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UMaine Center on Aging

The mission of the Center On Aging is to promote and facilitate activities on aging
in the areas of education, research and evaluation, and community service.


Online Continuing Education and Training

In early 2006, The UMaine Center on Aging introduced new online continuing education programs on Aging Issues. Participants register and participate via the web and e-mail. Each e-workshop is taught by an expert on the topic, and students participate via emails and the website at any time during the event.

Past online workshops have been a great success with participants from all over the globe joining in the discussion!

Please check this page regularly for new course information.


Summer 2009 e-seminar for professionals

working with kinship families

This session will provide support to professionals and support group facilitators working with kinship caregivers. The next e-conversation series will focus on Legislative Advocacy. It will take place in August 2009, and registration will begin in early July. Resources related to this topic will be available to registered participants prior to the program. The University of Maine Center on Aging will facilitate these sessions, with assistance from RAPP Network members and national experts in the field. All professionals working with kinship caregivers are welcome to participate. There is no charge to participate. Registration is limited.

**Register in July at:**


Fall 2009 e-conversation series for kinship caregivers

The Center on Aging and its Rural Relatives as Parents Outreach Project partners are pleased to present a series of online discussions for grandparents raising grandchildren and other parenting relatives. This e-conversation series provides kinship caregivers with the opportunity for engaging in general discussion between caregivers and trained facilitators during the sessions. Caregivers will have the option to continue to communicate with each other at the end of each session. Professional facilitators also provide education on specific topics.

Anyone who is caring for a relative's child is welcome to participate. The next e-conversation series for cargivers will take place during the fall 2009. The topics will be announced and registration will begin in late summer 2009. There is no charge to participate.

**Register in August at:**


Past Online Events

Support Group Facilitators

February 25, 2009

This e-seminar was specifically for new and experienced facilitators of support groups for grandfamilies to discuss starting, maintaining, and facilitating support groups with the facilitators and each other.


  • Bette Hoxie, Director of Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine
  • Barbara Kates, Director of Maine Kids-Kin, a program of Families and Children Together

Managing Holiday Stress

December 5, 2008

This e-conversation helped participants manage their holiday stress while being a caregiver.


  • Wendy Rapaport, a professor at the University of Maine School of Social Work and author on the topics of diabetes, self care, and relationships

Self-Care for Caregivers

November 17, 2008

This e-conversation was designed to help caregivers discover the importance of taking care of themselves. Techniques and ideas were shared and discussed.


  • Dr. Polly Moutevelis-Burgess, an experienced counselor and the Director of the Employee Assistance and Wellness Programs at the University of Maine for 25 years

Mindfulness and Caregiving

October 7, 2008

Caregivers learned about mindfulness and how it can help improve their quality of life and reduce stress.


  • Lucia McBee LCSW, MPH, CYI, works with caregivers in a wide range of community, research, and institutional settings

Developing and Sustaining Support Groups for Grandfamilies

June 26-27, 2007

This e-seminar focused on starting and maintaining support groups for grandfamilies, including solutions for some of the challenges for support groups. The first morning was a discussion of the use of collaboration to help groups in the beginning and strengthen continuing groups. The first afternoon focused on special issues for rural communities. The second day was spent discussing clinical issues that come up in support groups where grandfamilies raise some difficult and emotional family and personal experiences.


  • Carol Moore, self-employed consultant providing training to nonprofits, schools, and universities 
  • Sandy Baily, PhD, CFLE, Associate Professor & Extension Specialist at the Department of Health & Human Development at Montana State University in Bozeman and Director of the Montana Grandparents Raising Grandchildren project
  • Barbara Kates, Director of Maine Kids-Kin, a program of Families and Children Together
  • Virginia Holmes, mental health therapist working with children and
    families for nearly 20 years

Raising the Children and Managing Everyone Else

May 29-30, 2007

This e-conversation focused on mental health issues.


  • Bonny Dodson, LCSW, Clinical Coordinator of Community Health and Counseling Services Children's Services
  • Barbara Kates, Director of Maine Kids-Kin, a program of Families and Children Together

Resources, Policies, and Changes Affecting Grandfamilies

October 4th- 5th, 2006

Topics of this event included: local resources available to grandfamilies and older adults throughout Maine, policies and recent policy changes that affect grandfamilies, and how grandparents can and do make changes to the system.


  • Lenard W. Kaye, DSW/PhD, Director of the UMaine Center on Aging and a Professor at the University of Maine School of Social Work
  • Barbara Kates, Director of Maine Kids-Kin, a program of Families and Children Together


For more information about online kinship caregiver events, please contact Melissa Adle at the UMaine Center on Aging at

Attendence and Participation Requirements

For Continuing Education Credits (for Professionals)

Requirements for CE credit and Certificate of Attendance: *Participants are welcome to join who do not require credit.*

In order to earn CE credits, a participant needs to 'speak' online via e-mails a specified number of times during the course, at any times convenient for them, and to read and reply to discussions and materials. A reply can be a question, comment, sharing of work experience, or a resource related to the topic. This program uses a highly interactive format, encouraging knowledge building and application via discussions among the experts and students. Each 'participation' uses 30 minutes of time, to read and reply to materials and discussions. A minimum number of such participations required for the contact hours (no partial credits) will be set by your Course Coordinator or Instructor. All participants complete an evaluation form at the end of the workshop. Speakers also interact throughout the workshop via emails and the CoA website with all participants.

Using Moodle

Questions about using our online learning system? Read our Moodle Manual.