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Registration deadline for annual aging workshop is May 1

ISSUED: 23 April 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s annual aging workshop will take place on Tuesday, May 8, from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education. The cost for Aging Well: Being Prepared Through the Decades is $50 for professionals earning continuing education credits and $25 for the general public, and includes lunch.

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, a local physician and founder of the Freedom’s Run marathon, will give the keynote address, “Imagine a Vigorous Life Into Your 80s: It’s Easy if You Try.” Other topics the workshop will cover include elder law, continuing care communities, end of life care decisions, and disaster planning.

The registration deadline for the workshop, which is funded in part by the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services and sponsored by Shepherd’s nursing, psychology, and social work departments, is May 1.

The annual Aging Well workshop began 10 years ago when Shepherdstown resident Susi Lynch, a social worker in private practice and member of the Department of Social Work’s advisory board, recognized a need.

“The idea comes from being a social worker and also being an aging person,” Lynch said. “There’s a perception with aging that you’re finished, you’re out to pasture. It clearly is not true from all the people I know who stay very active and have a lot to contribute.”

So Lynch and Dr. Geri Crawley-Woods, chair of the Department of Social Work, teamed up to organize the first workshop in 2009. They have tried to make each workshop a valuable experience for professionals, caregivers, and those who are aging.

“The workshop tries to convey how to be an interesting and interested older person, which we all hope to be,” Crawley-Woods said. “I tell my students, if you want to be an interesting and interested older person, you can’t start when you’re old, you have to start now.”

Crawley-Woods said another goal is to encourage more students to consider careers working with the aging population.

“The one population they most express not being interested in working with is the aging,” Crawley-Woods said. “We are trying to change that because we have an aging population. We’re really trying to get students to understand how much need there is among that population, and frankly, that’s where a lot of jobs are going to be.”

For more information about the Aging Well workshop, contact Dr. Heidi Dobish, associate professor of psychology, at 304-876-5435 or hdobish@shepherd.edu; or Sharon Earl, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences administrative associate, at 304-876-5332 or searl@shepherd.edu.

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