I am a fairly recent transplant to Martha’s Vineyard; my husband and I moved to the Island so we could raise our children close to their paternal grandparents. When I began the Vision Fellowship, I was the Alzheimer’s Program Director at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where I worked directly with residents and their families. I trained volunteers and staff on helping individuals with dementia live their best lives, and assisted with program development and fundraising. The fellowship enabled me to earn my Masters of Science in Gerontology: Management of Aging Services from UMass Boston, an online program geared to working professionals.
As the research from the Island Plan has indicated the senior population will increase from 2,600 in 2007 to 4,700 in 2020 and as this need is emerging, being able to bring more expertise to my profession and to the community is very important to me. I hope to be able to apply my skills and knowledge to providing better service and understanding which our aging population will need as the demographics of the Island shift and change. To cherish our elders is to value the physical island, its traditions and its history.