Optimal Aging offering spring programs on dementia care & aging in place


The Optimal Aging Institute of Bowling Green State University invites older adults to discover new ways to care for people with dementia, as well as possibilities for aging in place in its spring program series.

“Using ‘Life Stories’ to Care for People with Dementia” will take place at 5:30 p.m.March 21 in the Simpson Building Banquet Room, 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green. We each have a “life story,” and capturing that story for an individual with dementia is not only rewarding, but can also be a valuable asset in caregiving. Light refreshments will be provided by cosponsor Brookdale Bowling Green; the program is supported by Bowling Green Parks and Recreation. Presenters are Lynn Ritter of the Alzheimer’s Association Northwest Ohio Chapter, and Andrew Hershberger, BGSU professor of art history and family caregiver.

“Aging in Place: Is Your Home Ready?” is a series of three Saturday morning programs, held at 10 a.m. April 7, 21 and 28 at the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Several presenters will discuss elements of universal design, no-cost/low-cost ideas for modifications, safety checklist to evaluate your current home, zero-step entries, how to improve your lighting, bathroom/kitchen renovations, resale considerations, and more. Cosponsored by the League of Women Voters, Bowling Green and the library.

“Principles and Strategies for Enhancing Memory and Learning for Optimal Aging” will take place at 7 p.m. April 23 the Wood County District Public Library. Although normal aging is associated with changes in thinking and memory, evidence from several studies suggests that certain activities and behaviors can enhance cognition at any age. Presenter Jason Whitfield, an associate professor of communication sciences and disorders at BGSU, will summarize some of the neuropsychological changes associated with normal aging and review strategies for maintaining and enhancing learning and memory for optimal aging.

The last program this spring is the quarterly “Care Compass Project” for caregivers, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 25 at the First Christian Church, 875 Haskins Road, Bowling Green. This session will discuss meals on wheels, lifeline services, home care options, and dealing with financial misuses and exploitation. Respite care and lunch will be provided by Brookdale of Bowling Green. Register for the Care Compass Project by emailing programs@wccoa.net or calling 419-353-5661.

All programs are free, but early registration is encouraged at www.bgsu.edu/oai or by calling 419-372-8244.