Association for
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  • 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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