There are a lot of seniors in northeastern and central Pennsylvania, and many more people whose lives are affected by caring for them. Discussing new perspectives on senior care is the topic of a conference this week at the University of Scranton, the Fourth Annual Conference on Aging.
LIFE Geisinger is just one provider that will be represented at the conference. LIFE stands for "living independently for elders," like Roberta Cortese of Old Forge.
"They make you feel at home. They make you feel good," she says.
She lives with her husband in Old Forge, but has a medical condition that causes her to pass out, which is dangerous if she's home alone. That's why she's enrolled in the comprehensive senior care program in Scranton during the day.
"When I'm home all I do is sit and watch tv, I don't get the exercise I need. Here I get to meet people and the staff is very nice. They're all nice," Cortese tells us.
The many issues surrounding care of our senior population is the topic of the Fourth Annual Conference on Aging, sponsored in part by Geisinger, happening Thursday, April 10th at the University of Scranton. It aims to put new perspectives on aging and elder care.
Saliena Alaimo is a geriatric social worker and the intake coordinator for LIFE Geisinger.
"A lot of individuals in this area are caring for a loved one at home, but also raising their own family, working full time, managing their own household and lifestyle- it can be very challenging," notes Alaimo.
"As you know, and as many of your viewers know, in NEPA we have one of the oldest populations in the country," says Brian Conniff. He's Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Scranton, and explains that the U of S aims to serve the needs of the larger community, and thought this topic was a good fit.
Approx. 160 people are expected to attend the conference, which looks to discuss more effective, more innovative ways to care for elders- and for those who care for them.
"This is the perfect opportunity for them to learn more about what's out there, and to learn they are not alone. There is help, there are resources- there's things that can make it work," Alaimo says.