ISU Headlines

Mental health needs of the elderly topic of ISU symposium

Posted November 18, 2008

The Idaho State University Kasiska College of Health Professions will present the “Thomas Geriatric Symposium: Addressing the Mental Health Needs of the Elderly” Dec. 5-6 in Room 203 of the Rendezvous Complex on the ISU Pocatello campus.

The free symposium is open to students, faculty, clinicians, other health care professionals and the general public.

This symposium addresses many of the pressing mental health concerns we have for the elderly that many families, individuals and caretakers face,” said Alex Urfer, Ph.D., P.T., chair of the ISU physical and occupational therapy and event organizer. “There are a wide variety of topics that should be of interest to professional and lay audiences.”

Certificates of attendance will be awarded for continuing education hours.

The symposium runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, featuring seven different presentations, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, featuring five presentations.

Topics covered will include:

• Understanding Dementia and Depression

• Legal Issues

• Pharmacologic Intervention

• Geriatric Abuse

• Perspectives of the Caregiver

• Elderly in the Workplace

• Healthy Lifestyle Strategies for the Elderly

• Long-term Care Choices

Thanks to the generosity of a concerned philanthropist, the “Thomas Geriatric Symposium” is funded entirely in the memory of Ginny Thomas. Ginny was the Director of the Rural American Scholarship Fund from 1997 until she died in 2007 after a valiant bout with cancer. She was known as a champion for both traditional and nontraditional students.

For more information and to register, contact Victoria Bañales at or (208) 282-3155 at the ISU Division of Continuing Education, or visit