Live event held June 24, 2011

Dementia is a relatively new area of policy focus, despite the large number of people affected by it. Dementia is one of the most devastating and costly group of diseases and its impact on the care system will only increase in the future due to population aging. The ethical challenges are multiple, especially in the case of dementia which influences the individual’s capacity to advocate for him/herself. A person-centered approach (see our webinar of June 21) would facilitate people with dementia having their voices heard both, in public awareness work and in policy formulation and implementation. This direct involvement is the new shift needed, filtering the decision-making through the prism of rights and advocacy.


The session focused on:

  • The importance of guardianship and adding person-center practices to the public guardianship program
  • Understanding the Behavioral Risk Factor surveillance System
  • Learning about the Nursing Home Discharge
  • Discussing complaint investigation.


Carter Harrison is a graduate of James Madison University. He served as a legislative aide in both the House of Delegates and the Virginia State Senate.

Mr. Harrison is the past President of the Virginia Coalition for the Aging, the chair of the Community Integration Advisory Commission, and serves as a member of several other health and human service policy coalitions and workgroups.

Mr. Harrison is the Director of Public Policy for the Virginia Chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association. In this role, Mr. Harrison spearheads the state legislative agenda for the Association that represents 140,000 Virginians, their families and caregivers living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia on a daily basis.

Bill Peterson, PhD was with the Virginia Department for the Aging for 30 years. He served in a variety of positions including long-term care ombudsman, public information officer, deputy commissioner, acting commissioner, and policy analyst. Bill retired in February of this year. He is married to Sherry Peterson, the CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association: Greater Richmond Chapter. He has an MSW from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work and a PhD from the School of Public Administration.



Ayn WellefordE.  Ayn Welleford, PhD, received her BA in Management/Psychology from Averett College, MS in Gerontology and PhD in Developmental Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has taught extensively in the areas of Lifespan Development, and Adult Development and Aging, Geropsychology, and Aging & Human Values. As an educator, researcher, and previously as a practitioner she has worked with a broad spectrum of individuals across the caregiving and long term care continuum.

As Associate Professor and Chair of VCU’s Department of Gerontology, she currently works to “Improve Elder Care through Education” through her Teaching, Scholarship, and Community Engagement. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Welleford provides community education and serves on several boards and committees. She currently serves as Chair of the Governor’s Commonwealth of Virginia Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Commission.Dr. Welleford is the proud recipient of the 2008 AGHE Distinguished Teacher Award.

The free webinar is co-sponsored by VACAPI and the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Gerontology and funded in part by the Virginia Center on Aging’s Geriatric Training and Education Initiative. As part of our requirements, all attendees are kindly requested to complete a quick demographics survey following the event.

Until then, we invite you to submit your commentaries and questions on the topic by using the registration form accessible below. These will be answered during the one hour webinar or posted thereafter on the this website.



Public Policy final

Download the slides here.