Intellectual disAbility Services Sponsored Event for ID/A Nurses

June 12, 2018

nurse conferencePhiladelphia Coordinated Health Care (PCHC), supported by funding from the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), provided developmental disability nurses working in the Southeast Region of Pennsylvania the opportunity to attend an educational presentation on Aging and Developmental Disabilities. The event was held at the City Avenue Hilton Hotel in Philadelphia on June 12, 2018.

Elizabeth (Liz) Perkins, PhD, RNLD, FAAIDD presented “Promoting Health, Wellness and Successful Aging in Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities”. Objectives of the presentation included:

  • Describing the concept of successful aging with specific issues for people with a developmental disability
  • Identifying caregiver challenges, and
  • Gaining knowledge of useful resources

Interviews with the nurses in attendance, as well as program evaluations, provided insight on this presentation. When asked, “What was learned that would be helpful?”, these were a few responses:

  • Great information on aging statistics and resources. The presenter was entertaining and knowledgeable.
  • The information provided about lifelong health resources will be helpful.
  • To look out for caregivers and offer them resources to make their role easier.
  • The information about aging and autism spectrum disorder was awesome!
  • All of the resources and links provided will be very helpful.

A nurse working with an agency in Montgomery County summed it up well stating:

“One of the things that I took away from the training is how healthy successful aging incorporates many things. It is not just physical health. Having friendships, social activities, and meaningful work or hobbies is something I see lacking with some of the people we support. That's an area I'd like to bring to the attention of Program Directors/Managers, since my role as a nurse is somewhat limited to physical health. However, I am in a position to advocate and make recommendations for the overall health of the people I take care of”.

The overall feedback about this event was very positive. This educational session resulted in a deeper understanding of the aging process with a specific focus on people with a developmental disability and/or autism. Nurses working in the Southeast Region obtained many valuable resources to continue their efforts to support health and wellness as a person ages.