Association for
Professionals in Aging

APA News

  • Friday, August 20, 2021 3:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We would like you to meet Kristy Matheson, hailing from Germantown, OH. She is a 1998 graduate from Wright State University with a degree in Social Work. Her dad is a pastor, and her mom is an English teacher and social worker, which are similar to the footsteps Kristy followed.  

    Kristy has worked in the field of hospice for 12 years, most recently, helping to build Affinity Care of Ohioa compassionate and caring hospice. She and a group of other hospice passionate people built the organization from the ground up. She has done many things in the field, but can honestly say that hospice work, completely changed her heart and gave her a newly instilled passion for life that she felt was lacking.

    Additionally, Kristy has a training company called Professional Education Connection where she and her training partner have written more than 20 programs, and trained hundreds of people in the human services field. 

    Her work in hospice taught her that life is short, and it is meant to be lived fully and completely. She was so inspired by the stories of the ones whom she met along the way, that it inspired Kristy to start a group called Adventure Chicks. This group is meant to encourage women of all ages and experience levels to step out of their comfort zone and live life not on the sidelines, but fully engage in all that life has to offer.

    If Kristy could travel anywhere, it would be Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. It’s a town in the Swiss Alps that is surrounded by waterfalls, and the pictures alone can take your breath away. She plans to make it there one day.

    She has one piece of advice to share and that would be to not wait until your kids are grown to do things, until there is more money in retirement, or until everything falls into place to really pursue those things that bring you joy. Tomorrow is not promised, so be intentional with today. Great advice!

    Kristy’s greatest blessing is her family. She is married to a great guy, Rick, for 20 years, and they have three children. Two are in college, and one starts the third grade this fall, so her life is busy. She also enjoys hiking, yoga, eating out and doing absolutely nothing by a pool. 

    Kristy is also the Education Chair for APA, and we are so grateful and blessed to have her on our team. She has been responsible for the CEs offered by APA in 2020-21, as well as other educational events, which have all been very well attended. She would love to have you work with her on her committee so reach out to her and get to know this fun loving person! The APA has awesome members!!

  • Monday, May 03, 2021 7:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Maria Deneau works for The Alois Alzheimer Center as Director of Admissions & Marketing. The Center provides assisted living through certified nursing (total care) for all dementia residents in a long-term care setting. Specializing in dementia and behaviors, The Center was the first all dementia community in the United States when it opened in 1987.

    Tell us a little about your work and your career. I have been in senior healthcare since 2007, when my Mom was showing signs of Alzheimer’s. I have experience in skilled/rehab nursing, home health & hospice, mobile physician group marketing and clinical nutrition. I am a Certified Dementia Practitioner (some may say I’m certifiable, but I’m okay with that ;). I love when I make a difference in a family’s life and when I can go stomp on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.!

    If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go money no object? Italy and South Korea
    What is your biggest inspiration in life or in your job? What do you enjoy most about your work? My work is a calling. I am a public policy advocate (nationally & locally) for Alzheimer’s legislation and I do very much enjoy helping families navigate this “industry,” for lack of a better word. It has become a big industry and not all of it is great. It’s a huge bandwidth for people to learn about when placing a loved one or just needing resources. This is why I am excited to serve as advocacy chair for the APA! So much to consider with such a strong and diverse group! Advocacy means different things for different people and groups, so I want to narrow that down for APA members and help us cultivate our place in the Cincinnati area for senior advocacy and for our members. As far as inspiration, I am always inspired by my nurses and by families and other professionals who work for our seniors.
    Do you have a special message to share with your neighbors or community? The Alois Alzheimer Center is very unique in what we offer for care. We are the best at what we do and there is really not another community like it. We are the only all dementia community with assisted living and nursing and we specialize in outward behaviors. Transfer trauma is the biggest thing that I see when admitting a loved one. Even from just their home environment, there is a lot of adjustments to consider because of the disease process. So add on top of that a failed move in at another community with possible hospital stays, etc. It is really very important to consider placing your loved one into a community with a lot of experience and training.
    Do you have a funny story about your work? How do you make your work day meaningful or inspirational? Just taking a walk around the community is meaningful to remind myself why I do this. There are so many funny stories…I remember a resident who found comfort in a baby doll (she was a mom and grandma of many). She was very sweet and took good care of her “baby”, even dressing her up in baby bonnets. One day I found her singing to her baby and it was just so sweet. I asked her “How is your baby today?” She looked up at me without missing a beat and said “It’s just a doll, you idiot!” Hahahahaha- we both laughed pretty hard and she wasn’t sure what she was laughing at after a while ;)
    Tell us about yourself and family: I am from Cincinnati’s west side originally, but now live with my hubby Al in Eden Park- we love it. I have one son, 2 bonus daughters and 1 bonus grandson! They are all good lookin kids and they keep us hopping. I am pretty adventurous and go cage diving with Great White Sharks every fall 260 miles off the coast of Mexico. I love music of all genres, hiking and water just about everywhere. I also love to cook and go out to eat! As far as other involvement, I am also in The Giving Voice Collaborative and serve on THEIR advocacy team!
    Any additional information you would like to share? I am a published author of curated articles in The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and The Sunday Paper, both run by Maria Shriver’s media company where I serve as one of her ambassadors. I have met her and have been to her offices in LA and was on The Today Show in October 2019 as her special guest. She is my celebrity inspiration!
  • Wednesday, March 10, 2021 5:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Annie works for Episcopal Retirement Services, Inc., as the Director of Case Management, servicing the needs for the Marjorie P. Lee and Dupree communities. Her job involves managing all skilled and custodial admissions, goals of care, insurance certifications, discharge planning and care transitions once patients discharge from the community to their home. It is a multi-faceted role, never a dull moment and very diverse each and every day which is what she loves.

    Annie grew up in a large Irish Catholic family in the Chicagoland area and it was the expectation that you get a part-time job at the age of 15. Her mom's friend was an administrator of a nursing home and offered her a job as a nurses' aide and the rest is history. She graduated from Rush University in Chicago and has been a nurse for 36 years. She has worked in Med Surgery, in Acute Rehab for head and spine patients, a consultant to the industry for workers comp reemployment, an executive recruiter for healthcare execs, and for the past nine years as the Director of Case Management at Episcopal Retirement Services, Inc.

    COVID had an impact on a scheduled trip she and her husband had planned to Ireland this past fall with her siblings and their spouses, but plans are to reschedule to 2022. As a lover of Italian red wines, Annie also dreams of a vacation traveling through the Italian countryside from the Italian Alps down through Tuscany sampling the wine, food and culture of this beautiful country. 

    Many people that Annie knows inspire her in life every single day and there are too many to even try to pick one or a few. But, in her job, she is blessed to have a vocation that inspires her and allows her to feel a sense of purpose and true meaning. She loves helping people and making a difference. She empowers elders to know that they have a powerful voice and the ability to make choices about their treatment goals and future. She values working for an organization that promotes person centered choices and enables the staff to be creative in assisting seniors to achieve their goals.  

    Annie and her husband, Bill, live in West Chester. They have 8 adult kids (1 in LA, 3 in Chicago, 1 in DC and 3 in Cincinnati). Two of her daughters are married, but no grandbabies yet (hint, hint) BUT, she has 4 grand dogs! Bill and Annie love to travel locally and in nearby states camping in their Teardrop Trailer. They plan to expand their travels in the US and Canada in their future retirement. She loves to make new friends so reach out to her any time!  And, if you want to join her on the APA Membership/ Sponsorship Committee, drop her a line. We know she would appreciate your participation. We are very lucky to have Annie Novak as a member of APA and a member of the APA board.

  • Tuesday, February 16, 2021 5:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Meet Mary Mendel, Community Liaison for Family Bridges Home Care. Mary came to Family Bridges in August of 2019 after a long career in banking and transportation. She loves serving families and partnering with others in healthcare to provide care and resources for families. Mary also enjoys educating families about the options for care for seniors, their families and those living with disabilities. 

    Plus, there is always so much more to learn and share to expand her horizons to keep her informed and on her toes in healthcare, and, the challenges of COVID in 2020 were no exception. Each day, Mary tries to do something to help someone else.  It might be as simple as making an introduction, giving referrals to trusted partners or just sharing valuable information.  

    When asked if she had a special message to share with her neighbors or community, she shared her favorite Google review:

    "What I liked hearing the most, when initially talking with Mary Mendel from Family Bridges, is that their caregivers are their biggest asset. And that they go to lengths (interviews, background checks, etc.) when hiring caregivers. We needed assistance right away, and the Family Bridges Team made it happen. We had a number of caregivers at the start, and all were very friendly, professional, and focused on care for the patient. Their organization and communication was top notch. But most importantly their interaction with the family and care for my Mom was genuine and caring. I would definitely recommend Family Bridges to those in need."

    Mary celebrates her 25th wedding anniversary this year with her husband, Chris. They love living on the west side of Cincinnati with their 2 cats. Both are very active in their church as praise leaders, and both have a love of music. Mary is also very crafty and has shared her hand sewn masks and handmade chocolates at APA events in support of our scholarship fund raisers.

  • Friday, November 13, 2020 8:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    One of the current APA board members is Judy Singleton. Judy is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati and resides in Blue Ash.

    Prior to working in higher education, Judy was a social worker in a nursing home, a hospital, and home health care. She continued her education while she was in the field and has been teaching social work in higher education over the past 20 years. She currently is at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College.

    Helping students connect to the careers to which they aspire is always rewarding. And, it is especially gratifying when students are interested in working with older adults. Better yet, it is wonderful to connect students to agencies and workers in the field of aging. Many students have not considered a career in the field of aging. Being exposed to the opportunities and the incredible work that can be done is sometimes a game changer for students to then pursue a career in aging.

    Q: What do you like most about being a member of the APA?
    APA provides such a wonderful learning opportunity and means to connect with kindred souls. Members from such a variety of settings share their time and talents to ultimately help older adults in our community.

    Q.  What do you do when you’re not working?
    Gardening…and then more gardening. I love it!

    Q.  What is the last book you read?
    I read a lot of books for work, but the last book I read for pleasure was “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain.

    Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    The Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden.  It is amazing to read about their work/family benefit structure.  I would love to learn more and see it in action.
  • Monday, October 12, 2020 10:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Emily Elma, LISW, CDP is a current board member and serves on the Advocacy, Events, and Scholarship Committees. Emily moved to Cincinnati to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Social Work at Xavier University, went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Cincinnati, and decided to make her home in Cincinnati.

    Emily has combined her passion for working with the mentally ill and aging population in her current role as Clinical Liaison for Blueridge Vista Health and Wellness. 

    She recently obtained her Certified Dementia Practitioner certification and has enjoyed co-facilitating support groups for our unsung heroes...those in caregiving roles. 

    Emily does her best to bring kindness, silliness and curiosity to all that she does.

    Q: What do you do when you’re not working?
    A: I perform with 2 improv comedy teams (virtual performances for the time being). One of the groups, Remember to Laugh, partners with the Alzheimer’s Association to perform shows for those with dementia and their care partners.

    Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    A: I have always dreamed of going to Spain. They have this lovely pastime called paseo, where they stroll, arm in arm, through the city streets at night. Who’s in?

    Q: What do you like most about being a member of the APA?
    A: The APA is such a wonderful, embracing organization that creates connectivity for its members and the community at large. 

  • Thursday, August 27, 2020 4:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One of our current Board members is Rob Jutze. Rob is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati and he currently resides in Kenwood.
    For the past 20 years, Rob has owned Senior Impact Publications, which produces the Older Adults Resource Guide in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and several other cities in Ohio and Kentucky.
    One of the most rewarding parts of Rob’s work is his interaction with the senior community, especially the local Area Agencies on Aging which distribute the Older Adults guides. It is fulfilling to know that the Agencies – as well as the seniors and caregivers where the guides are published – find the guide a valuable tool that helps educate and empower those who are not sure where to turn when it comes to the care of seniors.
    Q: What do you enjoy most about being involved in the APA?
    A: My membership has allowed me to get to know and network with people who are devoted to the care of seniors and promoting issues that benefit them. 
    Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
    A:  I’d love to visit Australia.
    Q: What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
    A: I love spending time with my family, especially traveling. We’ve made a point of traveling to all parts of the country with our kids (the highlight being a 2-1/2 week car trip out west) but we have a true soft spot for Harbor Springs, Michigan. I also enjoy golfing, running (though not as much as I should), and watching the Reds and Xavier basketball.
    Q: What is your favorite local place to go?
    A: Since I grew up in this town in the 70’s, to me there’s no better place to be than the ballpark.
    Q: What is your favorite local food?
    A: I will never turn down Italianette pizza, followed closely by the Clubhouse sandwich at Mt. Adams Bar & Grill.
    Q: What is your favorite band?
    A: Crowded House 
    Q: What is the last book you read?
    A: The Cloudbuster Nine: The Untold Story of Ted Williams and the Baseball Team That Helped Win World War II by Anne R. Keene (I’m a sucker for non-fiction books about baseball).

  • Monday, June 29, 2020 11:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    MediGold is a proud sponsor of the Association for Professionals in Aging. MediGold is an easy to use, not-for-profit Medicare Advantage plan that serves seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries. Founded in 1997, we provide our member with cost-effective health and drug coverage, local customer service and a high-quality network of providers.

    APA members representing MediGold are Travis Dues and Angela Malone.

    MediGold is a compassionate care partner guiding members toward a healthier life.

    With these unprecedented times, we want you to know MediGold is here for you. From virtual care visits and a 24-hour nurse advice line, to online resources created just for you, we are doing all we can to help you stay safe and cared for during this pandemic. Visit to learn more.

    When you choose MediGold, you're choosing to partner with a committed team of health experts whose goal is to provide you with exceptional care at affordable costs. It's this commitment to our members that has driven over 20 years of service.

  • Monday, June 29, 2020 11:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As we all know, the segment of our population hit hardest by the recent pandemic – and one of the most vulnerable – is older adults. Even something as basic as getting a meal has become a challenge. With most seniors being told to stay home, it has become more and more difficult for them to receive proper nutrition. Fortunately, local organizations have stepped in to meet the increased demand.

    Realizing the impact COVID-19 could have on older adults, our Area Agency on Aging – Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio (COA) – and its service providers, began preparing in January.

    “We learned from past emergency situations that food quickly becomes an urgent need for older adults,” said Council on Aging CEO, Suzanne Burke. “We didn’t want supply chain or staffing issues to interfere with our ability to provide meals to older adults, and we knew that they might be asked to shelter-in-place for quite a while.”

    COA’s intuition was spot on. When Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued the stay-at-home order in March, COA began hearing from older adults who were afraid to go out for groceries and other necessities. Others found themselves without their regular support network. Many who contacted COA had never before needed help.

    Working with its provider network, including two local agencies, Cincinnati Area Senior Services (CASS) and Meals on Wheels of SWO & NKY (formerly Wesley Community Services), COA quickly adapted services.

    CASS and Meals on Wheels have stepped up helped assemble and deliver 15,000 emergency food boxes to home-delivered meals recipients. And seniors who previously attended congregate meals began receiving “carry out” meals. Another 500 older adults began temporarily receiving home-delivered meals due to the pandemic.

    Fortunately, throughout the pandemic, regular meal delivery has not been disrupted and seniors have been getting the meals and nutrition they need.

    But the extra meal deliveries mean providers, their staff and volunteers have been working hard. In a typical month, CASS provides approximately 35,000 meals to older adults in Hamilton County. Meals on Wheels serves approximately 55,000 meals monthly in Hamilton County, as well as Clermont, Butler and Warren counties (and Northern Kentucky).

    Once the pandemic hit, CASS saw the need for meals increase dramatically. In April, the agency delivered over 60,000 meals. Likewise, Meals on Wheels has dramatically increased deliveries, as they provided over 100,000 meals.

    COA, CASS and Meals on Wheels have partnered in out-of-the-box ways throughout this pandemic to ensure the nutritional needs of older adults in this region are met.

    For example, when a severe storm left several senior housing communities without power for more than 24 hours, COA and providers responded within hours to provide food and ice to residents in the buildings.

    With additional funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (H.R. 748), also known as the CARES Act, COA was able to expand meal programs to serve more seniors in need during the pandemic.

    “When the pandemic began to spread, COA understood the critical need for food to keep seniors health and safe,” said Randy Quisenberry, Manager of Procurement and Provider Services with COA and a board member of the Association for Professionals in Aging.  “COA put together alternative meal programs in case any disruptions in food delivery arose.  This included a 14-day emergency box with shelf stable food – of which 75,000 were delivered. Additionally, we wanted a back-up kitchen in case of a disruption of service like another outbreak or supply chain issues with inventory. We reached out to LaRosa’s, Taste of Belgium and Frisch’s, and all three agreed to help deliver over 10,000 restaurant meals to senior buildings in Greater Cincinnati.”

    “While we’re focused on providing food, we also want to bring comfort to older adults and let them know they are not forgotten,” added Burke.  “We hope a special meal from Taste of Belgium, LaRosa’s or Frisch’s is a welcome change of pace for older adults who are experiencing the effects of social isolation.”

    The meals have been a comfort. Almost immediately, COA, CASS and Meals on Wheels began receiving thank you notes and voicemails from older adults who’d felt forgotten and depressed by the monotony of the pandemic.

    All this would not have been possible without the dedicated employees of CASS, Meals on Wheels of SWO & NKY and Council on Aging. As the Area Agency on Aging for Southwestern Ohio, COA administers the Title III meal program and works with providers such as CASS and Meals on Wheels of SWO & NKY to ensure older adults and people with disabilities receive the nutritional support they need in order to remain independent in our communities.

    If you know of a senior who needs help during the COVID-19 pandemic have them contact Council on Aging at (513) 721-1025. COA has also created a coronavirus information hub on its website –

    Thanks to Paula Smith from Council on Aging for providing much of the information for this article.

  • Friday, May 15, 2020 8:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I am very excited that Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) is a Platinum Sponsor for the Association for Professionals in Aging for 2020. The APA is a wonderful tool for meeting other professionals who share similar passions and maintain an interest in building new relationships and pursuing fresh ideas in the service of aging Americans.

    My name is Stephen Leonard and after spending nearly 20 years in the senior living industry, I am excited to have the opportunity to help CMC implement a new initiative designed to engage the aging population in greater Cincinnati area through outreach and newly developing in-house programs. 

    Cincinnati Museum Center has been known as an educational hub in the community but I believe it there is an opportunity for seniors and those who serve them. I believe CMC has the potential to provide exceptional programming created to bring real meaning to the lives of the aging population in Cincinnati. The museum is a place where history, education, inspiration, and technology converge on a singular path. I believe this path can lead us to the discovery of ways to not only honor history, but honor and serve those who created that history. 

    I know that we find ourselves in difficult times and many of our wonderful plans have been forcibly placed on hold but I am confident that we will overcome these troubled waters with a renewed sense of passion for the senior community. I am excited to see what this year brings for all of us. Please stay safe and healthy. 

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