Association for
Professionals in Aging

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  • Tuesday, November 27, 2018 3:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Aimee Steel has worked at Blueridge Vista Health and Wellness since August of 2016, shortly after the hospital opened. She currently serve as the Director of Clinical Services, overseeing all of our social services and therapy staff, programming/therapy services, and discharge planning.

    She received her Masters in Social Work with certification in Trauma Informed Care from Northern Kentucky University in May of 2015. She has worked in the field of mental health for over 10 years and have worked specifically in the Geriatric Psychiatry field for two and half years in the acute inpatient setting. She absolutely loves working with people every day in any capacity. She has a passion for mental health, and feels that the geriatric population is a largely underserved subset of the mental health community. Her most favorite part of her role aside from working alongside an amazing team, is being able to identify what drives geriatric patients to success, decreases behaviors and therefore improves their overall quality of life when they leave to go back home.

    Blueridge Vista Health and Wellness CEO, Ben Teitelbaum, shared his thoughts on Aimee’s greatest challenge and accomplishment over the last 2 ½ years, “Although Aimee lacked any prior leadership experience, she took on a brand new leadership role 2 1/2 years ago at Blueridge Vista, a brand new freestanding inpatient psychiatric hospital. She has met that challenge head-on, building a reliable, trustworthy, and impactful team of social workers and recreational therapists. In her role as Director of Clinical Services, Aimee has built a top-notch department, become an incredible asset as part of the senior leadership team in the hospital, and been the mainstay for the organization during its formative years. She has significantly improved the lives of hundreds of patients, and blossomed into a true clinical leader along the way.“

    Aimee lives in Milan, Indiana with her husband Jeremiah and three children, Brayden, age 9, Ava, age 7, and Madelynn, age 3. As a family they thoroughly enjoy the outdoors and can often be found on the Ohio River fishing.

  • Tuesday, November 27, 2018 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Born and raised in a small rural community, about 45 minutes east of Cincinnati, Bill DeHass grew up surrounded by corn fields and various livestock farms. His youth, for the most part, was spent exploring fields and wooded areas that went on for miles. His grandmother, who we affectionately called "Mo", lived with his family up until he was 18 years old. After she was diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease she passed rather quickly. Bill learned so much from her in my formative years, but he never forgot the feeling as the disease progressed and she didn't know who he was. She is the reason he took the path he is on now.

    Immediately following his graduation from Northern Kentucky University in 2004, he began his social work career working at a small recovery center. At that time he worked with individuals from various age groups. In 2006, he began is career with Clermont Senior Services, Inc. working solely with older adults, and he has never looked back.

    Clermont Senior Services is a private, 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to serving older adults. It is a source for information on services for seniors, age 60 and over, who live in Clermont County, Ohio.

    For nearly 50 years, Clermont Senior Services has been providing and coordinating in-home and community based services, enabling older adults to live independently for as long as possible. We also serve as an information and referral source for seniors, as well as their families and caregivers.‘Service With Heart’ is the benchmark of our service and our staff exemplify this with their actions each and every day.

    Bill says, "In my twelve years at Clermont Senior Services I have crossed paths with hundreds, probably thousands, of older adults and caregivers. Each of them shared their unique stories with me. I have always enjoyed the thought that I made it into their story.

    Bill took time to participate in our Member Q & A. Check out his answers to learn more about him below:

    Q: What do you enjoy most about being involved in the APA? A: APA is such a fascinating group of professionals, all coming from different organizations and backgrounds within the field of aging. Being involved with APA allows for the sharing of information in an attempt to better the services that are provided to the older adult population. I am also very fond of the Student Scholarship program. As many of us know, the cost of a college degree is on the rise. I love that APA can play a role, albeit small, in helping young professionals, especially those interested in the field of aging.

    Q: If you could have dinner with one historical figure (living or not) who would it be and why? A: I don't know if he counts as historical, but I would love to have dinner with Bill Murray. How much fun would that be!?!

    Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be? A: Time travel...because, why wouldn't you want that.

    Q: What is your favorite quote, movie, television show, music or band? A: I love all the films of Wes Anderson and I also have a very strong affection for 90s British rock band, Oasis.

    Q: What is your favorite local place to go? This could be a restaurant, a park, a museum, any local place you enjoy. A: I would have to pick two favorites. The first is a little Thai restaurant on the East side called Ban Thai. My wife and I have been going there since we were teenagers. As a lover of music, my second favorite place is Everybody's Records in Pleasant Ridge. There is no better therapy than flipping through records.

    Bill was the APA President from 2017-2018. He is still an active APA Board Member.

    You can learn more about Bill and connect with him on LinkedIn.

  • Tuesday, August 28, 2018 7:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sometimes our paths take us in a direction we aren't anticipating. This is true for Jason Martin, Senior Account Executive at Home Helpers as well as an active APA member and board member.

    As he was approaching his graduation from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), his father began living in a nursing home and his career interests took a turn.

    His first position was an internship at Mercy West Park where he learned the overall operations of a senior living community, from patient-care to marketing. In this position, he was working toward his licensure as a Nursing Home Administrator, LHNA, offered by the Ohio Board of Executives of Long-Term Services and Supports, BELTSS.

    While in this role he met his future wife, Kelly, who is also in healthcare. She works in communications and marketing for a local healthcare system. They have two children and live on the east side of Cincinnati. What Jason enjoys most about his work is seeing people overcome challenges related to aging and watching them heal and regain independence.

    You can learn more about Jason and connect with him on LinkedIn.

  • Thursday, August 02, 2018 11:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This September, Easterseals will begin it’s Opening Minds Through Art (OMA), an intergenerational art program for people with dementia, founded by Dr. Elizabeth Lokon of Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center.

    Susan Mordigal, an APA Scholarship winner in 2014, spoke at our August 2018 event. She was a stay-at-home mom for 16 years. As her children became more independent she began pursuing some of her own interests. She has been building the OMA program for Easterseals since early 2017. Susan is very excited because she is able to intertwine many of her passions in this role. She is a Licensed Social Worker with a focus on Health in Aging. Susan also loves art. Her first degree is in Fine Arts from Moore College of Art and Design. She received training at the New York Botanical Garden through their Botanical Art and Illustration courses!

    She was so honored to receive the APA Scholarship that she framed it and put it on her wall with her Master Degree from the University of Cincinnati. Susan has seen amazing results from OMA. Her first experience with the program was as a volunteer at Cedar Village Retirement Community in 2014; she then earned her OMA Lead Facilitator certificate through training with Dr. Lokon and her team at Miami University in 2017. The OMA program at Easterseals will officially launch on September 11.

    The Benefits of participating in OMA are many; for the artists:

    ·       self-expression (especially for non-verbal folks)

    ·       relationship building through 1:1 regular contact

    ·       community engagement,

    ·       increased dignity and self-confidence through choice-making.

    For the volunteers:

    ·       increased knowledge of disability and dementia

    ·       gaining self-confidence through new relationship building with a different population

    ·       fulfilling service learning or volunteer requirements

    Susan says, “Having a high quality, enjoyable, evidence-based program should help increase enrollment in our Adult Day Service (ADS) program, which will mean we can serve even more individuals to further empower them. We are also hoping to increase awareness in the community at large about disability, and that the disability does not define the person-they are a person with many capabilities first.”

    Easterseals has already had a couple of new enrollments due to the offering of the OMA program and they are expecting that it will improve satisfaction with overall ADS services. To fund the program, Easterseals applied to several foundations and received a grant from ArtsWave as well as a couple other local sources who wish to remain anonymous. As with most non-profits, there are budget constraints on the program. The more volunteers they have, the more participants they can offer the OMA experience. Volunteers attend 6 hours of training, then 10 2-hour sessions of working with a local senior on an art project. Selected pieces will be on display at the end of session art show in November, open to the general public.

    If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who would be interested please reach out to Susan at 513.382.2144 or via email:

  • Sunday, May 06, 2018 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Julia Hedges is a native of the tristate area and received her Bachelor’s degree from University of Kentucky. The most influential person in her life was her grandmother, who she watched struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease for 12 years.

    At an early age, Julia knew she was meant for a career that made a difference in the lives of seniors. Passionate about advocating for the aging population and providing meaningful opportunities at end-of-life, Julia brings the advantage of having worked on both the independent/assisted living as well as the nursing/rehab sides of long term care. Currently, she serves as Account Executive for Hospice of Cincinnati, serving as an end-of-life resource to local physicians, hospitals, long term care staff, and the community at large.

    Julia began her career in the aging field as Director of Resident Programs for Brookdale Senior Living. In this role, she served as a regional mentor and trainer specializing in classes on six dimensional whole person care for the aging adult: purpose, emotion, physical health, social activity, spirituality, and intellect.

    In 2010, Brookdale Senior Living began its Wish of a Lifetime initiative to provide a helping hand in making some of the dreams of Brookdale’s residents come true. To request a Wish, residents fill out a Wish application explaining an experience they would like to have fulfilled and how that experience relates to one or more dimensions of Brookdale’s Optimum Life® platform. Optimum Life cultivates whole-person wellness through fulfillment in the six key dimensions. More than 600 Brookdale seniors have had their wish granted. In 2012, Julie was chosen to escort the winner of the Brookdale Wish of A Lifetime to New Orleans, Louisiana to fulfill her wish of visiting her hometown. You can see more of their trip on Flickr.

    Julia received her Dementia Practitioner Certification in 2016.

    In her spare time, Julia enjoys performing with local community theatre groups, practicing yoga and causing trouble with her 2 year-old daughter, Violet.

    You can learn more about Julia and connect with her on LinkedIn.

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