Attendees from various Religious Communities in the region gathered at the residence of the Sisters of St. Dominic in Amityville, NY, on August 19 and at the residence of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in Ossining, NY, on August 24 to listen to Alf Norwood and Sister Peter Lillian Di Maria, O.Carm. provide insight into the importance of preparing for transition. Alf Norwood introduced the seminar by explaining the physiological effects of aging, which he then followed by sharing preventative measures to assist in aging well. The concepts of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis were presented to illustrate the science behind taking a proactive approach toward aging. He explained, "Over time, your neurons restructure and rewire to recognize reality. The old neurons don't go away, but you build new neurons—new scaffolding. When you look at transitions, you have the opportunity to build that scaffolding and address the issues beforehand so you can avoid stress and potential depression."
As you may have noticed the Avila Institute of Gerontology is passionate about palliative care. Not only did we work with the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) to create a palliative care education program for the facilities sponsored, co-sponsored or served by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, we are working to help all implement successful palliative care programs.
In August, seven American young women between ages 18-40 traveled to Ireland to serve alongside the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm at Our Lady’s Manor in Dalkey, Ireland. Stacey Sumereau, AIG’s Program Coordinator, led SALT along with Sr. Mary Donovan, the Carmelite Sisters’ vocation director, and Sr. Peter Lillian Di Maria, director of AIG. The volunteers came from across the United States as a result of national advertising efforts speaking on college campuses, service fairs, radio and Catholic magazine advertising. This is SALT’s second year, and first international program.
On June 4th, 2016 the Avila Institute of Gerontology had the privilege to once again be a pre-assembly at the annual Catholic Healthcare Association Assembly in Orlando, FL. Our five-hour seminar "Effective Palliative Care in Long-term Care" focused on palliative care and how to implement and maintain a palliative program in long-term care facilities. We’ve been part of this assembly for many years and we were very grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful event. We were also participated at the exhibit hall where Director, Sr. M. Peter Lillian Di Maria, O.Carm along with faculty, Sr. Annelle Fitzpatrick, CSJ and AIG staff member Erin Pietrak had the pleasure to meet and discuss the many educational programs for long-term care that AIG offers.
Next month on June 4th, the Avila Institute of Gerontology will be going to Orlando, Florida to be a Pre-assembly for the Catholic Healthcare Association (CHA). Our seminar "Effective Palliative Care in Long-term Care" will be one of the events proceeding the Catholic Health Assembly. We have been part of this assembly for many years and we are grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful event and the chance to unite with so many Catholic Healthcare Associations.
The Avila Institute’s director, Sr. Peter Lillian, presented a talk entitled “Bringing Christ to Those Who are Experiencing Advanced Illness” at the “Help Stop Assisted Suicide” Conference at St. Pius X parish in Loudonville. Activists from all eight dioceses in New York gathered to learn how to stop Pro-Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) in the United States.
On August 19, 2015, Sister M. Peter Lillian was honored at an Excellence in Ethics Symposium in Eau Claire, WI. Father Dunklee founded the Center for Spiritual Care at the HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, and each year an award for Excellence in Ethics is given in his memory. “Father Dunklee’s expertise in ethics provided a steady voice and a calming influence during times when difficult health care decisions needed to be made,” said Philip Anderson, director of the Center for Spiritual Care at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. “We are pleased to be giving this award annually in his honor.” Sister Peter is the fourth recipient of the Father Dunklee Award.
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