Carleton-Village to hold Alzheimer’s lectures with BU

February 20, 2008

Bedford Minuteman

By Patrick Ball / Staff Writer
Bedford, Mass. – 

A March 11 breakfast meeting on professional caregiving will be the latest in a string of lectures at Carleton-Willard Village led by professionals with the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center (BU ADC).

Carleton-Willard Village, a nationally recognized continuing care retirement facility in Bedford, this summer established a formal affiliation with BU ADC, one of 31 National Centers for Excellence in Alzheimer’s disease research. It’s a medical May-December marriage made in Alzheimer’s treatment heaven as both sides will benefit from this union of a continuing-care facility with nineteenth-century roots and a cutting-edge disease center formed in 1996.

“One of the things they’re going to be able to do is provide some great education, no only for staff but for Residents as well,” said CWV Administrator Valerie Gingas. “They’re really on the cutting edge. That gives opportunities for Residents and the staff.”

Carleton-Willard Village has a specialized, 30-bed dementia care unit as part of the nursing center, and a program for independent Residents called “Learning in Retirement.”

“It’s a population that’s always thirsting for knowledge,” she said. “They could have concerns about family members that they have worked with in the past. They may be concerned about themselves.”

Through their affiliation, Carleton-Willard staffers and Residents, and the families of Residents, can receive continuing education and in-service professional training, like lectures on memory loss, dementia and caregiving, from the BU ADC staff.

“One of our major missions in our Alzheimer’s Disease Center is to provide education to the community, and this couldn’t be a better opportunity for us to do that,” said Dr. Robert Stern, associate director of the Clinical Core of BU ADC, and co-director and director of neuropsychology of the BU Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical and Research Program (ADCRP) clinical and research program.

Stern, who will host the March 11 breakfast, has already given two lectures. “It’s been incredibly rewarding because of the huge interest the Residents have in this area and the talent of the staff,” he said.

Gingras said this affiliation is a little bit different than Carleton-Willard’s other affiliations, which are more for the clinical needs of Residents, because partnering with BU ADC provides for education, as well as clinics.

“I think there’s some opportunity for the community,” Gingras said, “mainly because one of the main goals of BU ADC is to provide outreach to the community. We will work with them to provide those opportunities.”

CWV has begun planning additional lectures open to family members and community caregivers and case managers. Staff training thus far has related to memory loss, behavioral issues, different approaches to prevention and treatment.

Another aspect of BU ADC is research. Stern said several people at CWV have volunteered to participate in a new project funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and, in the future, BU ADC will offer people at CWV clinical trials.

“There’s something nice for both sides to have a formal affiliation,” Stern said. “It allows the Residents at Carleton Willard village to know that there is a professional relationship between BU and Carleton Willard and we’re not just going out in a haphazard way to recruit people.”

The March 11 breakfast meeting, a talk by Dr. Stern entitled “Professional Care Giving in Dementia,” will be held at 8:30 a.m. at Carleton-Willard Village on Old Billerica Road in Bedford. Advance registration is appreciated. Contact Barbara Herlihy at 781-275-8700 extension 1301 or to let us know you are coming.

For more information about the BU ADC, contact Erin Whalen at 617-414-1078 or For more information about Carleton-Willard Village, contact Barbara Doyle at 781-275-8700 or visit