grey matters 2013

Conference Details




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Session Times & Details

Learning Objectives (PDF)
Sessions (PDF)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

7:30-8:30am Registration and Continental breakfast

8:30-9:00am Welcome and Greetings from the Minister

Honourable Fred Horne, Minister of Health


Featured Speaker


A Featured Speaker: Barbara Jaworski


The KAA-Booming Years: How KAA-boomers are Shattering the Status Quo
How KAA-boomers are shattering the status quo and igniting their passion for living

10:00 - 10:30 am DISPLAY BREAK


Concurrent Breakout Sessions


A Addressing Elder Abuse in Alberta: A Strategy for Collective Action


Lori Therrien/Linda Bernicki, Alberta Health

Elder abuse is an ongoing issue. The Government of Alberta has developed a collective action strategy to address elder abuse. Learn about elder abuse prevention initiatives happening across the province and have an opportunity to provide input into next steps in the action plan.



A Building Lifelong Communities: The Rural Way


Lori Kovacs, Community Development Society / Phil Unland, Rural Seniors Housing Volunteer

The Rural Way is a community development approach that helps rural seniors build lifelong communities on their own terms. Collaborative grass roots involvement and decision making encourages deep levels of commitment by residents in designing and planning innovative aging solutions based on their unique resources and needs. This approach brings multi-stakeholder team partners together to develop a holistic aging plan including access to health care, transportation, housing, social infrastructure and other community amenities and supports.



A Seniors Health Risk Management: A Team Approach


Cheryl Henry, Calgary Zone of Alberta Health Services

Learn about programs addressing the associated risks of dementia, caregiver burnout, falls and delirium. Share in the success stories from risk management programs such as Memory PLUS (Practice, Laughter, Useful Strategies), Fall Risk Management Risk Program, System-Wide Dementia Case Management, Family Caregiver Centre, and Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP).



Lunch and Displays


Featured Speaker


A Featured Speaker: Dr. Susan McDaniel

Aging Population, Yes; Health Care Apocalypse, No

A walk through the oft-heard mantra of population aging swamping Canadian health care. What does the evidence show?

1:30 – 2:00 pm DISPLAY BREAK


Concurrent Breakout Sessions


A What Can Organizations do to Engage KAA-Boomers?


Barbara Jaworski, Executive Director, Workplace Institute

Join Ms. Jaworski as she expands on her featured presentation and discusses ways to attract and retain KAA Boomers.



A Collaborative Research Initiative: Research and Innovation in Seniors Mental Wellness


Cathy Aspen, Alberta Health Services

The Mental Health Commission of Canada findings indicate that one in 5 people in Canada lives with a mental illness each year, and the likelihood of experiencing a mental illness in a given year begins to increase after 69 years of age. This presentation describes the work of the Collaborative Research Grant Initiative, a unique collaboration between Alberta Health Services, Primary & Community Care and the Government of Alberta. Learn about the research projects that address the mental wellness of seniors, and how this research can support an aging population. The activities undertaken to help bridge the 'research to practice' gap between academia, policy makers and practitioners will also be highlighted.



A Use it or Lose it: A Prescription for Successful Aging


Dr. Jennifer Copeland, University of Lethbridge

Although it seems we often hear about the importance of physical activity for children and youth, we don’t hear as much about the vital role physical activity plays in successful aging. An active lifestyle reduces the risk of chronic disease, problems with mobility, and loss of independence - yet, less than half of Canadians meet recommended guidelines for physical activity and adults over the age of 65 are the least active group of all. Even among seniors who do meet the recommended guidelines for leisure-time physical activity, often the remainder of the day is spent completely sedentary, and this behaviour pattern is associated with its own set of risks.

The goal of this session is to explore the role of physical activity in successful aging, the current guidelines for physical activity, and the barriers we all face to maintaining an active lifestyle.



Concurrent Breakout Sessions


A Elder Abuse Community Response Models – Two Perspectives


Jennifer Gurke, Elder Abuse Response Model Coordinator (Calgary) / Acting Sergeant Graeme Smiley, Calgary Police Service / Anne McIIwaine, Calgary Family Services/Jennifer Payne, Lethbridge Elder Abuse Response Network (LEARN)

In this session, participants will compare two elder abuse response models. The Elder Abuse Response Team (EART) from Calgary is composed of police investigators, social workers, community developers and a nurse.  The goal of EART is to respond to elder abuse utilizing education, intervention and support for victims, their families, other service providers and community members.

The Lethbridge Elder Abuse Response Network (LEARN) is a collaboration of Human Services organizations that provide education, awareness and advocacy for network and community members. LEARN is client-centered and helps reduce elder abuse by building a closely connected, effective group of professionals responding to elder abuse.



A Examining Seniors’ Centres in Alberta as Centres of Excellence


Dr. Kyle Whitfield/Dr. Jason Daniels, University of Alberta

Dr. Whitfield will report preliminary findings on work being done to identify the needs and capacities of provincial seniors centres. Analyzed results of a survey of the current status of Alberta Seniors Centres will be presented, as will preliminary insights generated from visits to representative seniors centres where focus group and individual interviews with users of seniors centres are taking place.



A Living Healthy: A Model of Inclusion for Seniors with Disabilities


Stacey Kowbel PhD, Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research:

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in older adults with and without developmental disabilities. A gap in services currently exists as persons with developmental disabilities can have a hard time accessing senior centres and programs in the community due to limited support staff in the disability sector. A model of inclusion for older adults with developmental disabilities and their nondisabled peers was developed to help reduce the risk of depression by providing them the opportunity to live a healthier life through activity and social networking, both of which are key ways to reduce the risk of depression in older adulthood. The model is flexible and includes three primary components: communication, education, and organizational networks.



Networking Reception


Friday, September 27, 2013

7:00-7:50am Registration and Continental breakfast

7:50-8:10am Welcome and Greetings from the Associate Minister

Honourable George VanderBurg, Associate Minister of Seniors



A Keynote Speaker: Lloyd Robertson

9:30 – 9:50 am BREAK


Concurrent Breakout Sessions


A Ability Over Age: Assessing Older Drivers


Dr. Charles Scialfa, Ph. D, University of Calgary

While many older drivers are quite safe behind the wheel, past the age of 65, there is an increased risk of a motor vehicle collision leading to serious injury or death. Combined with the “graying” of the Canadian population, these statistics have motivated policy-makers and health professionals to examine best practices for evaluating fitness to drive. This presentation will be divided into three areas: risk factors for driving safety in old age, screening tests for driver fitness and finally, on-road assessments.


A Caring for the Whole Person: a Case Management Approach


Bernice Sewell-Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE)

Seniors sometimes come to us for assistance and relate to us the symptoms they are experiencing, rather than the deeper challenges they are facing. This presentation will discuss a holistic, case management style of practice. Looking at it from a strength-based perspective, learn about tools that assist in identifying the issues.


A It’s More Than Money: A Holistic Approach to Retirement Planning


Panel Discussion facilitated by Peter Faid
Sarah Carr, Alberta Health/Kierstin Kashuba- Alberta Health/Connie MacDonald- Office of the Public Guardian/Don Szarko-Alberta Motor Association/Wes Leavitt-Investors Group

What is involved in planning for retirement? Is it just financial? In this panel discussion, discover that planning for retirement requires broad considerations. Learn about the benefits of taking a holistic perspective that incorporates considerations related to housing, transportation, and lifestyle options in addition to financial considerations.



A An Examination of Best Practices in Multi-Service Seniors Centres


Luanne Whitmarsh, Executive Director, Kerby Centre

This session will review the research study done for Kerby Centre around emerging trends and best practices (e.g. commonly implemented and/or innovative practices) for multi-purpose senior centres in other jurisdictions. Ms. Whitmarsh will present key facility/amenity components for an ideal multi-purpose senior centre, key programs for an ideal multi-purpose seniors centre, recommend partnerships that could better position senior centres for success and review several leading edge multi-purpose senior centres that may be used for future investigation for future planning.  


Concurrent Breakout Sessions


A Brain Plasticity


Dr. Robbin Gibb / Dr. Bryan Kolb, University of Lethbridge:

This session will cover the behavior and brain changes that occur with aging. Participants will learn how experiences change the architecture of the brain through the process known as brain plasticity. Common forms of brain-related diseases in the aging population and the treatments currently available to stop or slow the progression of these diseases will be discussed along with healthy brain aging.


A Community Working Together = Well-being of Our Seniors


Amanda Ens, City of Red Deer / Dawna Morey / Monica Morrison, Golden Circle Seniors Resource Society

The City of Red Deer and The Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre are part of a community that understands the importance of working together on behalf of the senior population. Learn how community collaborations have responded to the needs of Red Deer’s seniors in the areas of mobility and transportation, housing and elder abuse initiatives. The session will also discuss how Red Deer is preparing for zoomers and boomers.



A Caring for the Caregiver: A Community Development Approach


Anna Mann / Bonnie Hoffmann, Alberta Caregivers Association:

In order to age in place, many seniors rely on their spouse, children, or family and friends for help with household maintenance, banking, transportation and medical care. These family and friend caregivers are the most important avenue of support for seniors living in the community. However, caregiving can and does have a profound and often negative impact on the caregiver. Alberta Caregivers Association develops and shares caregiver programs and tools with agencies working with seniors and their caregivers.


A Monitoring and Licensing of Supportive Living and Long-Term Care Accommodations


Judy Erickson, Alberta Health / Kevan Jess, Chief Fire Administrator, Province of Alberta / Dave Brown, Alberta Health Services

Using a panel format comprised of an Executive Officer for Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services, the Chief Fire Administrator for Safety Services, Municipal Affairs and the Director for Continuing Care Standards and Licensing, Alberta Health this session will review, the inspections, monitoring and licensing of supportive living and long-term care accommodations. Gain insight into how these organizations work together to improve operations in the safe built environment.




Concurrent Breakout Sessions


A Older Canadians: Benefit or Burden?


Peter Faid, Community Services Consulting

By donating their time and expertise, older Canadians maintain an active physical, social and cultural life that contributes significantly to their self-sufficiency and independence. The obvious benefits for society include cost savings to the health and continuing care systems and other social programs, as well as a more positive societal perception of older Canadians and the eventual removal of the stigmatizing image that they are passive and dependent. The presentation will also provide a series of ‘fact sheets’ organizations can use to effectively demonstrate the positive contributions of seniors in our communities.


A Creative Program Initiatives Promoting Healthy Living for 50+


Tracy Smyth, Manager of Recreation, Town of Cochrane/ Doug Campbell, Chair of Cochrane Friendly Games Committee/Lloyd Manning and Bruce Pettigrew, Cochrane Hiking Club

An active lifestyle is extremely important for mental and physical well-being. The Town of Cochrane has had a significant increase in older adults participating in active living programs thanks to the development of a new seniors centre, and the creation of the Cochrane Hiking Club and Cochrane Friendly Games. Presenters will share stories of successes and insight on best practices to initiate these programs and events in your communities.


A The Value of Recreation and Socialization in Seniors Wellness: The Alberta 55 Plus Games


Dennis Allen, Director, Marketing and Provincial Sport Branch Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation/ Vern Hafso, President, Alberta 55 Plus (ASCSRA) Association

Learn how the Alberta Sport Recreation Parks & Wildlife Foundation’s programs, like the Alberta 55 Plus Games system, supports recreation and active living, The session will address how the Alberta 55 Plus Association, and its regional zone partners, work with seniors organizations in the delivery of both Winter and Summer Games (held every other year in Alberta). This session will also provide information on the Grant Programs of the Foundation, funded by Alberta Lotteries.


A Seniors 101


Peggy Barone/Corina Cole, Seniors Services and Continuing Care Division, Alberta Health

Learn about seniors financial assistance programs available from Government of Alberta including the Alberta Seniors Benefit, Special Needs Assistance for Seniors, Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors programs. Information will also be provided on property tax assistance programs designed to assist senior homeowners.

2:10 – 2:20 pm BREAK


Global Drums performance






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