Agenda - 2017 Grey Matters Conference

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Monday, september 11
6:00 p.m. Pre-Registration
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

2017 Grey Matters Conference - Mix & Mingle

Trade Show and Poster Sessions

Join the 2017 Grey Matters Planning Committee for an evening to ‘Mix & Mingle’ with delegates, as a warm up to the conference.

The trade show will highlight an opportunity to engage with sponsors and exhibitors before the conference begins.

Poster sessions will offer delegates an opportunity for discovery as they learn about local, provincial and federal seniors programs.

Delegates will be offered a succulent array of food featuring a ‘pig roast’ with all the trimmings, a Hinton specialty!  A vegetarian option will be available.  Cash bar will be open.

Monday, September 11 – Wednesday, September 13

Alberta Seniors and Housing Stakeholder Engagement Advisor Open House

Stakeholder Engagement Advisors will be available to answer questions regarding programs and service for seniors.

Drop-in and meet your regional advisor or schedule an appointment.

Monday, September 11, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 12, 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.; 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 13, 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.; 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, september 12                                                                               
7:00 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks
Honourable Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Seniors and Housing
9:15 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Age Friendly Edmonton 2.0: Mobilizing for Community Impact

Sheila Hallett, BA – Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council
Ingrid Hoogenboom, BSW, RSW – Citizen Services, City of Edmonton

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized the City of Edmonton in 2010 as part of the Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities.  In 2013 the City, Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council and a collaborative group of stakeholders began an ambitious five-year work plan to make Edmonton a city that values, respects and actively supports the safety, diversity and well-being of seniors.

This presentation will describe what Age-Friendly Edmonton (AFE) has learned so far in its journey and the prioritization process we used to take stock of progress and refine our efforts for the future.

AFE 2.0 will refocus on building strategic relationships and taking collaborative actions to mobilize, influence and spark innovative activities in priority areas of aging in place: diversity, intergenerational programming and ageism.AFE 2.0 will refocus on building strategic relationships and taking collaborative actions to mobilize, influence and spark innovative activities in four priority areas of aging in place: diversity, intergenerational programming and ageism.


The Office of the Seniors Advocate: What We’re Hearing

Sheree T. Kwong See, PhD, Alberta Seniors Advocate; Leslie Sorenson, Seniors Advocate Representative – Office of the Seniors Advocate

The Office of the Seniors Advocate supports senior Albertans and their families by providing information and putting forward recommendations to the Government of Alberta to improve senior services and programs.

In this session, participants will learn about what the office does, how systemic issues are identified, and what trends have been identified to date. Participants will also leave with a greater understanding of how they might interface with the Office in their daily work.


Boomers and Balance

Dr. Karyn Klut, BSc, DC, DACNB – Gateway Chiropractic

When we think about our pre-retirement and retirement years, we envision living a dynamic and energetic life.  Flexibility, balance and energy levels decline and it is accepted that this is a “normal” part of getting older.

The truth is we have to work hard to maintain and improve our long term quality of life.  It is important to engage the pre-senior and senior population in healthy lifestyle activities that encourage movement, standing tall, suitable nutrition, stability, and a positive attitude toward aging. By focusing on posture, balance and joint mobility (especially of the spine) we can maintain and improve on activities of daily living, and increase our longevity/quality of life by making what we envision a reality.  This presentation will include tips and tools on improving posture, balance and mobility.  Fall prevention, walking (gait) instability and the fear of falling will also be discussed.


Elder Abuse Prevention and Intervention: A Holistic Approach to Supporting Safe Communities for Older Adults

Ashley Corcoran, BSW, RSW; Nicole Dowling, MSW, RSW; Jenna Powell, MSW, RSW – Elder Abuse Prevention Program, Carya

Carya’s Elder Abuse Prevention program recognizes the value of providing safe communities for older adults to flourish and we believe in using preventative methods to support this. The program focuses on three pillars of service: direct work with older adults facing low to moderate risk, a streamlined anonymous consultation service to support social workers and other service providers in the community, and awareness raising of elder abuse through community education and professional training.

The Elder Abuse Prevention program supports older adults affected by abuse who may not require police and court intervention. By increasing social supports and resources for older adults, coupled with public awareness and consultation, we aim to reduce the risk of escalation and prevalence of elder abuse in our community.  This presentation will create an opportunity for in-depth discussion to encourage communities to develop similar elder abuse prevention programs throughout Alberta

10:25 a.m. Nutrition Break and Exhibits
10:50 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions

The Blanket Exercise
Renay Woelfing, First Nations, Metis, Inuit Facilitator - Grande Yellowhead Public School Division

NOTE: This session extends into the lunch hour.  Participants will have time to pick up bagged lunch and continue this session.

The Blanket Exercise is a participatory workshop in which participants will experience over 500years of history by taking on the roles of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Standing on blankets that
represent the land, participants will walk through time and explore the impacts of colonization, treaty-making, and modern legislation.

The blanket exercise is concluded by a facilitated debriefing in which participants have the opportunity to discuss the experience as a group. By engaging participants on an emotional level, this workshop is a powerful tool for increasing empathy and understanding.


The Importance of Vitamin (N)ature & How to Ensure You Get Your Daily Dose

Mandy Johnson, BA Urban Poling Inc.

We all know the importance of Vitamins A through E.  We also know to get our daily dose of vitamins through the foods we eat or the supplements we take.  What about Vitamin N? Why is it important to get your daily dose of nature?

How can we make the most of nature as we age and begin to fear injury or falling; or experience chronic pain?  What are the dangers of ‘sitting disease’?  This session will provide answers to these questions and inspire everyone to be active every day while connecting with nature.


Supporting the Mental Health of Seniors in Canada: Mental Health First Aid Seniors

Mireille Cyr-Hansen, BSc (PT), MHA, Manager Mental Health First Aid Mental Health Commission of Canada

Canada has an aging population. By 2030, nearly one in four Canadians will be a senior.  As Canadians age, they face different life challenges and need resources to maintain a mentally healthy life.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) championed the development of worldwide first: Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Seniors, an adaptation of the MHFA basic course.  This course is intended to increase capacity of seniors, families (informal caregivers), friends, staff in care settings and communities to promote mental health in seniors, and prevent mental illness and suicide, when possible.

This session will share information about MHFA Seniors and how it addresses the unique needs of Canada’s population of seniors.  Participants will gain a better understanding of how MHFA Seniors can contribute to supporting the mental health of seniors in your communities.


Enabling the Mobility of Seniors: Insights from a Provincial Survey and Learnings from Two Rural Community-Based Projects

Bonnie Dobbs, PhD, Professor, Director; Tara Lee Pidborochynski, MSc, Assistant Director; Emily Hussey, BSc, Research Assistant – Medically At Risk Driver Centre (MARD)

Al Roth, Director of Operations, Town of Pincher Creek; Doug Thornton, Councillor, Town of Pincher Creek – Pincher Creek Transportation Committee

Lack of access to responsive forms of transportation often results in an inability to access many important community-based services resulting in decreases in quality of life, reductions in or loss of independence, increases in social isolation, and an inability to ‘age in place’.  The availability of alternate transportation services, particularly in rural Alberta, is needed to promote the mobility of many seniors and persons with disabilities (PWD).

In this session, MARD will share the results from the 2016-2017 Provincial Transportation Needs Assessment (with results available for each of the 5 provincial zones).  Representatives from the Wetaskiwin Community Transportation Society will then share learnings on the implementation of ride-scheduling software.  Next, representatives from the Pincher Creek Transportation Committee will provide an overview of how the use of the Transportation Toolkit has facilitated the development of more responsive transportation for seniors and PWD.  Collectively, the presentations provide attendees with information they can use to support their work in the development of an age-friendly community.

NOON Boxed Lunches
NOON – 2:00 p.m.

Footprints Activity Sessions

Blanket Exercise, participants must be registered for the 10:50 am session to participate.

Boardwalks, Beavers & Birdbaths

Hinton has one of the most magnificent boardwalks amongst nature, featuring Canadian nature at its best – Birds and Beavers.  Take a walk in the ‘park’ with local hosts for an outdoor view you will never forget.  Bring your phones to connect to nature, do not call home, take a picture to create lasting memories as you make ‘Footprints in the Foothills’.

Urban Poling: Revolutionizing the Way We Walk

Mandy Johnson, Alberta Ambassador for Urban Poling, will offer a turbo-charged demonstration session using the walking paths of Hinton to guide her.  This outdoor session will change your walking experience and highlight benefits of Nordic walking teaching different styles, the fitness technique and the specialized ‘Urban Poling’ technique for rehabilitation and wellness.  You will walk stronger and longer after participating in this session.  Limited registration, equipment is provided.

‘Yogi Bear’ Yoga: Hinton Campground

Take action in the foothills!  Participate in an outdoor yoga session at the Hinton Campground.  Bring your ‘pi-ci-nic’ basket lunch and yoga mat to improve your health and happiness.  Participants will connect with nature and their inner spirit while engaging in a variety of yoga poses.  Relax and take a moment during the conference to re-connect with your inner self.

Museum Meander: Northern Rockies Museum of Culture & Heritage

The Northern Rockies Museum of Culture and Heritage is Hinton’s newest tourist attraction! The museum in housed inside a historic 1911 Grand Trunk Pacific Railway Station.  Brand new exhibits feature industry, railway, communication, as well as Hinton and area history.  The station house boasts a gift shop with unique finds.  Come and visit this exciting discovery - prepare to play games, enjoy hands on activities and a unique snack of pemmican and bannock.  This experience is unique and will offer history buffs an opportunity to connect with the past while making memories in Hinton.

2:00 p.m. Nutrition Break

2:15 p.m.

Keynote Address – Susan Aglukark

Celebrated Canadian | Award Winning Singer-Songwriter | Inuk

Susan Aglukark is one of Canada’s most unique and honored artists. An Inuk from Arviat, Nunavut. Susan has been walking between two worlds, a defining note in her remarkable career.

She is a rare and exotic presence in the mainstream music world—an Inuk woman, a modern woman, a strong woman with something important to say.  Susan embodies pure grace, honesty and strength. As her songs climbed the charts her stories and her candor about the struggles of the Inuit and Aboriginal communities have won her an audience beyond that of most pop artists. 

Aglukark’s musical success is more interesting particularly when you realize she didn’t start her career until she was 24.  With no modern musical orthodoxy to draw upon Aglukark was free to respond to the sounds and styles that motivated or inspired her. The (real) appeal of her music is her lyrics and stories. “It’s all about the stories.” Aglukark feels the songs are driven by the stories. “It’s all about the stories.” As much as she writes and sings about her people, the songs Susan Aglukark creates have something in them that speaks to all of us, whether it’s a woman growing old and longing for the traditional life that she was taken away from, (“Bridge of Dreams”) a gentle anthem for peace and tolerance, (“O Siem”—joy in community). Aglukark’s artistic vision is a universal one.

3:45 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Scams, Shams and Schemes: How to Protect Yourself Against Investment Fraud

David Elzinga, CPA, CA•IFA, CFF, CFE – Alberta Securities Commission

Today’s investment world seems riskier than ever as new investment scams are uncovered all the time.
In this session, participants will learn about the common types of investment frauds targetting Alberta seniors, and ways to recognize and avoid them. Participants will also learn how to recognize a senior in financial distress amd tools to help protect them. Participants will also hear how the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), helps investors and the types of investigations currently being undertaken.

The ASC is the regulatory agency responsible for administering the province's securities laws. It is entrusted with fostering a fair and efficient capital market in Alberta and with protecting investors. As a member of the Canadian Securities Administrators, the ASC works to improve, coordinate and harmonize the regulation of Canada's capital markets.


Advance Planning: Your Voice Matters

Ray Biggs, BA, BSW, PBD Dip. Gero – Alberta Health Services

Lincoln Mar, BSc, LLB; Wendy Florence, PGR – Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee

Living well includes communicating what is important to you and being prepared for the future.  All Albertans are encouraged to plan for their financial and personal decision-making needs in the event of becoming incapable.  Fore the more immediate future, you are also able to provide advance instructions that guide your healthcare team about the general focus of your care, and where you might want that care.  This session is designed to provide information on how capable adults can legally appoint someone to represent their values and wishes as required.  Knowing who will speak on your behalf, should you be unable to, contributes to peace of mind for everyone.


Behaviours as a Form of Communication in Dementia and Advice for Interpreting

Shawna Reid, MN, RN, GNC (C) – Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network ™

Rose Merke, RN, BScN – Health Link, Alberta Health Services

Following an overview of current and future dementia-related demographics, responsive behaviours will be explained as communication by people with dementia – that as they lose typical means of communication (i.e. verbal) and they express their needs, wants and displeasures using what we see as behaviour (for example, aggression and wandering).  As caregivers, our focus is to interpret their behaviours in order to fulfill their needs and improve their quality of life.  Common strategies, suggestions, and ways to investigate behaviours will then be provided in the context of case studies.  Lastly, Dementia Advice through Health Link, which can improve caregivers’ confidence and ability to care for their loved ones with dementia, will be highlighted.

5:00 p.m. Closing Remarks

5:05 p.m. -

6:00 p.m.

Networking Reception: Hinton Centre

A light snack will be offered while you network.

Cash Bar will be open.

Wednesday, September 13
7:00 a.m. Breakfast
7:15 a.m. AGM – Alberta Association of Seniors Centres (AASC)
8:30 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks

8:45 a.m.

Opening Plenary – Dr. Dave Hepburn

Physician| TV Hosts|Authors

The future of Medical Marijuana – Getting Help Without Getting High

Dr. Hepburn is a leading expert on using medical marijuana and shares why cannabis has become a source of national debate pitching governments against cities, doctors against regulators and even neighbours against patients.

Myth-information abounds and it's the baby boomers and older patients who are battling the hardest for a credible understanding of medical cannabis, what it prevents, why it's effective, what it’s best used for, how it can be used and how to obtain access.

A key opinion leader, Dr. Hepburn consults to organizations, medical and otherwise, on the intriguing world of cannabis and how to prepare for the impact on medical and pharmaceutical communities.

10:00 a.m. Nutrition Break  

10:15 a.m.
Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Enhancing the Wellbeing of Immigrant Women Seniors: Insights into Promising Practices for Engagement and Program Design

Bronwyn Bragg, PhD Candidate University of British Columbia – Bow Valley College
Celeste Akinkunmi, MSc, Settlement and Integration Manager; Rekha Gadhia, MA, MBA - Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association

A silent but a significant shift in the Canadian demographic is underway.  The population is growing rapidly due to immigration and is also aging, thus creating a new group of immigrant seniors whose needs are not very well understood.  Current research about the impacts of immigration on aging is sparse, especially in Canada.  Even less is known about the gendered experiences of immigrant women seniors.  There is growing agreement among policy makers, scholars and service providers of the need for an innovative, integrated approach to seniors, which acknowledges their strengths, diverse cultural backgrounds, socio-economic contexts, gender differences and immigration experiences.

Building on action research and promising practices in program development, this panel will cover two topics: addressing immigrant women’s wellbeing and continued social participation as they transition from work to retirement, and exploring the often hidden issue of elder abuse and potential for community engaged responses when addressing this issue in immigrant communities.

The panel will focus on key, actionable learnings from our research, as well as examples of promising practices we’ve employed when engaging immigrant women in informing supports and services, and addressing sensitive topics such as elder abuse, isolation, and wellbeing. The goal is to provide attendees with some new tools and insights required for building inclusive and responsive communities, services, and supports for immigrant seniors.


Plan Now to Age in Place: “Helping seniors plan today for the life they want tomorrow”

Carol Ching, BA, Senior Policy Analyst Alberta Seniors and Housing

Bernice Sewell, RSW, Director of Operations Sage Seniors Association

Having a plan to age in place could prevent individuals and families from having to make hasty decisions in the future, especially when dealing with change resulting from a crisis.

To raise awareness of the importance of planning, the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors developed a Planning for Aging in Place series.  This series portrays seniors/near seniors experiences and discusses planning for aging in place along the eight domains of the Age- Friendly Communities model, helping individuals to think about what they can do now to improve their life as they age.

Participants will gain an understanding of the benefits of planning for aging in place.  They will also learn how SAGE is using and adapting these materials to educate, support and engage seniors and their families in important conversations that will empower them to make choices now to give them the best chance to have a satisfying and positive experience as they age


Elder Abuse Prevention: Rural Perspectives

Charlene Sitar, Regional Elder Abuse Prevention Coordinator FCSS Hinton (Yellowhead Region)

Irene Fitzsimmons, BA Hon Psych, Elder Abuse Project Coordinator Community Action for Healthy Relationships (CAHR) Network (Athabasca/Barrhead/Westlock)

Sharon Moore, BSW, RSW, Senior’s Project Coordinator – Town of Cochrane

Session facilitators are part of the provincial Coordinated Community Response (CCR) Network, involved with coordinating response models to elder abuse prevention across the province.

There will be discussions of strategies to encourage older adults to be pro-active in protecting themselves and others from mistreatment and/or abuse and engage in their own succession planning.

This session will highlight rural community approaches to three main areas of focus:

  1. Understanding the current trends and elder abuse prevention strategies in Alberta;
  2. Working in the ‘grey’ – reviewing inclusive rural approaches that contribute to the prevention of elder abuse, including the unique challenges/barriers and strengths/assets that impact progress in rural and/or more isolated communities; and
  3. Promoting resiliency within older adult populations and the factors that lead to enhancing connection and reducing seniors’ susceptibility to abuse.

Linking Social Capital for Sustainable Senior Engagement

Shambhu Nath Chowdhury, RSW, BSW, MBA, PhD Millwoods Seniors Association

The key purpose of this presentation is to inform service providers that there is a link between social capital and sustainable senior engagement and explore these concepts.  Social capital is an important tool in community engagement; it has been categorized as bonding, bridging and linking type.  The concept of senior engagement is in its nascent stage.  Depletion and enrichment are the classic problems of engagement.  The depletion argument is based on resource drain and role conflict.  It is grounded on the idea that people only have a fixed amount of psychological and physiological resources to spend.  This session will demonstrate how we can facilitate the use of social capital in creating an environment of seniors’ enriched and effective engagement.

11:30 a.m. Lunch  
12:30 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Senior Strong: Age-ing to Sage-ing

Nicole Smith, MEd; Director of Research and Community Engagement – Sage Seniors Association

Age-ing to Sage-ing (A2S) is an intergenerational community development approach designed to help neighbours support each other.  It taps into seniors as a powerful resource in helping people embrace their own worth, and demonstrates a practical process to mobilize collective action in complex neighbourhoods.  The project works with the assets of seniors to positively impact the poverty agenda through intergenerational relationships between older people, schools, other agencies, and families and children in the community.  A2S employs a community animator and an outreach social worker to host processes, make connections to larger systems, and find resources to support the self-organization of seniors, including those who are isolated and/or low-resourced. In this session, we will review the A2S program, and discuss how its success as a pilot project has shifted Sage’s approach to outreach and engagement, including learnings we are making along the way.


Keeping Our Seniors Safe Online

Shelly Blackburn, CIPP/C, Director – Compliance Director, TELUS Data and Trust Office

telus wise seniors

TELUS WISE® (Wise Internet & Smartphone Education) engages Canadians of all ages in a discussion about Internet and smartphone safety to help keep ourselves, our families and communities safer from online criminal activity such as financial fraud and cyberbullying.

During our time together we will share TELUS WISE seniors, a program that engages Canadian seniors in learning about getting the most of participating in our growing digital society safely



Harm Reduction for Older Adults

Lawrence Braul, MSW, CIHCM, CEO – Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta

Up to 25% of Canadian adults over age 50 report drinking at rates consistent with risk for long-term negative impacts.  These include housing instability, homelessness and related health conditions.  A shortage of suitable supportive housing alternatives means that many are difficult to discharge from an acute care setting.  The impacts of alcohol dependence are significant for individuals and society as a whole.  Societal stigmas and traditional abstinence based treatments may not be our best approach.

This session will describe the role of harm reduction programming which tolerates alcohol use and review the program outcomes of several programs operating in Canada. We will also present outcome data from an evaluation of Peter Coyle Place which has been operated by Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta in Calgary.  If you work with seniors you’ll gain a new perspective on alcohol dependency treatments that are significantly improving quality of life, delivering positive financial and societal impacts and influencing national policy.

1:45 p.m. Nutrition Break  
2:00 p.m.

End Note: Dr. Dave Hepburn

Physician| TV Hosts|Authors

Seven Ways to Die Young… at an Old Age

There is a fountain of youth and in this endnote, Dr. Dave shares what you must do to die young at an old age. He will expose the facts and stats that are based on medical research, the most current studies of anti-aging from around the world and very practical advice that anyone can follow.

Audiences will laugh and learn as Dr. Dave shares how to avoid the big 3 - Why being a grump is more of a disadvantage than the people around you; what 8 numbers you need to know about yourself; and how to enjoy, rather than endure, living to 100!

3:15 p.m. Closing Remarks and Door Prizes