‘Caring for Your Elderly Parent’ Topic of Program at WWU

As a service to the community, William Woods University is planning a free public program on “Caring for Your Elderly Parent.”

Dr. Richard Hessler, professor of emeritus of sociology at the University of Missouri, will discuss concerns facing those who find themselves in the all-too-common position of providing care for their aging parents or other relatives.

His presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, in Aldridge Lounge.

The event is sponsored by the WWU social work faculty in conjunction with this year’s One Read selection, “Water for Elephants.” The book tells the story of an elderly man in a nursing home who reflects on his life in the circus during the Great Depression. Chapters alternate between the nursing home setting and the circus.

During his presentation, Hessler will provide information on geriatric care, including cost data, government support strategies, care giver stress and the social networks that are behind the movement to provide adequate support for care givers.

Hessler has been the project leader for Boone Hospital Foundation’s Intergenerational Daycare project in Columbia for two years. He also is organizing an international study of Alzheimer’s disease.

He has taught and conducted research in the field of sociology internationally for more than four decades. He has studied the Rural Elderly in Missouri extensively and was a Fulbright Scholar to Sweden, where he studied aging.

Hessler has received several honors for his works, including Outstanding Dedication and Achievement Award for Teaching in the School of Medicine at University of Missouri-Columbia in 1986. In 2002, he won the Purple Chalk Award for Teaching in the College of Arts and Science at MU.

He has written three books, “A Sociology of Heath,” “A Sociology of Health” 2nd Edition, and “Social Research Methods.”