2021 Annual Aging Conference – Presenters

For those who register and attend the conference, all Video and PowerPoint presentations will be available after the conference. 

If a breakout session has handouts, they will be posted here. 

Morning Breakout Sessions:

Bridging the Gap

Kimberly C. Paul - Death by Design

This program focuses on empowering the individual (community members) to reclaim their end of life voice from the medical community. The medical community considers death a medical event; something that can be prevented. Yet, those facing a serious illness are often confronted with extended treatment that will not extend life but increase suffering and decrease quality. In a world of technology have we forgotten how to have simple conversations? Reclaiming our Voice within our disease management system we call healthcare is important to designing our life and death around what matters most. This presentation will remind us all what matters most when time is limited, teach us how conversations matters, discovering what is important in life as well as death, involving individuals that could disrupt our end of life plans, as well as provide the ultimate gift to those we love.

This Breakout Session Sponsored By:

Health Literacy - Helping Clients Understand

Hope Brooks, MPH, Ed.S., CPXP, Senior Patient Experience Consultant, Atrium Health
Saul Amezquita

This session will provide an overview of health literacy, why it's important and how it impacts work with older adults. We will explore common challenges and look at tactics that help to improve communication. 

Hope knows health care can be confusing and believes patients and family members deserve to understand their care. She helps lead health literacy strategies at Atrium Health and specializes in plain language writing and clear communication strategies. She is a Certified Patient Experience Professional through the Beryl Institute. She is also a fellow of the Health Literacy Leadership Institute at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Saul spends every day helping clear up health care. Whether it is for patients or providers, the goal is to have better care experiences. Having lived overseas, Saul is also passionate helping culturally and linguistically diverse communities find access to as well as understand their care. He is a fellow of the Health Literacy Leadership Institute at Tufts University School of Medicine.

This Breakout Session Sponsored By:

Supporting LGBT Older Adults

Sadiya Abjani, Director of Learning and Equity, SAGE Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders

This webinar provides an introduction to the specific needs and experiences of LGBT older adults. Participants will learn the definition of terms such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and others. After this introduction to useful terminology, participants will contextualize the lives of LGBT older adults through case studies and videos of real individuals, in order to understand why some LGBT older adults may choose not to come out. Finally, participants will be connected to local and national resources, and receive some best practices to integrate into their work.

SAGECare 101 - Handouts

This Breakout Session Sponsored By:

Student Loan Debt and Seniors (60+)

Lisa Terry, Director of Financial Management and Education, Financial Pathways of the Piedmont

Outstanding student loan debt is growing exponentially just as the numbers of our aging population. Federal student loan debt, if not managed, can cause financial havoc on our senior population; most critically low-income seniors. Whether it is their own debt, or debt they have obtained to send a child or grandchild to college, federal student loan debt does not disappear and the consequences can be detrimental.

This Breakout Session Sponsored By:

Early Afternoon Breakout Sessions:

Suicide Prevention in Later Life

Matthew Fullen, Ph.D., AgeWell Consulting, LLC  &  Rebecca Freeman, M.P.H., Division of Aging and Adult Services

Older adults have elevated risk of suicide, yet strategies to address suicide and its underlying causes remain underdeveloped. It is important for communities to address issues such as hopelessness, loneliness, and feeling like a burden, as well as other suicide risk factors. The presenters will discuss the state of suicide risk in later life, describe the past, present, and future impact of COVID-19, and introduce practical strategies that may be employed across the state.

Dr. Matthew Fullen is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech, and Principal at AgeWell Consulting, LLC. He holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education with an interdisciplinary specialization in Aging. Dr. Fullen's research, teaching, scholarship, and advocacy focus on the counseling needs of older adults, with an emphasis on developing programs to improve mental health & wellness among older adults. Dr. Fullen is currently funded by both public and private entities, including the Administration for Community Living, as well as The Mather Institute. As a strong believer in mental health advocacy, Dr. Fullen is actively involved in efforts to advance legislation to modernize Medicare’s mental health policies.

Rebecca Freeman is the consumer affairs program manager and legislative liaison for the NC Division of Aging and Adults Services. She works closely with the division director on special assignments, provides support to division’s advocacy groups, and chairs the division’s social isolation workgroup.

This Breakout Session Sponsored By:

Be the Delegator of Your Energy: A Mind and Body Approach to Your Day

Nicole Levine LCSW, CSW-G , Clinician and owner, Next Chapter Counseling PLLC,
Mattie Ablitz, Owner & Operator of Threshold Occupational Therapy, PLLC

As we traverse through the lifespan, individuals are often faces with the hard choice of maintaining their physical independence, or engaging in meaningful activities and interactions. This presentation will outline a mind and body approach to managing our physical and emotional energy, in order to find fulfillment in an individual’s present phase of life.

This Breakout Session Sponsored By:

Supporting Persons Living Alone with Alzheimer's and other Dementia

Michael Splaine, Splaine Consulting, Columbia MD

Persons with dementia face social isolation (even before COVID-19) through a combination of social and demographic factors. This webinar discusses what we know about these people, the precarity of their lives and describe experimental outreach and engagement techniques and programs. The webinar will include a description of a collaborative care coordination model used in Virginia to help individuals living with dementia. In particular, the focus will be on reaching individuals living alone, the challenges reaching them, and the challenges experienced by people living alone with dementia.

Michael Splaine is owner and principal in Splaine Consulting, a small advocacy and government affairs consulting firm based in Washington DC. Immediately prior to starting this company, Mike was Director of State Government Affairs in the Public Policy Division of the US Alzheimer’s Association with whom he enjoyed a 23-year career.
He is the managing partner of a related company Recruitment Partners LLC focused on improving the pace, quality and diversity of recruitment into dementia clinical trials.
Among his clients Mike is a consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association/CDC Healthy Brain Initiative and recently was the lead on behalf of the Association on its Road Map for Indian Country document and related outreach. He has also been policy adviser for Alzheimer’s Disease International and teaches dementia policy classes at two US universities. 

This Breakout Session Sponsored By:

What could possibly go wrong? - Managing the risks of volunteer engagement

William Henry, Consultant, Volunteers Insurance Service Association, Inc.

William Henry is a frequent author and presenter on the risks associated with volunteer engagement. He has presented on-site workshops and Webinars at more than 40 events for national, state and local nonprofit organizations and for associations of volunteer managers. He also creates and publishes the content for First Light Facts (www.firstlightfacts.com), an email program provided by VIS as a free subscription to help readers "start the day in a positive way." He is co-author of The Crown of Life Society, the first novel ever to address the exploitation of older persons, and family caregiving, as primary subjects.

Fundamentals of a risk management program

Insurance basics for nonprofit organizations

MVR acceptability checklist

Preventer Papers contents

Preventing acts of dishonesty by employees and volunteers

Volunteer risk management questionnaire

This Breakout Session Sponsored By:

Later Afternoon Breakout Sessions:

Homelessness, Aging and Mental Health

Dawn Lillard, RN, BSN, CDP NC Geriatric Adult Mental Health Specialty Team
Amber Phillips, MS, Gerontologist, CDP NC Geriatric Adult Mental Health Specialty Team

Many older adults are currently living in precarious housing situations. In the next 10 years, the number of elderly people experiencing homelessness in the United States will nearly triple, as a wave of baby boomers who have historically made up the largest share of the homeless population ages. Homelessness ages people at "hyperspeed"--making a homeless person who is in his/her 50s potentially have the physical characteristics of a person in their 70s. The subject of homelessness rarely is discussed in aging programs, and the subject of aging is rarely discussed in homeless programs. Let's start to remedy that by first becoming aware of the problem and then beginning to look at what both aging and homeless program scan do to contribute to solutions collaboratively.

This Breakout Session Sponsored By:

Medicaid Transformation from the Beneficiary Perspective: An Update from the NC Medicaid Ombudsman

Angeleigh Dorsey, NC Medicaid Ombudsman Program Director, Legal Aid of North Carolina
Julieanne Taylor, NC Medicaid Ombudsman Program Manger, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy

This presentation focuses on the impact of Medicaid transformation on those who receive Medicaid services. The NC Medicaid Ombudsman helps NC Medicaid and NC Health Choice beneficiaries understand the changes happening as the state moves toward Medicaid Managed Care. NC Medicaid Ombudsman staff will discuss what has worked well and what challenges beneficiaries have faced during the early months of Medicaid Managed Care. The Ombudsman will also explain how its program assists and advocates for beneficiaries in the new system, how Medicaid Managed Care impacts older adults, and will provide program updates.

This Breakout Session Sponsored By:

Who is Alexa? Tips and tricks for using the Amazon Alexa Devices

Tammy Pereboom PT, ATP, Assistive Technologist, North Carolina Assistive Technology Program

Have you heard of Amazon Alexa? Did you know she can tell you the time, weather or even nearest Italian restaurant? Did you know she can control your lights or television? Or that she can even replace your radio or alarm clock? The Amazon Alexa devices are easily available at mass marketers or online retailers at reasonable prices so selecting the perfect device to suit your needs can be overwhelming. During this presentation, a review of the different types of Alexa products along with required accessories will be discussed. Video demonstrations of the variety of tasks that can be assisted with an Amazon Alexa device will be shown. These demonstrations will include controlling television, lights, fan, thermostat, door locks as well as making phone calls or making a calendar entry, and even telling you a joke. The ways that an Amazon Alexa device can make being in your home safer will be reviewed. This will include Amazon’s program called Cares Hub. This program is designed to increase the safety of older adults and ease the mind of caregivers with features such as video drop-ins, activity feeds, and customized alerts. The privacy implications of having an Amazon Alexa device will be reviewed.

This Breakout Session Sponsored By:

Discussing both the Psychosocial and Broader Social Impacts of Covid-19 on Vulnerable Populations

Dr. Keri Revens, PhD,CHES Director of Camino Research Institute

Dr. Zinobia Bennefield, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology UNCC

Dr. Keri Revens will go into discussion of the perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccine in the broader Latino Community in and around Charlotte.  In partnership with Camino Health Center and Camino Church, Camino Research Institute leveraged existing relationships of trust in Latino communities to conduct a mixed-methods study to better understand the physical, social, emotional, and financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latino immigrants. Her findings of the study will be further discussed.

Dr. Zinobia Bennefield will discuss some broader social impacts of the pandemic. She will dive into asking some tough questions such as: why did a pandemic become a highly polarized, political issue? How did the polarization and political animus around COVID impact our most vulnerable populations? Dr. Bennefield will further discuss how an infectious disease became a social, political, educational, and economic issue, and how this disproportionately impacts aging, young, and other vulnerable populations. 

This Breakout Session Sponsored By: