“2020 Vision for Successful Aging” is Theme for NJFA’s 22nd Conference, Online Aug. 13-14

“2020 Vision for Successful Aging” is Theme for NJFA’s 22nd Conference, Online Aug. 13-14

Topics: health and caregiving, long-term care, ageism and elder abuse, the impact of climate

change on older adults, stereotypes and stigmas, government policies and senior immigrants


TRENTON, NJ (Aug. 7, 2020)—NJFA’s 22nd Annual Conference for professionals in the field of aging has been moved online this year due to COVID-19. The event, “2020 Vision for Successful Aging,” will take place on Thursday, Aug. 13, and Friday, Aug. 14, from 9 a.m. to noon ET. The conference fee is $50 for one day or $85 for both. A discount is available for county and senior center staff. NJFA is an approved provider of LNHA/CALA continuing education credits in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:34-7.3(a). This program will award LNHA/CALA, 4 credits. Social Workers are asked to contact Melissa Chalker at mchalker@njfoundationforaging.org for information about continuing education credits for social workers.


To register for the conference, visit njfoundationforaging.org.


The schedule is the same for both days: a brief welcome, the keynote address with Q&A time, a break to visit virtual exhibitors and a choice of one of two workshops, also with Q&A time.



The keynote presentation on Thursday, Aug. 13, which is sponsored by the Silver Century Foundation, is on “Health and Caregiving in the Age of Longevity.” Speaker Cynthia Hutchins is Director of Financial Gerontology, Bank of America Merrill. Hutchins earned an MA in Gerontology from the University of Southern California. She was appointed the first gerontologist at a major financial services firm in 2014. She works closely with Merrill financial advisors to provide training, education, resources and thought leadership to engage clients on such topics as aging, longevity, retirement and later-life planning. Hutchins will address the pressing need to educate, equip and empower older adults and current/future caregivers to better plan for and manage their caregiving journeys. She will outline the most common types of caregiver groups—women, spouses, adult children, long-distance caregivers, dementia caregivers, those in the LGBT community and financial caregivers—and the unique challenges they face.


The first workshop option for Aug. 13 is “Long-Term Care Trends: Settings, Challenges and Policy” with Laurie Facciarossa Brewer and Amy Brown, Esq., office of the NJ Long-Term Care Ombudsman; Gwen Orlowski, Esq., Disability Rights New Jersey, and Ryann Siclari, Esq., Central Jersey Legal Services. Presenters will discuss issues that older New Jerseyans receiving long-term care services are facing—both in institutional and community-based settings. They will also cover current advocacy trends, challenges, and anticipated policy changes, as well as offer practical tips to overcome individual and structural barriers to receiving quality long-term care services.


The second workshop option for Aug. 13 is “Confronting Ageism Head-On to Prevent Elder Abuse” with Colleen Beach, Dr. Cory Cummings, Christa Hogan, Kaitlyn Strobel and Dr. Paul Urbanski of Monmouth University, and Maria E. Aberasturi of the Bergen County Board of Social Services. Presenters will speak about the Elder Justice Roadmap, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. They’ll also share diverse experiences with confronting ageism head-on through intergenerational public-private partnerships that can be replicated—including specific examples used in education, training and public outreach.



The keynote presentation for Friday, Aug. 14, which is sponsored by the New Jersey Climate Change Resource Center at Rutgers University, is on “Creating a Vision for Successful Aging that is Supported by a Sustainable, Resilient Future.” Speakers are with the New Jersey Climate Change Resource Center at Rutgers University: Jeanne Herb, Karen Alexander, Dr. Patricia Findley and Dr. Marjorie Kaplan. Climate change is increasing temperatures, causing heavier rainfall events and raising sea level, impacting the health, welfare and economy of NJ. Though research shows that the health of all people living in the U.S. will be affected by climate change, the health of some populations, including seniors, will be affected more than others. The 65+ population is set to nearly double in the U.S. by the year 2050, and at the same time, changing climate conditions are expected to increase. Seniors, the communities that they live in and the organizations that serve them are facing a growing crisis. The presenters will review climate change trends and projections in NJ, and the specific disproportionate impact that it has on seniors. Feedback on the types of challenges faced by organizations at this conference, and older New Jerseyans, which are exacerbated by changing climate conditions, will be used to help identify the priority issues that should be addressed as part of the Climate Change Resource Center.


The first workshop option for Aug. 14 is “Addressing Stereotypes” with Dr. Katie York of Lifelong Montclair, along with Dr. Ashley Ermer and Katharine Mauro of Montclair State University. Communities can work toward becoming more age-friendly by attempting to change the culture surrounding beliefs on ageism and related stigmas. Presenters will show how intergenerational performing arts interventions may be a method to lessen age stereotypes among both the young and the old.


The second workshop option for Aug. 14 is “The Influence of Immigration Policies on the Economic Security of Aging Immigrants” with Jonnelle Rodriguez of American Friends Service Committee. There are presently more than 7 million U.S. residents who are immigrants. Despite the improvement in economic security among the senior population in the U.S. over recent years, foreign-born seniors are twice as likely to live in poverty compared to their native-born counterparts. Rodriguez will explain about the government policies that directly impact immigrant seniors’ access to programs and benefits—based on their status and date of entry into the U.S.—and how service providers can effectively help them navigate the public benefits system.


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New Jersey Foundation for Aging is the only statewide nonprofit organization focused solely on providing leadership in public policy and education to enable older adults to live with independence and dignity in their communities. In addition to its policy leadership role, NJFA produces the award-winning Aging Insights, a monthly half-hour TV program promoting dialogue on critical issues for older adults and caregivers. The show can be seen on more than 70 public-access stations and www.njfoundationforaging.org/aging-insights. NJFA also presents an annual conference offering development opportunities and best practices for professionals entrusted with caring for seniors.

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