May is Older Americans Month and the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living, has announced that this year’s theme is “Unleash the Power of Age”.
According to the AoA, “People across our nation are achieving remarkable things in later life. Many older adults are experts in their fields, have years of valuable experience, and are using that knowledge to improve the lives of others.”
In honor of Older Americans Month, Old Colony Elder Services (OCES), a private, non-profit agency designated as an Aging Services Access Point (ASAP), hosted a talk by Paul Raia, PhD, an innovator and renowned expert in the field of dementia.
Dr. Raia spoke to OCES staff and board members about the “Alzheimer’s Perfect Storm”; he shared definitions and demographics, current research and Habilitation Therapy, an approach that he developed more than 20 years ago that is now accepted as the best standard of care.
Dr. Raia has been directing patient care and family support at the Alzheimer’s Association for over 22 years, and now serves as vice president of clinical programs at the MA/NH Chapter. He developed the Habilitation Therapy approach to dementia, which focuses on the patient’s emotions and their remaining capacities. As a frequent contributor to various publications and journals, Dr. Raia has written primarily on dementia as a treatable condition. He serves on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and frequently appears as an expert on Alzheimer’s for television, radio and print news media. Dr. Raia has been recognized by several organizations for his distinguished service receiving awards from The Massachusetts Gerontology Association, the Massachusetts State Legislature, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Massachusetts Homecare Association.
“Dr. Raia is a pioneer in the field of dementia and we were very fortunate to have him as a guest speaker to share his vast knowledge of Alzheimer’s Disease, research and Habilitation Therapy,” noted Diana DiGiorgi, Executive Director of OCES.
Founded in 1974, OCES serves 20 towns in Plymouth County as well as Avon, Easton and Stoughton. OCES is a private, non-profit organization located in Brockton and designated as one of 27 Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The organization’s mission is to support the independence and dignity of elders and individuals with disabilities by providing essential information and services that promote healthy and safe living.
The agency has 169 employees and operates more than 15 programs serving elders, individuals with disabilities, their families and caregivers. For more information call (508) 584-1561 or visit the website at www.oldcolonyelderservices.org.