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As always, all of our HealthMeet webinars are FREE and open to everyone, so we encourage you to share/post this information with others that may also be interested in learning more about these important topics.

Health Care for Adults Aging with IDD
Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2-3pm EST
Presenter: Jennifer Baumbusch, RN, PhD – Assistant Professor at UBC School of Nursing

The Canadian research project Examining the Organization of Healthcare for Aging Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, funded by the Vancouver Foundation, examines the implementation of healthcare policies into practice for adults aging with intellectual disabilities. In B.C., deinstitutionalization of persons with ID occurred decades ago and people aging with intellectual disabilities have lived in various community settings for years. Health Services for Community Living (HSCL) is a unique B.C. provincial program established following the closure of large institutions to specifically address the healthcare needs of people with ID living in the community. This project aimed to better understand the consequences of policies for those who experience them and begin to address health disparities experienced by adults aging with ID in British Columbia (BC), Canada. The study examined policy-practice gaps in the implementation of HSCL and other relevant services and policies across five regional health authorities. The team established and received input on study procedures from a community advisory committee. Data and demographic information was collected through policy analyses and interviews or focus groups held with various different groups of people. Findings focus on several key areas:

  1. the practical policy implications of transitioning from “Person with Disabilities” to “Senior Citizen” status;
  2. the lack of knowledge among healthcare professionals to provide appropriate care for this population;
  3. the availability of informal supports for aging parents and siblings; and
  4. end of life care.

Implications from this study include a need to integrate content into healthcare professional programs and continuing education, as well as specific policy changes required to support adults with intellectual disabilities as they experience increasing age and frailty.

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End of Life Issues for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2-3pm EST
Presenters: Jennifer Dresen, MSW/MPH and Wendy Ginther MA, Gerontology – The Arc of San Francisco

Growing older is a difficult process for everyone – having an intellectual or physical disability can many times make the situation even more complicated for the individual and their family. Jennifer Dresen and Wendy Ginther are co-directors of the Center for Health and Wellness at The Arc San Francisco, which also provides a Senior Services program. Jennifer and Wendy will go over the history of treatments and common aging trends. They will dive into how to deal with the difficult decisions surrounding guardianship and conservatorships, capacity determination to make these challenging medical decisions and ethical issues regarding the use and withdrawal of life support. Case studies will be used to show ways to support end-of-life care pain management and understand the value of life. Please join us to learn how to cope better with this difficult stage of life.

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Creating Resiliency in Families Living with FASD: Moving from Grief to Empowerment
Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2:00-3:00pm EST
Presenters: Kathy Mitchell – Vice President and National Spokesperson for the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS)

Families that are raising children with effects from prenatal alcohol exposure, known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) oftentimes find themselves having to become experts on the topic.  They often have to educate their healthcare providers, educators, counselors and others that provide treatment and support for their loved ones. It is easy for these families to burn out, and fall into a feeling of helplessness or despair. Kathy Mitchell, Vice President and National Spokesperson for the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) will review some of the behavioral characteristics of individuals with FASD through the lifespan and discuss how families are also affected through the lifespan. She will review the stages of denial and grief often experienced by family members and will focus on the importance of self-care for parents and caretakers. She will provide suggestions on how to deal with stress and develop a positive mindset that can allow families to move from grief and frustration to a place of acceptance. She will review current resources and support that are available to individuals and family members with FASD.

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Please see our HealthMeet® Events page for a full calendar of all our upcoming HealthMeet® events.