, touch & pain.


2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Physiological Changes

William H. Thomas, MD, Founder, Changing Aging; Founder, The Eden Alternative and Green House Project

Dr. Thomas will describe how changes in respiration and pulmonary function, muscle strength, ability to walk, neuro-muscular disabilities can have an impact on balance, range of motion, strength and mobility, sleep, body temperature regulation and many other functional facets of the aging person.


2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Break


3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Cognitive Changes

Judah L. Ronch, PhD, Dean of the Erickson School at UMBC, Baltimore, Maryland

From mild cognitive impairment to advanced dementia, changes in cognition can affect perception of environment. Dr. Ronch will discuss how the environment can shape the experience of a person with cognitive challenges.


3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Discussion and Q&A

Participatory discussion and analysis of a broad range of depicted environments

Sponsored by:    

About the Speakers:


Judah L. Ronch, PhD, Dean of the Erickson School at UMBC, Baltimore, Maryland

Dr. Ronch is a nationally renowned expert on improving the treatment and mental well-being of elders. Prior to coming to the Erickson School, Dr. Ronch was Vice President of Resident Life, Mental Health and Wellness for Erickson Retirement Communities, where he was responsible for developing person-centered, strengths-based approaches to best serve the mental wellness needs of Erickson’s over 20,000 residents on 18 campuses.  He has been on the faculties of Vassar College, the University of Miami, and Dutchess Community College. His numerous publications include the critically acclaimed Alzheimer’s Disease: A practical guide for families and other helpers and The Counseling Sourcebook: A practical reference on contemporary issues, winner of the 1995 Catholic Press Association of the United States Book Award. He is co-editor of Mental Wellness in Aging: Strength Based Approaches, winner of a 2004 Mature Media Award, and Culture Change in Long-Term Care, the first text published about culture change in aging services. He is currently working on co-editing a new two-volume set called Making the Case for Culture Change in Elder Care, due out in 2013.  His numerous journal articles and professional presentations include contributions in psychotherapy and counseling with the aged, care of persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders, caregiver issues, staff training, and service delivery issues in geriatric care. He has also been named a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. 


 


William H. Thomas, MD, Founder, Changing Aging; Founder, The Eden Alternative and Green House Project

Dr. William H. Thomas is an international authority on geriatric medicine and eldercare. After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1986, a part-time position as the medical director of a small rural nursing home turned into a full-time and life-long passion for improving the well-being of older people. Noting that the elders he encountered were lonely, isolated and bored, he became intensely interested in changing care and environments designed for older people, so as to ensure growth and engagement with life.

In the early 1990s, in partnership with his wife, Judith Meyers-Thomas, Dr. Thomas developed The Eden Alternative, which put forward a radical critique of the status quo in 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. Dr. Thomas continues to serve as president.

A self-described “nursing-home abolitionist,” Dr. Thomas 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. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded $15 million to support rapid replication of the model in all 50 states.

Dr. Thomas has published many books advocating for the dignity and value to society of older people, including In The Arms of Elders (first published as Learning From Hannah, 1999) and What Are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World (2007). His most recent book, The Tribes of Eden, is a novel that explores these same themes in the context of an end-of-the world scenario.

Dr. Thomas also runs ChangingAging.org, a blogstream that “uses social media tools to help those of us who believe in a better old age communicate our message to audiences who are important to us.” He continues to speak around the world and write prolifically, and teaches in the Master’s degree program at the Erickson School.


 


Margaret Calkins, PhD, CAPS, EDAC, President, I.D.E.A.S., Inc.

Margaret P. Calkins, PhD is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of environments for the elderly, especially those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. She is president of I.D.E.A.S.: Innovative Designs in Environments for an Aging Society, a consulting firm dedicated to exploring the therapeutic potential of the environment--social and organizational as well as physical--particularly as it relates to frail and impaired older adults. She is also the board chair of I.D.E.A.S. Institute, which focuses on research and education in the same area.

Dr. Calkins is a member of several national organizations and panels that focus on issues of care for cognitively impaired older Americans, and she speaks frequently at conferences both in the U.S. and abroad. She has recently served on several design juries, which seek to identify state-of-the-art facilities in both health care and long-term care. She has published extensively, and her book Design for Dementia: Planning Environments for the Elderly and the Confused (1988) was the first comprehensive design guide for special care units. She also developed a comprehensive four-volume book set titled Creating Successful Dementia Care Settings (2002).

Dr. Calkins has served as Principal Investigator on many grants from the National Institutes of Health. She is also a Senior Fellow Emeritus of the Institute on Aging and Environment at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and teaches in the Master’s degree program at the Erickson School.