Gerontology Program Co-hosts Forum on Senior Independent Living

Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
(574) 284-4579

October 4, 2011 (Notre Dame, Indiana)—The Saint Mary’s College Gerontology Program is proud to partner with the Advocacy Committee of REAL Services, Inc. for a forum titled “Staying at Home: What are Your Real Choices?” on Thursday, October 13 at 2 p.m. in the Vander Vennet Theater in the Student Center. The public is encouraged to attend this free event. The forum will discuss the misconceptions that can arise surrounding health care and aging issues and answer questions that caregivers, senior citizens and gerontology faculty and students might have. 

JoAnn Burke, associate professor of social work and director of the Gerontology Program, will lead the forum. Burke will introduce presenters from REAL Services, Alzheimer’s Services of Northern Indiana, Senior Solutions, and Memorial Home Care. The speakers will focus on solutions for senior independent living. Topics covered will include how to choose services and implement a plan; community resources and in-home services; revamping homes for safety and accessibility; maximizing financial resources; and providing support for family caregivers. 

“The Area Agency on Aging at REAL Services serves a five-county area in northern Indiana. Community education for boomers and older adults is one of the services provided by this organization.  Understanding Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and options for housing and services is a challenge. Older adults and their families need information about these programs and often do not know where to find this information.  This event will present this information and offer a forum for questions and discussion,” said Burke.

Burke serves on the board of directors for REAL Services and has served as chair of the board. The partnership between the Gerontology Program and REAL Services has existed for years. Saint Mary’s College students participate in internships and volunteer opportunities at the non-profit. 

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary's College ranks among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for 2012 published by U.S.News and World Report. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.