The 33nd Annual Conference on Aging, hosted by the First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability took place on Tuesday April 25th, with over 240 in attendance. This year's Conference theme "Aging Unbound" brought together speakers and experts on issues affecting our region's senior population at the MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center for a full schedule of events. Topics included the Whole Health for VA Caregivers, Seven Deadly Sins of Volunteer Recruitment, Understanding Loss and Grief, Recruitment & Retainment of Employees, to name a few.
A highlight of the day was the recognition of the inaugural Kathy Whitaker Excellence in Aging Service Award honoree. The award, designed to recognize an outstanding volunteer in support of seniors or aging initiatives, was created by the First Tennessee Development District Board of Directors in 2022 to recognize Kathy Whitaker's service to the region.
This year's honoree, Kimberly Howell, a long-time volunteer for the Adult Day Center in Johnson City, was selected for her passion to serve others, which is not only infectious, but has changed lives. In addition to her career in healthcare and direct care for seniors, Howell has volunteered with Adult Day Services Center in Johnson City since 1993. In that 30 years, she has called Bingo for clients, helped wherever needed, and shared her love of life with men and women who are often forgotten or overlooked. Beverly Culp with the Adult Day Services Center said of Howell, "Our clients know that the third Tuesday of the month is Ms. Kim's day. She brings the fun, and you can hear a pin drop as they wait to hear her call the next number." Howell was joined by her husband David Howell, mother Judy, and her coworkers at Visiting Angels, David Meade, Ginny DeDreux, and Ashley Quinn.
In addition to her volunteer services, Howell, a certified dementia practitioner, is employed by Visiting Angels. The organization is a respected at-home care provider with more than 20 years of experience caring for seniors at home. Their mission is to help loved ones remain at home where they feel happiest, safest, and most comfortable.
In addition to Howell, the Area Agency also recognized volunteers that support initiatives such as the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, MyRIDE, Public Guardian, and SHIP programs.
Area Agency staff also organized a silent auction which raised funds for the Emergency Assistance Program. These funds are used to address emergent needs for area seniors and will be used to quickly to provide assistance.
The date and theme for the 2024 Conference on Aging will be announced in early 2024.
For questions about this or other District news, please contact Mark Stevans, email@example.com.