The WVU School of Social Work will be hosting the 40th annual Summer Institute on Aging at Lakeview in Morgantown.
About 27,000 West Virginians are turning 60 every year. The Summer Institute on Aging provides a variety of educational topics, networking opportunities and resources for healthcare professionals who work with the elderly.
“We are going to see a doubling of the older adult population 65 and over by the year 2030, where we will have more than 75 million people over the age of 65. That will change the face of communities and states don’t have the resources they need to be able to respond to that demographic imperative,” said Bill Benson, national policy advisor for National Adult Protective Services Association and the American Association of Service Coordinators.
The conference was created to provide continuing education for social workers, licensed professional counselors and nurses.
This event is the only multi-day conference in West Virginia that solely focuses on the needs of older adults in the state. One of the many topics discussed was the importance of quality housing and service coordinators to help individuals in the aging community.
“Without services from outside the community, their conditions may deteriorate. They may need then at some point to move to a more restrictive environment like say assisted living, or nursing home. So service coordinators help keep them safe and help keep them independent,” said Benson.
Roughly 160 people from all around the state attend the conference.
“These folks work in a variety of settings. So they work in nursing homes. They work in hospice and homecare. They work in hospitals. They work in senior centers. They work in community based agencies. And we have a good number of representatives from the Department of Health and Human Resources that work to really help older adults that suffer from elder abuse and exploitation,” said Jacki Englehardt, Coordinator of the event.