Nearly 100 years ago, a religious woman of great courage and vision believed that elders entrusted in her care should live in a homelike environment. She believed that they should be treated as unique, individual human beings; she acted on her beliefs and founded a Congregation that would teach others by its example.
In 1987, the Carmelite Sisters were encouraged by Robert McCarron, a professor at St. John’s University, to share their philosophy of compassionate care outside of their community by teaching these fundamental values to others working in long-term care. Professor McCarron and a committee under the guidance of Mother Michael and her Council began planning and working towards the establishment of the Avila Institute of Gerontology (AIG). AIG was incorporated as an educational institute in January 1988.
In the early years, AIG, the educational arm of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, was a venue for the Carmelite Sisters and their staff to receive training and continuing education credits in their various disciplines. AIG sought to share the philosophy of care of the Carmelite Sisters and the charism of Mother Angeline through workshops that were cost effective and would enhance caregiver ministry.
In 1988, AIG’s Board of Directors pursued how to provide continuing education credits for administrators and social workers. The first conference (seminar), entitled “Issues in Long-term Care” was held at St. Teresa’s Motherhouse in October 1988 and proved to be such a success that it was the first of many annual conferences. The annual conference, (once called the October workshops) are designed to provide education that is deeply rooted in Mother Angeline’s philosophy of care and the healing ministry of Jesus.
Conferences sponsored by the Avila Institute cover topics such as ethics, regulations, and modalities of caring, including dementia, behavioral concerns, palliative care, and many more. They feature expert speakers from throughout the country. Many of the past conference participants feel they have attended a retreat and leave St. Teresa’s Motherhouse feeling refreshed, invigorated and full of new ideas.
Our first long-term care conference was held in 1988. Watch the slideshow of the different themes over the last 35 years.
In addition to the long-term care conferences, AIG has always offered a multitude of educational programs, and throughout its 35 years. Its faculty has taught at more than 100 locations* in 33 U.S. states* and Ireland. It has awarded more than 72,160 CEUs* to more than 25,000 participants*.
For the past 35 years, Council members, a very active Board of Directors, and the staff at AIG have worked devotedly and tirelessly to develop programs that address the challenges facing Catholic long-term care. Now that we are safe and able to have an in-person conference again at our Motherhouse in Germantown, NY, we are looking forward to continuing our tradition of offering education for compassionate care to our Sisters, lay staff, Religious Community members, and all caregivers and healthcare professionals.
We look forward to seeing you this October for the 2023 long-term care conference as we “Get Back on Track” and move together in hope for the future.
* These numbers were configured in 2018 for our 30th anniversary.
Join Us at our 2023 Annual Long-Term Care Conference
The 2023 October Long-Term Care Conference is an event featuring experts, researchers, practitioners, and other stakeholders in the field of long-term care. This conference is designed to provide a platform for participants to review current issues surrounding long-term care; share their insights, experiences, and best practices; and learn from each other and engage in meaningful discussions on the latest trends and innovations in long-term care.
We hope to see you there. Learn more and register.