Live webinar held June 21, 2011
Traditional institutional models of care for older adults are often antithetical to financial, physical, and emotional well-being. Older adults, overwhelmingly, state that, given the option, they would prefer to “age in place” in homes and communities and among family and friends of choice. A hallmark of Gerontological scholarship and application is person-centered care and investigating options for aging in place is central to this core belief. Participants in this webinar can expect to learn fundamentals of person-centered care and be introduced to practical alternatives to traditional institutionally-driven models of care.


John (Jay) T. White is currently enrolled in the MS program in Gerontology at VCU as well as being the Department’s Director of Professional and Community Development. His background includes marketing, public relations, fundraising, and organizational development within non-profit, educational, and tourism-related organizations.

Jay has a BA in American History from Washington and Lee University and completed coursework for an MA in American Studies at the College of William and Mary. Volunteer and professional initiatives include the Richmond Organization for Sexual Minority Youth (ROSMY), Family Lifeline’s ElderFriends Program, FETCH A Cure, the Virginia Pride Coalition, the READ Center, the Family of Friends Thanksgiving Feast, the River District Alliance, Rainbow Over Richmond, and many others.

Jay is the author of “Fundamentals: A Complete Guide to Starting and Development a Community Service Initiative” and “Battling Southern Heritage: A History of African-Americans at Washington and Lee University” as well as numerous papers on topics ranging from Housing Alternatives for an Aging Population to Recareering and Older Adults.

Sonya Barsness is a Masters-prepared Gerontologist with over 15 years of experience in aging, primarily in long-term care and dementia care. Sonya has been a provider in assisted living and nursing homes. Her more extensive experience is in education, programming, policy, and research related to long-term care, dementia care, and person-centered care.

Sonya is currently a consultant and principal of Sonya Barsness Consulting LLC. As a consultant she works with organizations such as Pioneer Network and Planetree to support the enculturation of person-centered values in long-term care and healthcare. She is also adjunct faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Gerontology.
Sonya’s passion and vocation is changing the culture of aging, to include promoting personhood in dementia care.


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 was co-sponsored by AlzPossible 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.




Aging in Place

Download slides here.