Aging Conference at Fairfield University to address "Linking Spirituality to the Health Care of Older Adults"

Aging Conference at Fairfield University to address "Linking Spirituality to the Health Care of Older Adults"

Health care professionals who serve older adults are invited to attend the eighth Annual Conference for Providers of Services for Older Adults, presented by Fairfield University's School of Nursing and the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging, Inc. (SWCAA). This year's conference, which will focus on "Linking Spirituality to the Health Care of Older Adults," will take place on Wednesday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

Research shows that a variety of spiritual and religious values, beliefs and practices have an impact on overall health and healing.

"Health care professionals who work with older adults will often encounter situations in which they are unsure how to handle spirituality issues," said Jeanne M. Novotny, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing at Fairfield University. "We hope this conference will offer providers a framework for meeting their patients' spiritual needs."

The conference will feature two keynote speakers. Rabbi David I. Kaye, director of the Department of Pastoral Services at New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, will present "Overview of Spirituality and Health Care." The discussion will consider the difference between religion and spirituality and present research, facts and vignettes supporting why health care systems and health care professionals should recognize and understand a variety of spiritual and religious values, beliefs and practices and their impact on health and healing.

Ann Webster, PhD, scientist and health psychologist, Mind/Body Medical Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, will present "Practical Tools for Assessment and Possible Interventions." Dr. Webster will address the components of healthy aging with emphasis on the spiritual aspects and provide practical tools for assessing a client's/patient's spiritual needs and possible interventions. Her session will also include practice in mind/body techniques that enhance well-being and will discuss how to share those practices with clients.

The conference will also include a welcome by Dr. Novotny and Linda L. DeLorenzo, MA, RN, executive director of SWCAA as well as a panel of presentations from different religious perspectives on the link between spirituality and the health care of older adults. Panel speakers are: Rabbi Kaye; Dennis McCann, SFO, PHD, director of Pastoral Care at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport; The Rev. Jose W. Mestre, deacon at St. Vincent's, and Rev. Fred E. Ogletree of Senior Neighborhood Support Services and Stamford and pastor at World United Church in Norwalk.

The program has been approved for 3.5 Continuing Education Credit Hours by the National Association of Social Workers, CT and meets the continuing education criteria for Social Worker Licensure renewal. The cost of the conference is $60 and a discounted fee of $50 is available for Friends of the Agency on Aging. For more information or to register, call Catherine Rogers at SWCAA at (203) 333-9288. The deadline for registration is Monday, April 17.

Posted On: 03-27-2006 10:03 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 215