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Seminar examines legal issues for the aging

ATHENS, Ohio (April 1, 2004) -- The spring series of Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine's Geriatric Education Series continues Monday, April 5, with William Walker, J.D., presenting "Legal Issues with Aging." The seminar will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in conference room B-9 at O'Bleness Memorial Hospital.

Walker will explain and compare power of attorney, durable power of attorney for health care and the living will. He will also discuss the potential importance of these legal documents when addressing the medical and financial affairs of the aging.

"I think it is important as our society ages, and a good portion of the population is 65 and older," said Walker, "that individuals address important medical and end-of-life matters now, while they can make their own decisions -- using their own best judgment -- as it relates to their affairs. Failure to do so results in other individuals or the legal system taking charge of their affairs if they become unable to." Walker will also touch upon issues involving guardianships, emergency medical needs and the role of the probate court.

Health-care professionals are invited to attend the seminar. Brown bags are welcome. For more information, call the Geriatric Education Center at (740) 593-2258. Each lecture in this series of Geriatric Medicine/ Gerontology seminars is held from noon to 1 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month at O'Bleness, room B-9.

This is the third seminar in the spring series. The first was March 1, with Steven Clay, D.O., who presented "Influences in Prescribing Patterns." The second seminar, "Hearing Loss and Management," was presented by Roxanne Groff, March 15. Sam Simons will present "Balance and Gait Instability" April 19. "Palliative Care" will be presented May 3, with Tracy Marx, D.O., and the final spring seminar will be May 17, with Ann Rathbun, Ph.D., presenting "Grief and Bereavement."

"The seminars are designed for an interdisciplinary audience," said Ellen Peterson, R.N., OU-COM geriatric education coordinator. "Health professionals from the community regularly attend, in addition to interns, residents and medical students. The diversity of disciplines represented by the participants makes for an interesting exchange of ideas."

The sponsors of the seminars include OU-COM's Department of Geriatric Medicine/Gerontology, and the Western Reserve Geriatric Education Center and Consortium for Health Education in Appalachia Ohio.

Peterson said the seminar series was started by a federal grant that established OU-COM as a contribution site to the Western Reserve Geriatric Education Center in September 1994 and has supported many continuing education programs. Provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, the grant supports educational programs in geriatric and gerontology for physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors and health-care providers to 22 Southeastern Ohio counties.

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Media Contact: Writer/Editor Kevin Sanders, (740) 593-0896

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