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Aging and Disability Forum III – A Great Success!

Aging and Disability III - Welcome Board
Welcome to the Aging and Disability Forum III!

On Friday, May 16th, the Barnstable County Department of Human Services was proud to host the Aging and Disability Forum III – Local Experts, Local Resources at the Cape Codder in Hyannis. Sponsored by Cape Cod Healthcare, the event was the third part in a series of forums called Navigating the Long Term Services and Supports System for Older Adults and People with Disabilities.

With over 170 people in attendance the day began with a keynote presentation, Think Globally, Act Locally: Age-Friendly Communities, provided by Kathleen Bailey, Director of Senior Services for the Town of Yarmouth. Highlighting the theme of the forum – Local Experts, Local Resources – the plenary session featured an exciting new initiative being introduced on Cape Cod and showcased the World Health Organization’s movement to create age-friendly communities.

Following plenary, participants attended multiple breakout sessions with panel presentations throughout the day. All of the workshops offered focused on specific areas of concern, identified by previous forum attendees, as key topics of interest for those working with older adults and people with disabilities on Cape Cod today. Healthy aging, self-determination, health insurance, navigating disability services, estate planning and end of life decisions were among the topics addressed.

Attendees also visited one of the main features of the forum, the Ask the Local Experts Room. The Ask the Local Experts Room featured representatives from twenty local organizations who were available to offer solutions and help attendees navigate the resources available in our region. Cape Mediation, NAMI Cape Cod and the Islands, The Arc of Cape Cod, and Waves of Wellness Recovery Connection Center were among the organizations highlighted.

JML Care Center
JML Care Center was among the organizations featured in our Ask the Local Experts Room at the May 16th forum

From event evaluations, the third forum appears to be as well-received by attendees as the previous two forums. And the change in format – from a morning-only program to a day’s worth of programming – allowed more discussions to take place and enabled attendees to tailor their day.

The first forum of the Navigator series, held in March 2013, focused on federal and state level services for older adults and people with disabilities. Speakers included leadership from the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Massachusetts Office of Medicaid.

In May 2013, the second forum highlighted the long term services and supports systems in Barnstable County with a specific focus on how the systems work together and where gaps may exist between systems. Speakers representing systems from aging, disability, veterans, tribal health, and long term facilities were featured.

Plans are in the works to survey attendees of all three forums to help assess the Navigator series’ efficacy and determine next steps. Keep an eye on this space for more information as it becomes available, and thank you to all who attended!

Please click on the links below to refer to some of the handouts available at the Aging and Disability Forum III. (Please note: Handouts were not available in all of the workshops.)

Overall Forum Materials

Plenary – Think Globally, Act Locally: Age-Friendly Communities

Workshop 1b) Housing – Finding It and Keeping It on Cape Cod

Workshop 1c) Keys to Navigating Disability Services in Our Region

Workshop 2a) Medicare, MassHealth, and Veterans: Health Insurance Options and Benefits

Workshop 2b) Care Management Models – What’s the Difference?

Workshop 3b) Long Term Services and Supports: Home-Based Options

Workshop 3c) Healthy Aging