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Challenges Facing Older Veterans to be Focus of May 13 Event

Challenges facing older veterans and the resources available to them in Maine will be the focus of the 8th annual University of Maine Clinical Geriatrics Colloquium May 13 on campus.

The colloquium, “Serving Our Older Veterans: Today’s Clinical Issues and Best Practices,” will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Monday, May 13 at Wells Conference Center, hosted by the University of Maine Center on Aging, University of Maine School of Social Work and Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education at the University of Maine.

There were 9.2 million veterans 65 and older in 2011 representing 43 percent of the military veterans in the United States. Some of the major challenges in serving veterans are developing programs and services that respond to the health needs of a rapidly aging population and ensuring that veterans in need of care are aware of the services that exist.

“We need to be aware of the extent to which veterans are surviving into old age but are not necessarily having their needs attended to,” University of Maine Center on Aging Director Lenard Kaye says.

The event, sponsored by Lunder-Dineen Health Education Alliance of Maine, Maine Veterans’ Homes, Maine Gerontological Society and Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging, includes a screening of the award-winning film featuring Bangor troop greeters “The Way We Get By” and an evening performance of Outside the Wire’s “Theater of War.”

“Older veterans make up large proportions of every community across the state of Maine,” Kaye says. “We need to recognize the fact that they have issues and experiences having served in the military that can in some cases color the way they approach old age.”

Participants will hear from veterans who will describe their experience of growing older as well as practitioners and clinicians who will explain services available to veterans, according to Kaye, who is also a UMaine School of Social Work professor.

Several speakers including United States Congressman Mike Michaud and Chairman of the Maine Troop Greeters Board of Directors Charles Knowlen are expected to attend.

Participants can register online or download a paper form at the UMaine Center on Aging’s website, mainecenteronaging.umaine.edu/colloquium. The $50 regular registration fee includes all colloquium materials, continental breakfast, lunch and admission to the screening of “The Way We Get By.” Registration for Maine Gerontological Society members and employees of sponsoring organizations is $40. Students can register for $25. The deadline for mailed registration forms is Friday, May 3.

The Outside the Wire’s “Theater of War” performance 7 p.m., 100 D.P. Corbett Business Building is free and open to the public. Participants are asked to RSVP to Prudence Searl at prudence.searl@umit.maine.edu; 207.262.7925.

“Theater of War,” produced by social impact company Outside the Wire, presents readings of ancient Greek plays to serve as a catalyst for town hall discussions about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, their families, caregivers and communities. The May 13 performance will feature award-winning actor, David Strathairn, of “Lincoln” and “Good Night, and Good Luck.”

“It’s going to be a full day of events,” Kaye says. “People will learn, people will be entertained, people will have an opportunity to participate.”

The University of Maine Center on Aging, which was established in the winter of 2002, is a multidisciplinary center within the University of Maine System devoted to aging-related education and training, research and evaluation, and community service.

For additional information or to request disability accommodations, contact Prudence Searl, 207.262.7925.

More information about the colloquium can be found online.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

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