BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo School of Social Work
will hold a seminar from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, April 26, at
the Weinberg Campus, 461 John James Audubon Pkwy., Amherst, to look
at the development of a "one-stop shop" to care for the sick and
The seminar will explore the concept of a Town Square for Aging,
where professionals would work together in a center made up of 24
health and human service organizations, as well as four colleges
and schools at UB, to provide a broad array of services to frail
seniors and their families.
Students in a course led by Diane Bessel, an instructor in the
UB School of Social Work, have organized the conference, where they
will present their research and facilitate a brainstorming session.
Nancy J. Smyth, PhD, professor and dean of the UB School of Social
Work, will present as well.
"Under Dr. Bessel's leadership, a group of outstanding students
has been exploring the research on how to facilitate a vibrant,
interprofessional community of caring in this innovative new model
for aging," Smyth said. "At this seminar they will share what
they've learned with key members of Erie County's non-profit
community. Together, all participants will explore how to apply
these concepts in the Town Square for Aging."
A Town Square for Aging would present an alternative health care
center for seniors, lowering costly dependence on hospitals,
nursing homes and specialized long-term care facilities by offering
services such as a pharmacy, medical and dental services, and
physical therapy in one location.
Such a center also would address transportation issues by
reducing the need for seniors to travel from place to place to
secure the care they need, Smyth said. Because many doctors and
facilities are dispersed throughout a region, seniors and their
families often lack affordable and accessible ways to get care
because transit systems are not designed for suburban areas, and
older men and women outlive the decision to stop driving by six to
The Town Square for Aging is expected to be located in Amherst,
the Erie County suburb with the highest percentage of seniors.