Spotlight on Special Interest Group 15, Gerontonology How many affiliates does SIG 15 have? SIG 15 had 1,742 affiliates as of April 2014. Why did you originally choose to affiliate with SIG 15? From the time I was knee-high to a grasshopper I was in and out of nursing homes visiting folks with my great-aunt. I gravitated ... SIG Spotlight
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SIG Spotlight  |   May 01, 2014
Spotlight on Special Interest Group 15, Gerontonology
Author Notes
  • Betsi Slider Young, MS, CCC-SLP, is an SLP in Castle Rock, Colo. She is a member of SIG 15’s coordinating committee. ■scootsco@aol.com
    Betsi Slider Young, MS, CCC-SLP, is an SLP in Castle Rock, Colo. She is a member of SIG 15’s coordinating committee. ■scootsco@aol.com×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / ASHA News & Member Stories / SIG Spotlight
SIG Spotlight   |   May 01, 2014
Spotlight on Special Interest Group 15, Gerontonology
The ASHA Leader, May 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.SIGS.19052014.np
The ASHA Leader, May 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.SIGS.19052014.np
How many affiliates does SIG 15 have?
SIG 15 had 1,742 affiliates as of April 2014.
Why did you originally choose to affiliate with SIG 15?
From the time I was knee-high to a grasshopper I was in and out of nursing homes visiting folks with my great-aunt. I gravitated to skilled nursing facilities largely because of those early experiences and an internal drive to make the SNF environment better each day than it was the day before.
I have been blessed with a cast of delightful elders in my life. In fact, one of my best friends is a French war bride who is turning 90 this May—so I have a special place in my heart for the elderly, frail or healthy—and I cherish every minute I get to spend with them, just hearing what they think, how they feel and what’s important to them.
What is the most important issue surrounding SIG 15’s subject matter right now?
We are so incredibly challenged by the decreasing financial resources, longer life spans and greater numbers of elders who need or will need our services. Those demographics really put a burden on us to be creative, evidence-based and assertive about what we can do for our patients and to effectively track, capture and report the outcomes we achieve. We have to become advocates of the first order—for our profession, our patients and our future.
What upcoming events related to or sponsored by SIG 15 should everyone know about?
Our professional development manager and the team are working on a very exciting invited session for the 2014 ASHA Convention in Orlando. We are all looking for practical, hands-on interventions for our patients with dementia—and this course will totally fill the bill!
Which of your recent Perspectives articles is a must-read for CSD professionals, and why?
Hands down, the January 2014 article by Gloriajean Wallace from the University of Cincinnati, “My Gray Is Golden: Thoughts About Aging From the Perspective of Adults with Neurologically Based Communication Impairments”. The article was a joy to read and an enlightening survey of various theories about aging. The article provides data on the demographics of folks 65 years and older who are aging with health issues that we see in our practice every day: aphasia, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Following this catalogue of issues, the article provides a couple of case reviews that really drive the points home.
The elders we work with come to us with a wealth of wisdom, history, experience and perseverance. As Wallace says, “… we are indeed blessed with the sacred opportunity to provide them with care.” Her article is a call to action to use the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health’s approaches as tools to obtain comprehensive, case-centered information for the entire interdisciplinary team.
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May 2014
Volume 19, Issue 5