, Gloucester, MA

September 20, 2013

Manchester mountaineer with MS to speak at conference

Senior Lookout
Anne Springer

---- — On Sept. 26, the Aging and Disability Resource Consortium of the Greater North Shore (ADRC) will hold its seventh annual conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Boston North Shore in Danvers.

The keynote speaker for the event is Wendy Booker of Manchester-by-the-Sea, who is the author of “New Altitude: Beyond Tough Times to the Top of the World.” A person with multiple sclerosis, Wendy has evolved from having a career in interior design to one of motivational speaking, after conquering the Boston Marathon and several mountains, doing some sky diving, and being the first person with MS to reach both the North and South poles. Her story is fascinating and inspiring. Ms. Booker has agreed to spend some time signing copies of her book at the event.

Continental breakfast, registration and exhibits open at 8:30 a.m.; the opening session is at 9:00 followed by a welcome by Congressman John Tierney.

ADRC of the Greater North Shore is a regional group but the model is a national one. Its focus is to create partnerships between aging services agencies and independent living centers that provide disability services so that there is a “no wrong door” approach versus a single point of entry approach to taking care of peoples’ needs for services. Staff cross-training is a goal, as is streamlining of key functions within existing organizations. There is also a focus on involvement of consumers as key advisors.

Members of the ADRC of the Greater North Shore are Elder Service Plan of the North Shore (PACE), Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, North Shore Career Center, North Shore Elder Services, Greater Lynn Senior Services, and SeniorCare Inc.

This year’s conference, “Our Community Tapestry: Weaving Our Way through Challenging Times” will feature several breakout sessions that have continuing education credits pending for social workers and nurses.

Members of the staff at SeniorCare, based in Gloucester, are part of the program this year and will focus on evidence-based wellness programs, as well as a session on service, therapy and emotional support dogs.

There will also be remarks from Joseph Lugo, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Administration for Community Living, Washington, DC., as well as a “Laugh and Learn” with a panel of four professional comedians who have disabilities. The subject of disability can be difficult, thorny, and often taboo. As comedians with disabilities, the panelists use humor as a way to open a conversation, to explore how laughter can break down barriers, provide an unexpected source of resilience, and even benefit the community by raising awareness.

There is a special rate, $50, for seniors, consumers and students. Attendees can register online at EventBrite and credit cards or checks are accepted:

For more information about the conference, please contact Patricia Cox, administrative coordinator, Aging and Disability Resources Consortium of the Greater North Shore, 152 Sylvan St., Danvers, at 978-624-2206.

And, of course, don’t forget to attend SeniorCare’s Annual Meeting the same evening, at Vittori Rocci Post in Beverly and help honor some Cape Ann heroes. For information, see the Senior Lookout column in the Times from Sept. 6 ( For tickets, call Ilia Stacy, 978-281-1750 x503.

Anne Springer is the public relations director of SeniorCare Inc., Cape Ann’s local area agency on aging. To reach SeniorCare, call 978-281-1750.