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Productive Aging SIS VIRTUAL Workshop: Exploring options for client-centered care for older adults

  • 25 Apr 2020
  • 8:30 AM - 10:30 PM


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"Exploring options for client-centered care for older adults"

Presented by Dr. Susan Wehry, Chief of Geriatrics at UNECOM; Nick Viti OTR/L Director of Life Enrichment at The Cedars; and UNE OT students will speak on End-of-Life Care

Compassion, not control: remaining client-centered in the face of diminishing capacity by Dr Susan Wehry

Few rights are held more dearly than the right to self-determination and few fears are more troubling than fear of the loss of this autonomy in the face of diminishing capacity. This fear can often lead clients to minimize their need for assistance or to reject the very interventions that occupational therapists can offer. This can also lead concerned care partners to overreach in their wish to protect. In this highly interactive and engaging presentation, Dr. Susan Wehry makes the case for a client-centered approach to shared and supported decision-making that optimizes the client's (and family's) abilities and improves quality of life outcomes for persons living with disabilities, including dementia.

Dr. Susan Wehry, Chief of Geriatrics at UNECOM, is a board-certified geriatric psychiatrist and occupational therapy ally who has spent much of her 30-year career supporting historically marginalized and stigmatized populations. A popular speaker, she recently received high marks for her talk on Ending the Stigma of Dementia at the 2nd International Occupational Therapy Association conference in Tangier, Morocco.

Unique person-centered interventions for people living with dementia by Nick Viti MOTR/L

Nick Viti will present on nonpharmalogical interventions to support dignity and choice, as well as decreasing the ‘problem behaviors’, of people living with dementia utilizing creative techniques that engage residents in meaningful ways. These strategies have been used at The Cedars of Portland for several years and have dramatically changed the environment allowing for a more positive experience for residents and staff alike. Programs like Opening Minds through Art, Music and Memory, TimeSlips, and horticultural programs enrich the lives of the residents and provide for an opportunity to exercise their individuality which is sorely lacking in the traditional nursing home setting. Mr. Viti will demonstrate how these programs can be implemented in other facilities to support positive outcomes for residents living with dementia.

Nick Viti is an occupational therapist working as the Life Enrichment Manager of the Hoffman Center skilled nursing and long-term care facility at The Cedars in Portland, Maine. He is a certified dementia practitioner and is certified to train both Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care and the Alzheimer’s Association’s Habilitation Therapy. While studying at the University of Southern Maine’s Master of Occupational Therapy program he developed a passion for working with clients with dementia. He has since worked in this field for the past eight years. Mr. Viti uses these skills and experiences to design, adapt, and lead engaging activities for the residents of The Cedars every day. In 2015 he was awarded Occupational Therapy Practitioner of the Year by the Maine Occupational Therapy Association.

UNE Student research presentation on An Investigation of Occupation-Enhanced GoWish Cards to Promote Conversations about End-of-Life (EOL) Care with Dr. Regi Robnett.



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Maine Occupational Therapy Association