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Age Wise in the Capital Region

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If we’re lucky, we’ll have to prepare for our golden years. With awareness and planning we can make the third age of our lives rich and full or at the very least, a time when our decisions are respected. Join Moderator Benita Zahn and a panel of experts as they explore where we live, what we can do to remain independent in our own homes and communities, how we can give and receive care, and how to plan, not only how we want to live but how and where we hope to die.

Panel #1 – Where We Live/Aging In Place/Aging In Community

Deborah Damm O’Brien

Deborah Damm O’Brien is the Executive Director of DePaul Housing Management.

DePaul Housing Management, sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, develops and operates primarily senior housing communities for people of all faiths with services and activities that support active, healthy and independent lifestyles.

Kristin Vivian

Kristin Vivian is the Program Director of Bright Horizons Adult Day Services of Colonie Senior Service Centers. Since 1983, Bright Horizons has been providing respite for caregivers and a supportive setting for members.  Colonie Senior Service Centers was established as a not-for-profit organization in October 1981, and has been serving seniors and their families continuously in the Colonie and Capital Region for 30 years. CSSC is the largest provider of programs and services for seniors in the area. They help seniors remain healthy, active and independent; preserving and enhancing their quality of life as they grow older.

Lisa Ferretti, LMSW, Co-director

The Center for Excellence in Aging & Community Wellness, UAlbany
Lisa A. Ferretti serves as a Public Service Professor, Research Assistant Professor and co-Director of the Center for Excellence in Aging & Community Wellness and the New York State Evidence-Based Health Programs Quality & Technical Assistance Center at the University at Albany School of Social Welfare. Lisa is a Master’s prepared licensed social worker in New York State.


Panel #2 – Caregiving/End of Life

Erica Salamida

Erica Salamida is program manager for the Capital Region North chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York. Erica has conducted workshops on caregiving and is versed in the special challenges of caring for a loved one who has dementia. She has worked in the healthcare industry for the last 13 years. 

George Giokas, MD

Dr. George Giokas is the director of palliative care for The Community Hospice.
Dr. Giokas is also a consulting staff member at Ellis Medicine and Sunnyview Hospital, past chair and current member of Ellis Medicine's Ethics Committee. Dr. Giokas brings 30+ years of clinical experience to the discussion of Palliative Care. He is certified in Internal Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and was chief of the Section of General Internal Medicine at Ellis Medicine. Dr. Giokas lectures locally on Palliative Care, the Ethics of Serious Illness, MOLST, Advance Directives and Surrogate Decision Making.

Bruce White DO, JD

Bruce D. White, DO, JD, is a pharmacist, a board-certified pediatrician, and an attorney with fellowship training in clinical medical ethics. Since January 2010, he has served as director of the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical Center. He is professor of pediatrics and holds the John A. Balint, M.D., Chair in Medical Ethics at Albany Medical College. Additionally, he serves as professor and director of the Healthcare Ethics and Law (HEaL) Institute at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.



Gateway House of Peace – Ballston Spa, NY.

Haynes House of Hope – South Granville, NY.

Joan Nicole Prince Home – Scotia, NY.

Mary’s Haven – Saratoga Springs, NY


Additional Resources

Publication: “Housing Options for Senior Adults in the Capital Region”

Catholic Charities Caregiver Support Services

Caregivers Support Services is an agency of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany with one simple mission - to make life better for those who care for friends and relatives in need.

Town of Colonie Senior Resources Department

The Senior Resources Department is the community resource for senior services.  Information about programs, services and events can be found on their website.

Compassion and Support at the End of Life educates and empowers patients, families and professionals on issues related to advance care planning, health care proxies, MOLST, palliative care, pain management, etc.

Community Caregivers provides services that enable individuals of all ages to maintain their independence, dignity and quality of life within their homes and communities.
They can assist home caregivers manage the physical, emotional and financial toll that continuous caregiving can take.

The Conversation Project

The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.

Jewish Family Services of Northeastern New York, Albany Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NNORC) helps people aged 60 and over age in place by coordinating services and resources that help seniors maintain their quality of life and independence, access services, and remain connected to their neighborhoods. 

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization – Caring Connections

Caring Connections provides people with information and support when they are planning ahead, caring for a loved one, living with an illness or grieving a loss. 

NY Connects: Choices for Long Term Care

Information and Assistance Specialists provide personalized counseling to help you make informed decisions and can assist you in accessing available long term services and supports to meet existing or future long term needs. 

The New York State Caregiving and Respite Coalition (NYSCRC) is a statewide coalition focused on supporting caregivers, professionals and providers across New York State.

New York State Office for the Aging

Helping older New Yorkers be as independent as possible for as long as possible.

Senior Services of Albany

Senior Services of Albany fosters independence and enhances the quality of life of older adults by providing innovative services and caregiver support. 

Umbrella of the Capital District

Umbrella is a nonprofit agency that  has been helping senior citizens and people with disabilities live comfortably, safely and independently in their own homes since 1995.

United Way of the Greater Capital Region

2-1-1 is a free, confidential number to call for anyone who needs help and answers, seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.