Balancing Maximum Independence and Home Safety for Individuals with Dementia

Live event held June 5, 2013

The aim of the three-part series titled SAFE@HOME is to provide the tools, environment, coordination and management to support the delivery of educational information to Virginia professional home care service providers. Professional service providers include medical doctors, registered nurses, social workers, geriatric care managers, gerontologists, gerontology students, counselors, lawyers, financial advisors, insurance agents, ombudsman/patient advocates, as well as family caregivers.

The first webinar in the series focused on the person-centered care in dementia care and will provide general home safety tips.

According to Wikipedia, “The Center for Disease Control defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” In December 2011, AARP Policy Institute and the National Conference of State Legislatures released a report entitled, “Aging in Place: A State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices”to foster aging in place by giving state legislators examples of how laws, policies and programs can support this goal. In addition to such governmental initiatives, livability can be optimized through the incorporation of universal design principles, telecare and other assistive technologies. Assistive technologies include communications, health and wellness monitoring, home safety and security.

Purposeful aging in place has grown in popularity and celebrated by the National Aging in Place Week and the National Aging in Place Council that promotes the positive outcomes of older adults having a choice in their care and living arrangements. In addition to Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) there are many more professionals trained to fill the growing need in this service model for older adults. Industries that have special programs or certifications include Real Estate, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Relocation specialists. Communities are now fully engaged and committed to exploring ways to better serve older adults by developing action plans that address future needs and ensure that the necessary services are in place when they are needed.”


JayWhite1John (Jay) T. Whitehas a Masters in Gerontology from the Virginia Commonwealth University and is the Department of Gerontology’s Director of Professional and Community Development. His background includes marketing, public relations, fundraising and organizational development within statewide non-profit, education and tourism-related organizations.

Jay earned his BA in American History from Washington and Lee University and completed coursework for an MA in American Studies from the College of William and Mary. Current volunteer involvement includes Family Lifeline’s ElderFriends Task Force and a Grace Place Adult Day Center. Jay is a member of the Richmond Senior Network, the RVa Better Aging Forum, the Gerontological Society of America and the American Society on Aging.

Jay has co-authored articles and given presentations on a variety of topics including: LGBT and Aging, Aging in Place, Nutritional Needs of Older Adults, Evaluating Depression and Dementia and Person-Centered Care and Culture Change.


Ayn WellefordE.  Ayn Welleford, PhD, received her B.A. in Management/Psychology from Averett College, M.S. in Gerontology and Ph.D. 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.

Dr. Welleford is former Chair of the Governor’s Commonwealth of Virginia Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Commission, as well as a recipient of the AGHE Distinguished Teacher Award. In 2011, Dr. Welleford was honored by the Alzheimer’s Association at their annual Recognition Reception for her statewide advocacy. Dr. Welleford is the author of numerous publications and presentations given at national, state and local conferences, community engagement and continuing education forums. In 2012, Dr. Welleford was appointed to the Advisory Board for VCU’s West Grace Village project. She is also the recipient of the 2012 Mary Creath Payne Leadership Award from Senior Connections, the Capital Area Agency on Aging.

The SAFE@HOME series is made possible through a grant from the Virginia Center on Aging’s Geriatric Training and Education Initiative.