Check it out: Individuals honored for commitment to elder safety

Monday, June 19, 2017

Compiled by Debra Scherban. Please send items to dscherban@gazettenet.com

Individuals honored for commitment to elder safety

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day last week, the protective services team at Highland Valley Protective Services presented certificates of honor to professionals who exemplify what it means to reduce risk for elders at home. Among them are the following local people. Descriptions of their contributions were provided by Highland Valley.

Easthampton Police Officer Tammy Kaleta has been instrumental in assisting protective services during critical situations. She also has been a champion in assisting with offering options to elders, which helps reduce risk.

Brendan Rogers, outreach worker at the Easthampton Council on Aging, has worked to implement interventions for some of the most at-risk individuals and has been diligent in ensuring that protective services has the information it needs to guide its work with clients.

Joy Jolie, public records access officer of the Amherst Police Department, is not on the front lines when protective services is working with elders, but her behind-the-scenes involvement provides the assistance and information the team needs to make sure elders are safe.

Cases of elder abuse are prolific nationwide, with more and more cases reported each day, according to a prepared statement by Highland Valley. Individuals over the age of 60 are often living in poverty, and in today’s economic climate, cases of unlawful eviction and financial exploitation are also on the rise.

Highland Valley urges the public to take the time to check on elders in the community and report concerns to Elder Protective Services (800) 922-2275. For more information or for any questions, contact Julie Pearce, protective service program director, at 588-5761.

UMass researchers plan family events

The Healthy Development Initiative, a community-focused research, education and outreach program led by University of Massachusetts Amherst faculty, is hosting its annual open house Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. and a family fun day Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both will be held at the UMass Center at Springfield located at Tower Square, 1500 Main St.

The public is invited to attend either or both events and learn more about the initiative, which is aimed at understanding and promoting the psychological and physical health and well-being of children, adolescents, adults and seniors, according to its director, Kirby Deater-Deckard, professor of psychological and brain studies at UMass Amherst.

At the open house there will be light refreshments, informal presentations about new research and outreach activities, and tours of the laboratory at the UMass Center. At the family fun day Saturday, aimed at those with babies and young children, there will be snacks, games, hands-on activities and prizes. Families will also be able to sign-up to participate in research studies.

Launched in 2016, the Healthy Development Initiative’s projects include studies focusing on children’s development spanning infancy through adolescence.

Also underway are collaborations with several schools in the region to develop and test new curricular, intervention and assessment tools.

For more information on the Healthy Development Initiative, visit www.healthydevelopment.org.

Blood donation opportunities

Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., University of Massachusetts Student Union, 41 Campus Center Way, Amherst

Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust St., Northampton

Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Belchertown Senior Center, 60 State St. Belchertown

June 26, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., South Hadley Public Library, 2 Canal St., South Hadley

June 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Whole Foods Market, 327 Russell St. Hadley