...provides social engagement, life enrichment and practical help to older adults and professionals in need of greater assistance and/or connection. The focus is on strengthening person-centered care by providing added support to retired individuals and those with medical or personal challenges. This life-changing care gives families the ability to enjoy life more and spend quality time together. For complex care requiring medical help, services can be provided in conjunction with another qualified agency's skilled nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy and personal care services. Safety is important; fall prevention and safety technology is emphasized. However, sometimes unfortunate life events occur and require significant changes in a family member's plan of care. The adult child of one client shares his personal story of how professional gerontology services benefited the entire family following a life-changing accident (see full testimonial in the "Caregiver Solutions" section.
"My mother incurred a broken shoulder while living by herself in her home of 55 years. I was caught in the dilemma of finding a safe place for mom, while attending to her wishes to 'never leave her own home'... Thanks to Cardinal Gerontology's services, I feel that my family made a confident decision that will help my mother live a better, quality life. - Ken S.
Cardinal Gerontology, in addition to providing some non-medical services, acts as a liaison and can help identify the variety of options available in local aging service organizations.
How Cardinal Gerontology began...
Cardinal Gerontology, and the concept behind Circle Grande Intergenerational Programs, was developed from the founder's professional and personal experiences navigating healthcare, housing and social/emotional wellness challenges for her own grandparents, older adult friends and clients. The founder overcame, with family members, significant challenges when her 90-year-old grandmother, who could no longer live independently in her own home following a fall, needed to navigate hospital, rehabilitation, assisted living and skilled nursing care. With insight into the needs of families and aging loved ones challenged by disabilities, Cardinal Gerontology emerged as a way to meet the increasing needs of seniors & those with disabilities in Connecticut. An objective professional, outside of the family system, can make all the difference. This is key mission of Cardinal Gerontology is to create and maintain a better life for loved ones. The value of person-to-person assistance across generations provides younger adults with a sense of understanding and older people with a sense of control, gratitude and joy. In this spirit, Cardinal Gerontology was born.
A little more about the owner's journey to becoming a gerontologist...
Katherine has two decades of experience in family and adolescent social services along with training in aging in place, memory care, communal living, the housing/real estate industry. Drawing on this expertise to enrich the lives of older adults, people with disabilities, and working professionals, Katherine creates a customized plan suited to an individual's unique situation. Incorporating knowledge obtained from working with families in crisis, she applies advances in the aging services field and progressive aging services programming information to her practice. Katherine's model for multi-generational programming is a blend of experiences working with families and teens in crisis with the evidence-based multi-generational program, Bridges Together, in Sudbury, Massachusetts. She also incorporates ideas from Senior Odyssey, an outreach program developed by The Adult Learning Laboratory of the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois with support from the National Institute of Aging.
A 1989 Skidmore College undergraduate alum, Katherine earned a master’s degree in gerontology, with honors, from the University of Massachusetts, Boston where her research project received the 2015 Management of Aging Services Capstone Award. Katherine is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP #222134) and Katherine P. Cardinal, LLC / Cardinal Gerontology, is a licensed homemaker and companion agency in the State of Connecticut (HCA #0001253).
CPR and first-aid certified, Katherine holds a passenger transport license with the state of Connecticut and held a Realtor's license for 10 years in the state of CTgiving her access to a broad network of local experts to help seniors and families with housing needs, downsizing, suggestions for one-level retirement living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care. Seniors and families can receive help with retirement community tours and develop a program of activities to support their loved one's physical, social, spiritual and emotional health.
Katherine’s work on social wellness in aging services is highlighted in chapter 9 of Bullying Among Older Adults by Robin Bonifas, PhD. Katherine also published her own book, Peaceful Community Pocket Guide, which targets all age groups and educates on bullying across the lifespan. She co-presented at Leading Age Business Conference in Madison Wisconsin with Dr. Robin Bonifas in May of 2016 and shares her wisdom about social wellness in aging services with clients, caregivers, graduate students and professionals. She is currently working on a graduate level textbook chapter emphasizing the importance of ethical standards and cultural competence in aging services.