Conference Agenda - Grey Matters 2016

Grey Matters 2016

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Monday, September 19

6:30 p.m.

Pre- Registration

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Grey Matters 2016 Cultural Evening

Delegates attending this inaugural pre-registration event will be treated to an evening of cultural entertainment.  The evening will start with an Aboriginal hand drummer, honour song, and opening prayer.  Then, experience the cultural diversity of the City of Grande Prairie, the County of Grande Prairie and region.  This will include Irish Youth Dancers; a Francophone art display and cultural presentation; Troyanda Ukrainian Dancers; and arts and crafts exhibits.

There will be a selection of gourmet sandwiches and an assortment of fancy cheeses.  A cash bar is available.


Tuesday, september 20                                                       

7:00 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

8:30 a.m.

Welcome Address and Opening Remarks

9:15 a.m.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions


Encore Employment

Rick Brick, MBA, CHRP, IPMA-CP, PMP, SPHR, HRMP, SHRM-SCP, Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP)

Do you want to retire into a rocking chair or move on to the next stage of life and continue to grow?

Increasingly retirement is not simply a time to relax and rest.  It’s an opportunity to reboot and continue to enjoy a vital and meaningful life. This trend is more pronounced as the baby boomer generation is joining the ranks of those over 55.  The trend over the last 50 years has been for people to retire earlier, although that trend is starting to reverse. The reality is people increasingly live longer and healthier lives following retirement, and they want to explore new opportunities.

This session will address some considerations for people looking at an opportunity for encore employment.  The session will look at reasons people look for opportunities in the employment field, the volunteer field, or pursue a dream, such as creating their own business.  Attendees will learn advantages seniors bring to the workplace, how to market unique skill sets, deal with ageism, and revisit résumé and job interviews.

Learning Objectives

1.       Increase an awareness of Encore Employment opportunities for older adults in communities.

2.       Discuss benefits of Encore Employment for older adults.

3.        Explore benefits of Encore Employment opportunities in your community.


Music Therapy - CONNECT in Music

Kelsi McInnes, BMT, MTA, Songbird Melodies Music Therapy Services

Sing me that old sweet song…

No really! Sing it, its good for you! Music has positive physiological, emotional and cognitive effects - it can reduce blood pressure, relieve anxiety, boost mood and improve memory.  It can bring people together and allow for moments of clarity, connection and joy.  Music has, and always will be, an important part of culture and traditions, particularly for the aging population.

Learn how music should and can be a pivotal part of the aging process. Discover ways to use music daily to facilitate continued growth and wellness.

Learning Objectives

1.      To increase knowledge of music therapy and positive effects on the body and mind.

2.      An overview of how music therapists apply music to health and wellness.

3.      Learn how music can be utilized in the aging process, particularly with individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/dementia.



More Than Just a Meal

Monica Morrison, Executive Director, Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre

This workshop will look at creative ways to connect seniors using meal programs to address the issue of social isolation and nutrition.  Organizations need to make the most of the times when people are brought together, and use that opportunity to help them build social networks, and supports quality of life.  Food and meal programs can be used in this way as strategic tools to address social isolation.

This session will address the issue of ‘failing to thrive’ due to older adults being at-risk nutritionally.  It will examine how rural communities benefit from large group nutrition programs, and how to create connections for rural communities to create frozen meal depots if Meals on Wheels programs do not exist in the community.

We will look at what it takes to develop Community Dining programs.  These discussions will also provide strategies and logistics for community stakeholders to develop this program. We will also look at ‘eating buddy programs’ which address the issue of people with dementia not eating properly.

Learning Objectives

1.      Learn how to use meal programs to reduce isolation in seniors populations.

2.      Develop an understanding regarding unique ways to engage seniors using nutrition programs.

3.      Increase awareness to use nutrition programs to reduce isolation in rural senior populations.



Recreation for Older Adults - Building a Quality Framework

L.J. Bartle, Director, HIGH FIVE National, Parks and Recreation Ontario

Older Canadians are now the fastest growing segment of our population and recreation is playing an increasingly important role in keeping older adults healthy, active and engaged in their communities.  Service providers in recreation, sport and allied sectors are recognizing the need to enhance their programs and services to better meet the needs of this population.  Through a three-year project, funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Parks and Recreation Ontario will build on the expertise developed in the HIGH FIVE Standard to establish a quality framework for older adult recreation programs.

In this session, participants will examine the research and evidence that supports a quality framework and standard for older adult recreation.  Delegates will also learn about best practices from around the world that support quality older adult recreation programs and services and how this project aligns with the World Health Organization Age-Friendly strategies and the new Canadian National Seniors Strategy.  They will also learn how the HIGH FIVE principles, design guidelines and how this system is being validated and adapted for older adult recreation programs.  Finally, participants will have the opportunity to discuss challenges and opportunities from their own work with older adults.

Learning Objectives

1.      Learn how a new quality framework and standard for older adult recreation is being developed to support recreation, sport and other program/service providers in Canada.

2.      Gain valuable knowledge about the latest research and trends to support quality older adult recreation.

3.      Discuss current opportunities and challenges for older adult programming.


10:25 a.m.

Displays and refreshments

10:50 a.m.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions


Helping Professionals in the Community - Understanding and Recognizing Mental Health Disorders in Community-Dwelling Seniors

Bonnie Dobbs, PhD, Medically At Risk Driver Center (MARD), University of Alberta

Diane McNeil, PhD, Alberta Health Services

About 1 in 5 Alberta seniors are treated for a mental illness, with this number projected to increase over the next several decades as a result of the aging of the baby boomers.  Four of the top mental illnesses affecting seniors in Alberta are anxiety, depression, dementia, and alcohol use disorder.  Despite the prevalence, mental illness remains largely under-diagnosed in the general population of adults 65 years of age and older.

The goal of this presentation is to provide an overview of these top four mental illnesses in community-dwelling seniors and then to provide a review of findings on the importance of early identification of these mental illnesses in this population.  This session will conclude with a facilitated discussion on how to assist professionals in the community with their efforts to improve the early identification of these mental illnesses in community-dwelling seniors, followed by appropriate referrals to health care professionals in the primary care setting.

Learning Objectives

1.       To create awareness of the prevalence of mental health disorders in community-dwelling seniors.

2.      To provide an overview of the four mental health disorders in community-dwelling seniors.

3.      To provide professionals with the information needed to improve early identification and facilitate early referral to health care professionals in the primary care setting.



The Changing Faces of Canadian Seniors - How to promote social inclusion and improve multicultural seniors’ utilization of health and wellness programs and activities

Haidong Liang, PhD, Project and Facility Manager, Westend Seniors Activity Centre

Janice Monfries, BA, Executive Director, Westend Seniors Activity Centre

This presentation is twofold and provides educational and practical applications.  Firstly, this presentation intends to educate practitioners and colleagues about the concepts of ‘face’ and ‘acculturation’ and their impact on multicultural seniors.

            Face” is a universal concept pervasive in both Western and Eastern cultures.

            It is considered to be the most significant factor in understanding Chinese and

            other eastern Asian people’s interpersonal behavior. It was defined as a claimed

            sense of favorable social self-worth that a person wants others to have of her or

            him, which can be enhanced or threatened in any uncertain social situation (Ting-

            Toomey & Kurogi, 1998).

            “Acculturation” refers to changing one’s cultural patterns to those of the host

            society in terms of diet, religion and language (Marin & Gamba, 1996).

Secondly, this presentation will provide suggestions and tips on how to effectively reach out and engage multicultural seniors by incorporating learnings from a number of multicultural projects (“Intercultural Bridging Program”, “Looking into the Mirror: Celebrating Alberta’s Cultural Image”, “Edmonton: Home to the World – Initiative for African Seniors”).

Learning Objectives

1.      To educate practitioners about the concepts of ‘face’ and ‘acculturation’ and their impact on multi-cultural seniors.

2.      Share findings of program administration of past multicultural projects.

3.      To provide suggestions and tips on how to effectively reach out and engage multi cultural seniors.



“Putting on the Ritz” - LGBTQ Persons are Moving In!

Michael Phair, MA, MEd, SAGE

Eric Storey, B Comm, BSW, RSW, SAGE

Following  a 2013/14 survey of Edmonton LGBTQ persons aged 55 years and older, the Edmonton Pride Senior Group developed a training presentation for senior programs, centres and housing to assist staff and their organizations to ‘Put on the Ritz’ in appropriately, graciously and warmly welcoming older queer folks.

This session will include the major components of a staff training presentation, useful techniques and activities as well as guidelines for presenters. Be among the first to roll out the red (or rainbow) carpet!

Learning Objectives

1.      To create an awareness of LGBTQ community housing needs.

2.      Provide an overview of a training program to assist organizations/staff to welcome older LGBTQ adults.

3.      Engage in techniques and activities to ‘roll out’ the carpet and welcome LGBTQ older adults in senior housing.



LEARN - A Successful Community Response to Elder Abuse

Rob Miyashiro, Executive Director, LSCO

Marlene Van Eden, Support Services Coordinator, LSCO

Dawn Vickers, FCSS Coordinator, City of Lethbridge

The Lethbridge Elder Abuse Response Network (LEARN) is a collaboration of human services organizations that is committed to providing case management, education, awareness, and advocacy for the Network and community in Lethbridge and area.  The Network helps reduce elder abuse by building a closely connected, effective group of professionals responding to elder abuse.  At present, LEARN has 27 Network members, 5 of which participate on the steering committee - who are primarily responsible for event planning, supervision of case management services and delivery of education and awareness presentations.

This presentation will describe early stages of LEARN:  What were we thinking? What steps were taken to become a thriving network of committed individuals and organizations?  How did we engage the service community and keep them committed?  How did we evolve to include paid staff for case management and network coordination?

Delegates will take away concrete methods to create, grow and enhance elder abuse response networks in their communities.

Learning Objectives

1.       To understand the stages of development for a community response team for elder abuse.

2.      To build awareness of community development and engagement in response to elder abuse.

3.      To learn how to develop a sustainability model for your community.


12:00 p.m.

Lunch and Poster Sessions

1:15 pm



A Partnership between Not for Profit and Public Transit - Meeting Seniors’ Transportation Needs in Grande Prairie

Disabled Transportation Society of Grande Prairie and City of the City of Grande Prairie Public Transit

The City of Grande Prairie and the Disabled Transportation Society of Grande Prairie (DTS) have a partnership dedicated to providing seniors and disabled citizens with access to medical, school, church, recreational and social destinations.  DTS will share their successes and challenges, and strategies and logistics which are in place to facilitate the transportation needs of older adults and persons with disabilities to maintain independence.

Addressing Seniors Oral Health in Long Term Care

Dental Hygiene Program, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta

Seniors have challenges to maintaining good oral health and tooth loss, dental caries, periodontal disease, xerostomia (dry mouth) and oral cancer are more prevalent in the senior population.  Neglect or mismanagement of these oral conditions can lead to a deterioration of oral and general health, often affecting the individual's ability to chew and their nutritional status.  Some seniors in long term care have dementia and depending on the stage and severity of the dementia, they may be unable to look after their own teeth and will be reliant on others to maintain their oral health.  It is important for care providers to understand the need for daily oral care and the impact of poor oral health on quality of life.

AMA and Alberta Health Services: Comprehensive Driving Evaluation Approach

AMA Seniors In - Vehicle Evaluation

Alberta Health Services, Alberta Motor Association (AMA)

These presentations will inform participants of collaborations between AMA and Alberta Health Services to support in- vehicle evaluations.  These presentations will draw attention to programs focused on keeping drivers safe, exploring mobility options and strategies to maintain senior’s independence.

Chemicals, Our Home and Our Health - Strategies to Protect Seniors’ Health

Environment Health Program, Health Canada, Government of Canada

This presentation will provide information and resources to help identify chemicals in our environment and learn about their effects on human health.  Strategies for seniors and support workers to manage these health risks will be available.

Dementia Friends

Alzheimer Society of Alberta and North West Territories

A ‘Dementia Friend’ learns what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into simple actions that can help people with dementia live well.  By stepping up and learning about dementia an individual can strengthen the community by making it more inclusive for people impacted by dementia.

Fraud Prevention

Wise Owl Alberta Rural Crime Watch

This presentation highlights educational programs to increase awareness of fraud related activities targeting seniors in their communities.

Nordic Walking - The Wonder Drug That Does NOT Require A Prescription!

Urban Poling Inc.

Leading health advocates around the world have declared walking as a ‘wonder drug’ for its researched ability to improve the mental and physical health of the general population.  This presentation will begin by highlighting the key health benefits of walking.  If walking is a wonder drug, then Nordic Walking is the extra strength dose!  Participants will learn additional benefits of pole walking for active older adults working to maintain their fitness levels, in a gentle but effective way.  Participants will also learn the special Urban Poling ACTIVATOR technique for older adults with mobility issues.

Power It Up! - Make the Nights a Blue Light Night for Dementia Awareness

Early Onset Dementia Alberta

You are invited to "Power it up!" to build awareness and show support for dementia by making “blue light nights” on the exterior or interior of homes, yard and offices.

Strengths-Based Community Development - Transitioning from Facilitated Older Adult Group to Independence

CARYA, Calgary

The poster will outline the learnings experienced by the facilitating agency (Carya) and the older adult community (GEN) from the first grassroots community development interaction through to the peer support model that the group now uses to operate as an independent group leading change in their community.

The Wainwright and District Handivan Society - Making Alternative Transportation for Seniors and Persons With Disabilities (PWA) Sustainable

The Wainwright and District Handivan Society

The Wainwright and District Handivan Society (WDHS) launched on August 6, 2013.  The WDHS serves communities within the MD of Wainwright with the transportation needs of seniors and handicapped citizens of any age who are unable to drive due to medical conditions.  WDHS has worked to ensure that this service is available in the future as baby boomers continue to reach retirement age.  WDHS will share strategies for sustainable community-based public transit.


1:30 p.m.

Keynote Address - Margaret Trudeau

Celebrated Canadian | Mental Health Advocate

Margaret Trudeau is a Canadian icon, celebrated both for her role in the public eye and as a respected mental-health issues advocate. From becoming a prime minister’s wife at a young age, to the loss of both her son and her former husband, to living with bi-polar disorder, Margaret tirelessly shares her personal stories to remind others of the importance of nurturing the body, mind, and spirit.

Margaret is the author of four books, including her bestselling title, Changing My Mind, which charts her life’s ups and downs, and her latest title, The Time of Your Life, which offers an inspirational and practical approach to creating a healthy, happy, secure and satisfying future.

Margaret sits on the Executive Advisory Board of the UBC Mental Health Institute as a community advocate, and she is the Honorary President of WaterAid, a charitable Canadian non-governmental agency that is dedicated to helping poor communities in developing countries build sustainable water-supply and sanitation services.

She is also the proud mother to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


2:45 p.m.


3:00 p.m.

End of Life Options - Striking a Balance

Eric Wasylenko MD, CCFP, BSc, MHSc (bioethics), Alberta Health Services
Jamie Tycholiz, BScN, RN, End of Life Consultant, Policy Capacity Strategic Policy Branch

Over the past several years, Alberta has benefited from the collaboration  of many individuals and organizations to improve access and quality of services and programs-not only for individuals who are dying (end of life)-but also for those who are living with a serious incurable life-limiting or life threatening illness, or those who are ‘palliative’.

Much work is underway that stems from a recently published Alberta Health Service’s framework that will help guide this province forward with initiatives that address barriers and gaps to providing quality palliative end of life care through to bereavement across Alberta.  Palliative and end-of-life care, advance care planning in the midst of declining health, making plans about your future health care or placement options and death itself are topics that many of us struggle with.  Beyond these challenging topics we have another change that will impact how we provide care for those who choose to die-through accessing ‘Medical Assistance in Dying’.

Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, and other health professional colleges are working together to develop a regulatory framework that is aligned, legally sound, safe and consistent with the Supreme Court ruling and more recently with federally legislated changes.

The purpose of our presentation will be to provide information on the operational nature of new palliative care initiatives with emphasis on the importance of advance care planning that can lead to early beneficial palliative care supports and other important planning options.  Albertans should have access to timely accurate information that connects them to the resources and people in the health care system that can help with practical issues and address their symptoms to improve their quality of life.

An overview of the operational mechanisms in place to support appropriate access to ‘Medical Assistance in Dying’ will be provided.


4:30 p.m. 4

Closing remarks

4:30 p.m. -

8:00 p.m.

County of Grande Prairie Bus Tour/Networking Reception at Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum

4:30 p.m. - Bus Tour leaves Pomeroy Hotel & Conference Centre, Grande Prairie

5:30 p.m. - Networking Reception - Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, Wembley Alberta

Delegates may take the bus tour. The bus tour will engage delegates in a journey to explore noteworthy landmarks in the area. This tour will highlight historical/cultural landmarks and buildings which play a significant role in the development of the area..

The bus tour will end at the newly opened Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum for the Networking Reception.

Note: The bus tour is optional, and delegates may take their own transportation to the Networking Reception.  Buses will return to Grande Prairie at 8:00 p.m.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

7:30 a.m.



8:30 a.m.

Welcome Address


8:45 a.m.

Keynote Address - Maria Campbell

Author | Researcher |Elder

Her first book was the memoir Halfbreed (1973), which continues to be taught in schools across Canada, and which continues to inspire generations of indigenous women and men.

Maria is retired from the University of Saskatchewan, Departments of Native Studies and English where she taught Native Studies, Creative Writing and Drama. She is currently the Elder in Virtual Residence at the Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research, Athabasca University and the Cultural Advisor at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan. She holds four honorary doctorate degrees and has served as writer and playwright in residence at numerous universities, public libraries, and theatres.

She has worked as a researcher, meeting with elders to gather and record oral historical evidence of many aspects of aboriginal traditional knowledge, including medical and dietary as well as spiritual, social, and general cultural practices.


10:00 a.m.

Displays and Refreshments


10:15 a.m.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions



Age-Friendly Cities and Communities - Three Alberta Experiences

Carol Ching, Senior Policy Coordinator, Seniors and Housing, Lead, Age-Friendly, Alberta Representative, Pan Canadian Age-Friendly Reference Group
Sheila Hallet, BA, Executive Director, Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council (ESCC)
Raynell McDonough, MSW, RSW, City of Calgary
Doneka Simmons, BA, BSW, RSW, Strathcona County FCSS

Strathcona County’s Older Adults Plan, Age-Friendly Edmonton, and Age-Friendly Calgary are initiatives that have been developed to prepare for the aging population in each municipality.  All three municipalities have received recognition through the Age-Friendly Alberta program with Alberta Seniors and Housing. This presentation will explore how each initiative came about, the ways that they respond to the unique characteristics of each municipality, and provide lessons learned for other communities that are interested in becoming more age-friendly.  Presenters will share research, tools, and resources that have been developed or adapted for use within their communities.  Particular attention will be paid to local, national, and international examples of initiatives and resources that address social isolation and promote inclusion and diversity.

Learning Objectives

1.      Learn about the Age-Friendly initiatives in three Alberta municipalities, and how they meet the needs of their different communities.

2.      Discover research and tools that can be applied in other communities.

3.      Understand how communities in Alberta and elsewhere are working towards reducing social isolation and increasing social inclusion among older adults.




Accessibility to the End-of-Life Services in Northern Alberta - The Strengths of Rural Communities

Teresa Evans, RN, MN, Grande Prairie Hospice Palliative Care Society

This presentation will explore the challenges of living in rural areas in Northern Alberta where specialized services for families caring for their loved ones at the end of life are often neglected.  It will also focus on the strengths of rural communities in building supportive services for those families experiencing the death of a loved one.  During later life, many older adults are not only grappling with the normal changes of aging, they are also experiencing substantial loss of relationships, deteriorating health and isolation.  Many individuals, who are dying, and their family members, need a specialized network of volunteers and health care professionals to support them during this difficult time.  These issues and concerns will be addressed using examples from rural communities in Northern Alberta.

Community builders, volunteers, and palliative care societies can utilize this practical knowledge to help increase supportive services to meet the needs of the dying in their communities.

Learning Objectives

1.      To explore challenges unique to rural communities in delivering quality end of life care.

2.      To identify strengths of rural communities and opportunities for growth in delivering end of life care.

3.      To share knowledge of how rural communities in Northern Alberta have increased capacity to meet the needs of the dying in their communities.




Keep It, Protect It, Pass It On - Making Money Work For You and Your Heirs!

 IG E process w224

Kenneth O’Shea, CFP, EPC, Investors Group
Kim Drever, BComm, CPA, MNP Tax Partner
Lincoln Mar, BSc, LLB, Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee

This panel session will be about all things money related.  Panel experts will discuss intergenerational wealth transfer; the available options, their limitations and potential tax implications, and the tools to manage intergenerational wealth transfer including joint accounts, wills, trusts, insurance and beneficiary designations.  Learn about ‘The New Retirement’ and how a successful retirement comes from creating meaningful lifestyle goals and implementing the strategies to achieve them.  This includes empowering seniors to manage their available resources in securing a dependable income stream while planning to protect lifestyle, help family, or create a legacy.  Participants will learn how to help seniors identify and prevent online fraud, debit and credit card fraud, and elder abuse in regards to banking.

Learning Objectives

1.      Keep It, develop an understanding of the financial planning process to maintain sufficient funds for the future.

2.      Protect It, create an awareness of fraud and elder abuse in regards to money management.

3.      Pass It On, an overview of estate planning and intergenerational wealth planning.




Engaging Seniors to Build a Healthy Francophone Community - Bilingual presentation

Michelle Margarit, BEC, Executive Director, Association Canadienne-Francaise de L’Alberta, Grande Prairie Chapter (ACFA-GP)

Since 1998, ACFA-GP witnessed a continuous growth of the Francophone population.  ACFA-GP estimates that 8,000 Francophone citizens now call Grande Prairie home.  Over 16 Francophone countries are represented in the organization.  ACFA-GP is a regional chapter of the provincial ACFA, Alberta’s ‘francophone speaks’ organization.

This presentation will address how the Francophone community in Grande Prairie has flourished.  The presenter will share experiences of community collaboration to build a culturally diverse community using the Francophone community as a model.  The presenter will share cultural views, life stories and experiences and discuss how these strategies can assist your community to build cultural/social events engaging youth, families and seniors to reduce isolationism.  Examine successes of a diverse francophone community within mainstream communities to learn and grow your community!

Learning Objectives

1.      Create an understanding regarding elders and their values to Francophone culture and diversity.

2.      Develop an understanding to organize cultural and social events to create community with youth, families and isolated seniors.

3.      Program overview on mentorship programs, connecting community, families and seniors.

Depuis 1998, l’ACFA régionale de Grande Prairie a connu une croissance continue de la population francophone.  L’ACFA régionale de Grande Prairie estime que 8000 citoyens francophones sont fiers de vivre à Grande Prairie.  Plus de 16 pays francophones sont représentés dans cet organisme. L’ACFA régionale de Grande Prairie est un bureau régional de l’ACFA, Association canadiennefrançaise de l’Alberta.

Cette présentation abordera la manière dont la communauté francophone de Grande Prairie a prospéré avec succès.  La présentatrice partagera ses expériences de collaboration avec des organismes de la ville afin de construire une communauté culturelle et diversifiée, en s’inspirant de la richesse et des succès de la francophonie de Grande Prairie.  La présentatrice partagera sa vision en développement culturel et social, des histoires personnelles ainsi que des expériences et expliquera comment ces stratégies peuvent aider votre communauté à construire des événements culturels ou sociaux en engageant les jeunes, les familles et les personnes âgées afin de réduire l'isolation. Regardons aux succès d'une communauté francophone diversifiée parmi la communauté majoritaire afin d’apprendre et faire grandir votre communauté!

Objectifs d'apprentissage

1.      Créez une compréhension en ce qui concerne les aînés et leurs valeurs à la culture et la diversité francophone en Alberta.

2.      Développer une compréhension pour organiser des événements culturels et sociaux visant à créer une communauté avec des jeunes, des familles et des personnes âgées isolées.

3.      Aperçu de programme sur les programmes de mentorat, unissant la communauté, les familles et les personnes âgées.



11:30 a.m.

Lunch and displays


12:30 p.m.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions



Your Future Matters-Be Prepared

Ray Biggs, BA, BSW, Alberta Health Services

Lincoln Mar, BSc, LLB, Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee

Teresa Overgaard, MA Sociology, Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee

All Albertans are encouraged to plan for their financial and personal decision-making needs in the event of future incapability.  This session is designed to provide information on how capable adults can legally appoint someone to represent their values and wishes in advance.  Emphasis will be placed on documenting relevant conversations in the context of trusting relationships.  Preserving personal autonomy and control over how future decisions will be made is viewed as a normal part of healthy aging.

This session proposes to present a range of decision-making options that pertain to Advance Care Planning (ACP).

Learning Objectives

1. To learn the value of engaging clients and family in anticipation of potential future decision-making.

2. Increase awareness of the range of Advance Care planning options available.

3.To educate how to access information and resources to complete ACP documents.




He Can Fancy Dance with Reflections of Our Past

Jo-Ann Bellerose, BEd, Alberta Health Services

This session will help participants to gain an understanding of Residential School experiences, the impact on First Nation persons and generational trauma which presently exists and effects seniors, Aboriginal families and their communities.  This will be supported with an introductory video “He Can Fancy Dance” by Cindy Paul.

The ensuing discussion will create awareness of the diversity of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.  This will Include the role of Elders as spiritual advisors imparting traditional teachings, supporting traditional family systems and holistic wellness models.

Learning Objectives

1.        To increase awareness of residential school and its effect upon Driftpile First Nations People.

2.        To develop an understanding of the holistic perspective using the Medicine Wheel.

3.        To increase awareness and sensitivity to Aboriginal culture.




Seniors are Engaging on Social Media With or Without You - Become Part of the Conversation!

Brian Yanish, Founder, MarketingHits

Did you know, every month approximately 200,000 Alberta Seniors are actively using social media websites like Facebook?  The internet, social media and technology, such as smartphones, has changed the way seniors communicate, research, and discover new products and services.

This presentation will provide attendees with tools for online ‘social listening’ to develop your target audience, and strategies to market your product, service or cause using social media ‘influencers’.  Concluding the session will be an overview of ‘how to’ use the mobile web to your organization’s advantage to become part of seniors’ online conversation.

Learning Objectives

1.      Learn how to conduct online social listening for a target audience.

2.      See why social media influencers are part of new marketing strategies for your organization.

3.      Learn why seniors are m ore likely to click on your Facebook ad, instead of liking or sharing your post.




Meaningful Older Adult Engagement in Learning and Service - Wisdom from Carya’s Program ‘Elder Service Corps’

Jamie Berlie, BScH, CARYA

Mick Mulloy, Community Member

Stephen Yates, Community Member

‘Elder Service Corps’ is a unique and innovative program that sees older adults as a vital resource to communities and aims to challenge the stereotypes that come with aging.  Key components of the program are life‐long learning and life‐long service to community with a reciprocal benefit to the older adult community members that participate.  These benefits include increased wellness, decreased isolation, and cross‐cultural learning opportunities.  What makes this program unique is that it supports community development initiatives that are designed and implemented BY older adults FOR older adults.  Rather than guessing what older adults want or need this program invites and looks to older adult community leadership to make meaningful change that is community member led.

By sharing stories and experiences of older adults that have participated in the program, we will confidently show how it changes lives by enriching social health and building lasting relationships of trust and reciprocity.  This program is unique and our hope is that more community development programs are initiated throughout the province to make communities a better place to live for all ages.

Learning Objectives

1.      Establish a solid connection between community involvement and older adult wellness.

2.      Challenge stereotypes of aging and show older adults are uniquely situated to do community development work and act as leaders in their communities.

3.      Develop an understanding to create a senior led program in their community.



1:45 p.m.



2:00 p.m.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions



Understanding Provincial Financial Support for Seniors

Stakeholder Engagement Advisors, Alberta Seniors and Housing

Seniors are a diverse group that are a vital part of communities in which they live.  A range of supports is vital to ensuring that seniors are empowered to remain independent and fully participate in their chosen communities.  With Alberta’s senior population increasing by approximately 60 people each day, the demand for programs and services to support this demographic will also increase.

While federal financial programs serve as the foundation of support, the provincial government offers vital resources that help ensure that seniors are able to access the means to assist with their needs and contribute to their quality of life.  This presentation provides an overview of a range of provincial financial supports available to seniors.

Learning Objectives

1.      Senior service providers will gain awareness, knowledge and understanding of various provincial Seniors Financial Assistance programs.

2.      Awareness of five financial programs available from the Ministry of Seniors and Housing and eligibility criteria, program thresholds and program requirements to access financial assistance.

3.      Seniors Service Providers will have increased understanding to assist seniors in their own communities or referral for further assistance.




In the Grey Zone - Considering the Patient Experience

Jody-Lee Farrah, MSW, RSW, Director, Office of the Alberta Health Advocates

Deborah E. Prowse, QC, Alberta Health Advocate and Interim Seniors’ Advocate

Health care is fundamental to life in Alberta.  All Albertans expect high quality and safe care delivered by skilled and compassionate professionals.  As owners of the health care system, we expect services to be accessible, accountable and sustainable.  The Alberta Health Charter was created to help bring a shared understanding between patients and families, health care providers, organizations and government about our expectations and experiences with the health system.  The Office of the Alberta Health Advocates, consisting of the Health, Mental Health Patient and Senior’ Advocate, provides assistance and support to Albertans who have a concern or complaint about their health care experience.

In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the Advocates’ role and function; discuss what we hear are the issues concerning Albertans; share ideas about how to raise concerns in a respectful and effective way to be able to change our experience; discuss the role of the Health Charter in contributing to a responsive and high-quality health care system in Alberta.

Learning Objectives

1.      To understand the role of the Office of the Alberta Health Advocate and Interim Seniors Advocate.

2.      To understand the concept of the person, in context of their health care experience in Alberta.

3.      To provide an overview and application of the Alberta Health Charter.




Social Inclusion of People Living with Dementia

Donna Durand, Therapeutic Recreation-Leisure Services, Executive Director Alberta Council on Aging

One of the eight domains for liveability and quality of life for older persons as identified by World Health Organization is social inclusion.  Social inclusion can be challenging for those living with dementia.  This presentation provides a deeper understanding about dementia.  Together we discuss possible ways to include people living with dementia in their communities.  We will identify existing programs within communities and what adaptations may be considered in order to be age friendly and dementia friendly communities

Learning Objectives

1. To deepen understanding about dementia.

2. To explore ways of supporting inclusion.

3. To strive to become age friendly and dementia friendly communities.




Aging in the Community of Choice - Creating Caring Communities to Support Seniors

Rev. Daranne Harris, Vice President & Chief Mission Officer, Bethany Care Society

Nancy Hughes, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Bethany Care Society

For over 70 years, Bethany Care Society has been supporting seniors to age with dignity ensuring quality of life and access to care in their community.  Increasingly, tenants are presenting with complex medical conditions making independence, in the literal sense almost impossible.  When combined with the increasing prevalence of mental health illness including addictions and challenges with managing financial matters, individuals living in independent housing require access to health care providers, community supports and resources that span far beyond those provided in a typical landlord tenant relationship.

In this session Bethany Care Society will concentrate on how they have addressed these challenges through their commitment to provide support to residents in their housing communities, and share success stories for their seniors and their communities.  They will focus their attention on their latest project, Bethany Riverview.  They have integrated three independent seniors housing residences (approximately 350 residents) with a 210 bed care center resulting in unique services for seniors to access meal services, additional social and health services and to create an opportunity for “aging in community” and create a caring community.

Learning Objectives

1.      Review strategy and approaches for providing support to older adults in housing communities.

2.      Program overview of pilot project which provides social community support to housing residents.

3.      How to create opportunity for older adults to ‘age in community’.



3:15 p.m.

Closing Remarks and Door Prizes