Western Mass Elder Care Conference

May 29, 2014
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Holyoke Community College
Registration is required - see below for details

2014 Western Mass Elder Care Conference

Morning Keynote Speaker

Dealing with Difficult People! Doug Foresta, MSW, nationally renowned presenter, radio host, and clinician at Change Happens, Inc. will introduce secrets and tips of surviving and thriving while dealing with difficult people.

Afternoon Keynote Speaker

Retiring the Champ: Coaching Life's Last Big Battle. Judith Black, BS Storyteller/Educator will regale us with a story from a client's perspective followed by discussion about Alzheimer's disease and end of life care.                                      

A-1 Trading Up to Better Nutrition 

Carrie Taylor, RD, LDN Lead Dietitian, Big Y Foods, Inc.  Understand the premise of the NuVal Scoring System available at Big Y stores. Identify key nutrient's impacts on the nutritiousness of food and impact on health. Learn of the services provided by the Living Well Eating Smart Wellness Team to help caregivers provide extensive nutrition benefits to their clients. 

A-2 Personality Disorders 

Erlene Rosowsky, PsyD, Core Faculty, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology  Challenge your mind while you learn the distinction between personality style and a per-sonality disorder. Learn to characterize a personality disorder while becoming familiar with a "goodness of fit" model and its clinical utility.

A-3 Veteran's Benefits: An Overview 

Steven James Connor, Director of Central Hampshire Veteran's Services  Gain a better understanding of Federal and State Veteran Benefits as well as strategies to connect with Veteran's Service Options in your community.

A-4 Same-Sex Married Couples: Laws and Benefits 

JM Sorrell, BA, Ombudsman Program Director, Highland Valley Elder Services Seunghee Cha, J.D., Attorney at Law  The landscape is changing for same-sex couples. Learn about the DOMA Supreme Court decision and it's effect on same-sex partners in Massachusetts. Hear about social security benefits, tax filing options and also of legal protections that are still unavailable to same-sex married couples.

A-5 Identity Theft-Deterrence, Detection, and Developments 

Gina M. Barry, J.D., Attorney  Become familiar with the most common and recent types of identity thefts and schemes. Learn ways to assist a victim of identity theft and the best precautions to avoid identity theft.

A-6 Alphabet Soup-The ABCs of Care-A Panel Discussion 

Joe Larkin RN BSN Executive Director, Mercy LIFE, Terry Roberts, BA MassHealth Programs Coordinator; GSSSI, Mary Beth Dowd, BA Client Services Director; GSSSI, Sally Crowther, BA Director Clinical Services; Commonwealth Care Alliance Identify the benefits, purpose, and eligibility of the newest program acronyms: PACE, AFC, PCA, OneCare, and SCO. Panel moderated by Joe Larkin. 

A-7 Understanding a Food Label and Food Health Claims 

Vanessa Gagnon, BA Dietician, Nutritionist, Highland Valley Elder Services  Learn to decipher a nutrition label and understand how the label relates to health condi-tions. Become aware of what health claims on food labels really mean and how they can be used to make healthier food

A-8 Understanding One's Life Story 

Doug Foresta, MSW, Clinician, Change Happens, Inc.  Learn three tips for using story to facilitate healing, articulate how stories are a powerful vehicle for positive change, discover three important secrets for overcoming fear through storytelling and create an action plan for incorporating story into everyday practice. choices. 

A-9 The Crystal Ball/Magic Wand Approach to Late Life Planning 

Hyman Darling, J.D. Attorney  Deborah Hollingworth, LAW, Geriatric Resources Advisor, GSSSI  A discussion about legal issues relevant to late life planning and the appropriate documentation needed, financial planning, community resources and public benefits.

A-10 Cutting Edge Ideas on the Horizon for Western Mass 

  • Building Relationships Before Building Muscle: Deborah Padden, Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Coach Glenmeadow, this community has an award winning record of high resident participation in with wellness programs. Hear how they achieve this important goal.
  • Foot Reflexology: Dawn Dietrich, Certified Foot Reflexologist will touch upon the Eunice Ingham Method and show maps of both feet and the areas that benefit from Reflexology.
  • Medical Marijuana Facilities in your Backyard: Larry Smith BS, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission will introduce the parameters of Massachusetts DPH regs, public perceptions of Medical Marijuana facilities and the local land use issues associated with these sites.
  • High Fidelity Patient Simulation to Improve Student Clinical Experience Michael Foss, M Ed, Dean, School of Health and Patient Simulation STCC will introduce you to a real simulated patient and describe how it may be used to provide training for those in health and eldercare.


Mercy LIFE 

Victory Home Care 

Associated Homecare 


AM Ramp 


Baystate VNA 

Charm Medical Supply 

Louis & Clark 

Mass Commission for The Blind 

New England Emergency 

Response Systems 

O'Connell Senior Living 

Overlook VNA 

Rockridge Retirement Community 

UnitedHealthCare Community  





Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040