Grey Matters 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

7:00 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

8:30 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:15 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
Community Caregiver Support Initiatives: Collaborations that Work
Laurie Sutherland- AB Health Project Coordinator, Alberta Caregivers Association
Anne Goldblatt, MHSc, BA/BSW-Goldblatt Consulting

Caregiving is a growing and complex issue that impacts individuals, families, communities and professionals.  To better serve caregivers and link them to appropriate resources, the Alberta Caregivers Association embarked on its Caregiver Support Project with a mandate to collaborate with communities across Alberta.  This project aims to develop supportive environments for caregivers, strengthen networks of professionals, service providers and agency staff who come into contact with family caregivers and have a shared interest in working together to enhance understanding of, and supports for, caregivers.  Participants who attend this session will learn about the challenges and successes of the project and get advice on building networks including the ‘getting to know you phase’ and the important questions to ask community leaders.

An Odyssey for Best Practice Senior Centres
Luanne Whitmarsh- RSW, CPCA- CEO, Kerby Centre

Have you ever thought about what it takes to attract seniors to the seniors centre in your community?  Join Ms. Whitmarsh, CEO of Kerby Centre in Calgary, as she shares learnings from a year-long Odyssey through the US and Canada to gather information about best practices for senior centres.  The presentation will highlight the collaboration with the South African government and their interesting challenges as they search for resources for their aging population. Learn about successes and challenges, programing, human resources, facility size and plans for the future that will be useful to any organization considering expansion or relocation.  Be sure to take this opportunity to benefit from Kerby Centre’s Odyssey without ever leaving Alberta!

Concerns Resolution: Shades of Grey (Advocates Office)
Deborah Prowse, LLB, MS.W- Interim Seniors Advocate
Jody Lee Farrah, Alberta Health Advocate
Did you know that Alberta is one of only two provinces in Canada with a Seniors Advocate?  Attend this session to learn more about the Office of the Alberta Health Advocates, including the Mental Health Patient Advocate, the Health Advocate and the Seniors’ Advocate, introduced in 2014.  Not only will you learn about Alberta’s Advocates, what they do and what they are hearing, you will gain insight into how Albertans can raise their concerns in a respectful and effective way to be able to change their health care experiences.  Presenters will also share their perspectives on how the Health Charter has a role in making sure our system is responsive and of high quality.

9:15 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
Let’s Talk About the Money: Intergenerational Wealth Transfer, Financial Planning, and Third Party Decision Making

Karen McMillan, CFP, CPCA-Investment Advisor, Credential Securities Inc.
Jason Blanke, FSRI-Mutual Funds Investment Specialist, Credential Asset Management Inc.
David Elzinga, CPA, CA.IFA, CFF, CFE, CFI-Manager Investigations, Alberta Securities Commission
Chad Ganske, BA-Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, Alberta Human Services

This panel session will be about all things money related. First, panel experts 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.  Next up, 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.  Lastly, participants will learn how to help seniors identify and prevent online fraud, debit and credit card fraud, and elder abuse in regards to banking.

10:25 a.m. Displays and refreshments

10:50 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
Development, Dissemination, and Evaluation of a Toolkit for the Implementation of Age-Friendly Alternate Transportation of Seniors in Rural and Urban Alberta
Bonnie Dobbs, PhD-Director, Medically At-Risk Driver Centre (MARD), University of Alberta
Tara Pidborochynski, MSc, Research Coordinator-MARD, University of Alberta
Mayank Rehani, MSc, Research Coordinator-MARD, University of Alberta

While viewed by many as desired and important, access to alternate forms of transportation for seniors (ATS) is often non-existent.  When available, services such as community-based vans, volunteer driver programs, and for-profit providers may not be adequately designed to meet the unique mobility needs of seniors.  There are a number of challenges to implementing ATS service in urban and rural communities.  The absence of ‘easily accessible’ and targeted information on implementing ATS is one of the challenges.

This presentation will describe (1) the development of a toolkit for implementing ATS in Alberta, (2) the partnerships needed to disseminate information and host workshops on the resource and (3) the steps being taken to evaluate the uptake and utility of the toolkit by municipalities, communities, and/or organizations in rural and urban Alberta.

10:50 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
 Dance in the Greater Community: Improving Health and Well-Being through Open Seniors’ Dance
Liza Hartling-University of Calgary student, Dance
Camille Mori-University of Calgary student, Psychology

This presentation will describe a pilot program in Calgary that strives to make physical exercise and social interaction available to residents who would not normally have access to such a program.  The introduction of dance classes for seniors in the University Heights neigbourhood has yielded overwhelmingly positive results including a new sense of inclusion and community as well as physical benefits in the areas of motor coordination, circulation, flexibility and increased mobility.  Plan to attend and learn what it takes to successfully introduce a similar program in your community or organization.

Promoting Seniors’ Health and Wellness at the Community Level

Sarah Wildgen, BPHE, MPH-Communities ChooseWell Program Officer
Stacie Pedersen, BPE-Health Promotion Facilitator, Central Zone Public Health and Children’s Rehabilitation Services
Michele Geistlinger-Chairman Longview ARC Society, Longview ChooseWell Coordinator


Across the province, Communities ChooseWell is assisting communities in the promotion of healthy living.  Without any fees, rural and urban community champions can register with Communities ChooseWell and gain access to resources, grant opportunities and networking experiences that build the capacity of the community and champion alike.

This presentation will feature ChooseWell staff along with two high-achieving champions from small rural communities who will share their stories, lessons learned, and provide creative ideas to enhance senior wellness at the community level.  Participants will gain awareness about the need for effective partnering, responsiveness to needs, and active senior participation in the planning and implementation of initiatives.  Be sure to take this opportunity to learn more about the strides being made in seniors’ health and wellness and what is possible in small, rural communities.


Carya-Engaged Seniors, Innovative Collaborations
Alison Jozsa, BSWMSW, RSW- Practice Supervisor NW Team-Carya
Sidney Craig Courtice, MCEd-Elder Friendly Communities-Carya
Louise Griep- Network Facilitator, The Way In Network

In Calgary, Carya has worked hard to collaborate with a variety of organizations and agencies to develop collaborative and innovative programs that support older adults.  This presentation will highlight the work being done by the Elder Brokers Initiative to connect seniors from ethno-cultural communities with mainstream services and the efforts of seniors who share their gifts and talents toward making positive changes through the Elder Friendly Communities program.

Presenters will also share details of 403-SENIORS, a recently launched City Wide Intake System and insights into a new on-line training resource designed to increase awareness of elder abuse.  Finally, they will share learnings from the Calgary floods of 2013 and a step-by-step approach to engaging older adults in emergency preparedness and processing the trauma of a disaster.

12:00 p.m. Lunch/ Poster Sessions

Catriona Le May Doan

Catriona Le May Doan has done what no other Canadian athlete has ever accomplished—she won an Olympic Gold medal and then successfully defended her 'Olympic Gold' title.

Twenty-three years in the sport of speed skating taught Catriona a great deal and she realized her dream of winning an Olympic gold medal.  Reaching your potential is limitless.  Catriona will share strategies and tactics applied to her sport, and how they can be applied universally.


2:45 p.m.



3:00 p.m. Motivation, Older Adults and Participation  in Physical Activity: Physical Activity for Health, a Right not a Privilege
Dr. Joseph Levy, BA, BPHE, MSW, PhD

Active living is a way of life, encompassing social, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Participation in physical activities among older adults has not only mitigated the impact of chronic diseases but has also contributed to resiliency and hardiness among older populations. The evidence is overwhelming on the overall benefit of physical activity for older adults. However, the major barriers to participation in physical activities for the older adult are related to emotional, social, economic, political, cultural, administrative, religious, and design barriers. The majority of inactive older Canadians have reported access barriers despite their desire to lead healthier lives. Physical activity for health goals among older populations should be a RIGHT not a PRIVILEGE or an elitist form of Recreation.

4:00 p.m. 4 Closing remarks

5:00 p.m.

Networking Reception - Royal Tyrrell Museum

Discover Drumheller Night

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


7:30 a.m.


Registration and Continental Breakfast


Tim Hague
Parkinson's and Perseverance: The Amazing Race

Tim Hague Sr. overcame the odds when he went from a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease to—just three years later—becoming the inaugural winner of CTV's The Amazing Race Canada.  Tim Sr. is a registered nurse and active in the promotion of healthy, balanced lifestyles, and deeply involved in the promotion of Parkinson's issues, building awareness around Young Onset Parkinson's Disease.  Tim's message of strength and courage will leave you motivated to meet life's challenges

9:45 a.m. Displays and Refreshments

10:15 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
AMA’s Senior’s In-Vehicle Evaluation
Rick Robie, Driver Education, Consultant – Alberta Motor Association
Caroline Gee, Program Coordinator Seniors Mobility and Aging Drivers ‑ Alberta Motor Association

Driving is a primary mode of mobility among seniors in Alberta and is associated with health and well-being.  When there are changes in one’s driving ability, the impact and consequences of driving cessation can have a significant impact.  With this in mind, the Alberta Motor Association has developed a comprehensive Seniors In-Vehicle Evaluation, conducted by trained driving instructors, which can identify driving strengths, areas to improve and in some cases facilitate the discussion of the transition to stop driving.  The instructors work with the senior and/or family to provide confidential feedback of the seniors’ driving ability.  This presentation will provide an overview of the process and an opportunity to ask questions about this complex subject.

Aging - How are healthcare and community support systems going to support us as we grow older?
 Dr. Douglas Faulder, Charlene Knudsen, BScN, MEd, RN, Shawna Reid, RN, MN (student), GNC (C)
 Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network (SH SCN) 

The number of healthy Albertans living in their own homes or in supportive living environments is increasing. Albertans can transition from requiring no home supports to eventually a placement in a long term care facility. This presentation will provide an overview of key considerations for Albertans that are becoming frail and/or are encountering mild cognitive impairments. The presentation will address the importance of community, non-profit community based services, primary health care and the informal and formal healthcare system to enable Albertans to remain at home as long as possible. The presentation will outline trends in service delivery in urban and rural communities and provide an overview of the work SH SCN is involved in to better support Albertans.

10:15 a.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions
Seniors Helping Seniors: Promoting Peer Support for Seniors’ Health and Wellness
Janice Monfries, BA- Executive Director, Westend Seniors Activity Centre
Haidong Liang, PhD-Program Manager, Westend Seniors Activity Centre

Utilizing the resources of Westend Seniors Activity Centre, the Seniors Helping Seniors project trained, motivated and supported a group of Edmonton seniors as they assumed the role of peer role models to motivate other seniors to follow the same health and wellness path.

This presentation will highlight the journey of the two groups, the partnerships needed to support the project and the impacts the nutritional and physical training had on their lives.  The significance of this project lies in the potential to utilize shared resources, volunteers and your community’s senior centre in effective health-promotion and disease-prevention services that not only contribute to healthier seniors but have the potential to realize cost savings to the health care system.  Plan to attend and learn what is required for your community or organization to implement a peer support model.

 Hearing Loss:  More Than Just an Inconvenience.  Everything You Need to Know About Communicating with Seniors.
 Rytch Newmiller-Manager, Deaf and Hear Alberta
Take this opportunity to consider the daily realities of people living with hearing loss and the steps we can take to help make their lives better.  In this presentation, Deaf & Hear Alberta will identify the symptoms of common hearing and auditory disorders; provide basic information about hearing aids; discuss how assistive listening devices can help with the management of hearing loss; emphasize the importance of self-advocacy; and share coping strategies for everyone, to enable effective communication and a healthy lifestyle.

11:30 a.m. Lunch and displays

12:30 p.m. Concurrent Breakout Sessions  
The Forgotten Seniors
Monica Morrison-Executive Director, Golden Circle Seniors Resource Centre
Gordon Wright-John Howard Society

There are many seniors in our penal system who are ‘aging in place’ and will be reintegrating back into their communities.  What is available to support their health while they are incarcerated, and what supports are available when they get out?  The Golden Circle Seniors Resource Centre outreach program in Red Deer has been working with a seniors men’s group in the Bowden Penitentiary to provide insight into these issues.  Be inspired by the connections made to help with the inmate’s transitions and ‘outside the box’ learnings that could be applied in any community across Canada.

Better Choices, Better Health - A Self-Management Program for Albertans
Doris Listoe, RD, BSc - Provincial Initiatives Lead, Alberta Health Services
Erica Laycock, Bkin, CSEP-CPT - Chronic Condition Client Health Educator, Alberta Healthy Living Program, Central Zone, Alberta Health Services


People spend an average of 12 hours a year with health care providers – the rest of the time they manage their health on their own.  This presentation will illustrate how Albertans can gain the skills and tools needed to gain control of their health and wellness though the Better Choices, Better Health® self-management program developed by Stanford University.

Last year, Better Choices, Better Health® helped individuals manage their health and chronic disease through in-person workshops in over 70 communities across Alberta.  But the supports don’t end there - due to barriers like rural or remote locations, transportation issues or health conditions, the program has launched an innovative online version to help improve access for those who are not able to attend an in-person workshop.  Plan to attend and learn how these free in person and online workshops are suitable for adults who have one or more chronic conditions, their caregivers or adult family members, and for those seeking to prevent chronic disease.


Understanding Our Brain
Nicole Sherren, PhD-Scientific Director and Program Officer-Norlien Foundation
Alberta Health Services

The foundation of a healthy brain is built in the early years and is added to throughout our life. This presentation will breakdown how our brain develops, changes, and affects our lifelong health. We’ll also look at the role seniors can play in giving children the nurturing experiences they need for healthy and sturdy brain development; when we build better brains, we build a better, stronger and more involved community for everyone to enjoy.

Music Therapy For Seniors: More than Just a Sing-Song
Kathryn Daniels, BMus- Dip Music Therapy-Carewest

Many of us can appreciate the power that music has to stimulate memories, feed conversation and foster social interaction by bringing people of all ages together.   So it makes sense that music therapy activities can be particularly applicable to the geriatric population.  This session will highlight how music is used to stimulate seniors who may otherwise remain stagnant in their activity levels and provide practical examples that will engage seniors at all stages of life and through varying levels of care. 

1:45 p.m. Refreshments

2:00 p.m. GeriActors and Friends: An Introduction to Creative Aging through the Practice of Intergenerational Theatre
David Barnet, Professor Department of Drama, University of Alberta
Jacquie Eales, MSc-Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta
GeriActors and Friends

GeriActors and Friends is an intergenerational theatre company consisting of seniors from the Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton and current students and graduates from the University of Alberta.  Now in its fourteenth season, the company creates and performs original plays based on stories and issues from their lives.  This presentation will include a short performance by the GeriActors along with a discussion of the positive impact participatory arts interventions have on the health and well-being of older adults.

3:00 p.m. Closing Remarks and Door Prizes