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By Ralph Derickson


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In addition to allowing residents to have pets, Edenizing includes locating nursing ;homes in more home-like settings in residential subdivisions.

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July 3, 2001 – (Lexington, Ky.) – A popular conference for professionals who provide services for the elderly set for July 9-11 in Lexington will include a session on the controversial process of "Edenizing" nursing homes with such new procedures as having animals as part of the nursing home population.

William H. Thomas, the doctor who devised the "Eden Alternative," will lead the session about "Edenizing."   Thomas is a family physician in New York whose special interests include the problems of institutionalized elderly persons.

In addition to allowing residents to have pets, Edenizing includes locating nursing homes in more home-like settings in residential subdivisions, said Mattie Umscheid, Education Services Coordinator for the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging that conducts the annual Summer Series on Aging.

Thomas' session at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 10, will be followed by a workshop on the Green House Project.  The Green House Project refers to community-based, long-term care facilities.

The 2001 Summer Series on Aging will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Lexington.  Now in its 18th year, the Summer Series has been attended by hundreds of nursing home workers, home health care and mental health personnel, allied health professionals, pharmacists, physicians, case managers, nurses, nutritionists, social workers, clergy, educators and other professionals.

Registration fees vary from $125 to $225 for all three days with discounted rates for students and groups of three or more from one agency.  For a registration form, contact Margaret Lyle, Ligon House, 658 South Limestone, Lexington, KY 40506-0442 or call (859) 257-5179.

In addition to Thomas, other principal speakers for the conference include LaVrene Norton, a faculty associate at Johns Hopkins University; Neenah Ellis, a Peabody Award-winning documentary film maker whose work includes features on centenarians; and Allen D. Rose, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Workforce Development.

Norton will kick off the series with a 9 a.m. July 9 address titled "Unleash the Magic of Meaning--Slaying the Dragons of Staff Shortages and Employee Turnover."  Norton is president of Action Pact Inc.

Public policy sessions will look at "Who is and Who Should be in Control of Policies that Impact the Health and Well-Being of Older Americans" and "Public Policy Issues in Aging."

Other series sessions will deal with reducing malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes, preventing financial exploitation, senior services for rural aging and designs and tools for independent living.

Umscheid said the workshops are very multidisciplinary and combine cutting edge information with traditional programs in the field of geriatrics and gerontology.

CONTACTS: News media representatives are invited to cover the Summer Series on Aging sessions.  Call Mattie Umscheid, (859) 323-6040, to make arrangements.  Journalists who would like to write advance news stories about the Summer Series may contact Umscheid or Ralph Derickson, (859) 257-1754. For email addresses and telephone numbers of speakers.

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