It's almost spring in Cincinnati, and that means it's time once again for Parish Health Ministry's annual Refresh Your Soul conference, which will be held on Monday, March 12, at Xavier University’s Cintas Center.
If you're the family or professional caregiver for a senior, or if you're a senior yourself, you shouldn't miss Refresh Your Soul this year. Here are four reasons why:
1. A new year brings a new conference focus: positive aging.
For the past two years, Refresh Your Soul has focused almost exclusively on issues faced by dementia caregivers. And topics of the 2018 conference will offer new and inspiring ways to view care for self, for healthy seniors and for those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
This year, though, the scope of the conference is widening, RYS will shift to become inclusive of discussions about all aspects of positive aging.
Why is it so important to promote positive aging for the Tristate's seniors? Because there's strong evidence that elders who have a positive self-image and who feel they have a sense of purpose live longer.
According to a landmark 2002 study led by researchers from Yale, seniors who held a positive view of aging lived an average of 7.5 years longer than their peers who had internalized negative aging stereotypes.
The promotion of positive aging is a key tactic for fighting ageism and, in line with Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS) President and CEO Laura Lamb's vision, for shaping Cincinnati into one of the most age-friendly cities in the nation.
"There is a real deficit in the way society treats people with cognitive loss," Lamb told the Cincinnati Business Courier. "A lot of the points are related to educating and understanding."
At RYS this year, our speakers will empower us to live healthier as we age and inspire everyone for whom we care for, either personally or professionally, to improve their lives through positive aging.
2. Speaking of speakers...
You're probably already familiar with the bestselling book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to a Love That Lasts. Its author, Dr. Gary Chapman, will give the keynote address at this year's installment of Refresh Your Soul.
How do the Love Languages relate to positive aging? Very directly.
At its core, caregiving is showing your love for another by providing for his or her needs. As Chapman described them in his book, the 5 love languages are gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. Everyone has their own love language. By understanding your own and the love language of the significant people in your life — including those to whom you provide care — you can give and receive love with deeper connection and greater meaning.
Chapman will also show us how to support healthy relationships and positive aging by dealing effectively with our failures through what he calls the "5 languages of apology." He'll share how to identify our own apology language and that discover that of others. And we'll learn from him what forgiveness does and does not do.
3. A unique collection of positive aging experts.
Dr. Chapman's won't be the only fascinating presentation we'll hear at #RYS2018. Three other elder care experts will challenge our perceptions.
Kay Van Norman is the founder and president of the consultancy Brilliant Aging. She'll provide us with important insights on aging with purpose, share ideas and strategies that will change the way we think of aging, and explain how to help our older loved ones live well.
Dr. Wendy Rogers is one of America’s leading educators and researchers on technology for successful aging. She'll explain how apps (like ERS's How's Mom), mobile devices, social networking, in-home assistive technologies, robotics, telepresence, and virtual reality can enable autonomy and independence in older adults.
Lastly, at a special, optional luncheon, gerontologist Liz Tassone will tell us about the concept of neuroplasticity — the brain's ability to adapt and "rewire" itself over the course of lifelong learning — and explain how it has become a hot-button area of inquiry for dementia researchers.
4. Continuing education credits are available.
If you're a health care or social work professional in the Tristate area, who needs continuing education units (CEUs), we have good news: there will be several opportunities to earn them at this year's RYS conference.
Nurses may earn up to 4.4 hours , approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing through the OBN Approver Unit at Upper Valley Medical Center.
Likewise, occupational therapists can earn 4.25 contact hours (approved by the Ohio OTPTAT Board) and physical therapists can earn 2 CEUs (approved by OPTA).
Social workers, counselors and therapists can earn up to 4.5 clock hours, which have been approved by the Ohio CSWMFT Board.
And, personal care home and memory care home administrators can earn 4.25 course hours, approved by the Board of Executives of Long-Term Services and Support.
Register early and save on admission.
Registration for the 2018 conference is open now. Visit the Refresh Your Soul 2018 webpage to learn more about this year's conference, register, or find out where you can book a hotel room at our discounted group rate.
Early bird registration is discounted to $59 (or $85 with contact hours) and ends Feb. 12, 2018. Tickets to additional VIP luncheons with our featured speakers are also available for purchase. All proceeds benefit Parish Health Ministry.
If you're a senior or the family member of a senior who'd like to learn more about positive aging, or you're a dementia or elder caregiver who needs a self-care day, you won't want to miss #RYS2018.
Are you ready to Refresh Your Soul? Click here and purchase your tickets today!