Elder Justice Conference – Welcome and Keynote 2021

9:30 am – 10:20 am

Caregiving & In-Home Services

Hospice: A Generous Medicare GiftMiriam Hermanson, LCSW; Elevation Hospice

Participants will learn about the Medicare gift of hospice services, including when to access the resource, what is available, and rights within the service. There will also be ample time to ask questions of an experienced professional within the field.

So We’re In a Pandemic

Protecting Our Aging Population Against Loneliness & IsolationBriana C Sisofo; Utah Strong Recovery Project

COVID-19 has impacted us all, but it has also opened our eyes to problems that were already there. Discover how loneliness and isolation have affected our aging community and how simple community efforts can protect the ones we love. Prepare to open yourselves up to new ideas to help fight against loneliness and isolation among older adults.

Active & Healthy Aging

Virtual Senior Centers: Connecting Outside the Center Jene Mortensen, James Witucki, and Pauline McBride

This session will discuss the benefits of operating a virtual senior center to extend your reach to seniors who are unable to attend the physical Senior Center due to physical limits or due to schedule. A variety of formats can be used, so seniors aren’t limited to coming to the center or just connecting virtually. This session will also explore how those who teach evidence-based programs, which are often geared toward improving the health of older adults, can simplify health in order to make it a part of their lifestyle.

Preserving Independence

Rural Age-Friendly Communities: Insights from Trent UniversityElizabeth Russell; Trent University

The age-friendly movement is a comprehensive, conceptual program developed by the World Health Organization and is implemented as multi-year, collaborative community development initiatives. Aging in place, wherein older people retain independence by continuing to live in their own homes or communities, features predominantly as an age-friendly policy outcome & strategic policy direction. Notwithstanding a few exceptions, the global age-friendly literature remains mostly silent on the problem of the longer-term, sustainable implementation of age-friendly initiatives. This presentation will share insights from research conducted at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, related to both the challenges of implementing sustainable rural age-friendly programs and the opportunities. Further, insights related to service provision in aging rural communities will be shared. presenting rural insights from a multi-site case study in Ontario, Canada, that considers the influence of unique, rural community contexts that may differentially impact parameters of success and longer-term sustainability among rural age-friendly programs.

10:30am – 11:20am

Caregiving & In-Home Services

Support for Alzheimer’s & Dementia CaregiversRaven Albertson; Alzheimer’s Association, Utah Chapter

The Alzheimer’s Association has easy to access resources for dementia caregivers. Our support groups create a safe, confidential and supportive environment and a chance for participants to develop informal mutual support and social relationships. They also educate and inform participants about dementia and help to them develop methods and skills to solve problems. Our education programs cover dozens of topics, including care strategies and Alzheimer’s basics.

So We’re In a Pandemic

Taking Our Shot at Protecting Our HealthAudrey Stevenson, PhD; Salt Lake County Health Dept.

Vaccines continue to be the very best preventive measure we have for stopping the spread of communicable diseases. In this fast-paced session, you will learn about the impact of herd immunity on disease spread in the community. You will also learn the recommended vaccines to protect older adults from a variety of communicable diseases, including COVID.

Active & Healthy Aging

Welcome Home: Creating Spaces of Safety, Connection, and Engagement for Refugee SeniorsSara Jordan

Imagine leaving home, family, friends and everything familiar to relocate in a place where the climate, food, language, customs, institutions, expectations, and social status of elders may be all different. Imagine, too, that you have witnessed or experienced violence. Starting over is a dream come true, but everything is so foreign. Add normal issues of aging, and inevitable social isolation, and it can be overwhelming. The AAS Refugee Outreach program was created to help refugees access needed programs and services, to help organizations working with refugees better understand the needs of older adults, and to be part of the discussion within AAS of how to make our programs more user-friendly. In this presentation, we’ll discuss all of this, review successful strategies, and answer questions.

Preserving Independence

Identifying & Resolving Elder Financial AbuseRonald Tolman; Stagg Fiduciary Services

In this session we will begin by examining multiple cases of elder financial abuse, how they came about, and how they were exposed. Our focus will be on things that caregivers and other professional service providers might see and what they should look for. We will then discuss options for intervening in potential cases of elder financial abuse, including a discussion of government agencies and other entities that can assist. The session will wrap up with advice on things that caregivers and other interested parties can do to assist in the prevention of elder financial abuse.

11:30am – 12:20pm

Caregiving & In-Home Services

How YOU Can Serve Veterans and Their CaregiversJennifer Morgan; USU Ctr for Persons with Disabilities Janeil Esplin; Five County Area Agency on Aging

Older Veterans often do not connect to the VA for benefits. We all have heard stories of how frustrating it can be to connect to the VA. Connecting to the VA can be frustrating to you and Veterans alike and often people just give up. Older Veterans who served during war time eras often experience hearing loss – the VA covers hearing aids (Free!) So many great benefits and services available that Veterans don’t know about or how to enroll. In this session you will learn how to navigate the VA, ask the Right Question to reach those who have served in the military, and basic VA healthcare benefits. We’ve cracked the code and want to share how to tackle the VA and help your Veteran clients and their caregivers!

So We’re In a Pandemic

Realness & Resilience: Reflections from Marginalized Voices COVID-19Paul Iarrobino; Our Bold Voices

While implementing physical distancing is an essential step in reducing transmission of a deadly virus, there were unintended consequences for older adults. Members of underserved communities with pre-existing medical and behavioral health conditions struggled and with very little advocacy. Our session will explore an innovative peer-based approach for addressing isolation, anxiety, and loneliness through a virtual platform.

Active & Healthy Aging

Embrace Aging: Adaptation & Intervention for Social Isolation in Older AdultsAnne Asman; University of Utah Dept. of Psychiatry

If there is one area of older adulthood that has been exacerbated by COVID-19 it is the effects of loneliness and social isolation. So many older adults have lost loved ones who cared for them as well as being quarantined themselves for nearly a year. All of this has dramatically affected how this population views the future and how it will affect them. Embrace Aging will present evidence-based interventions and innovative ideas related to social isolation and loneliness that can and should be used to provide a more productive and enjoyable quality of life post pandemic for older adults.

Preserving Independence

The Disappearing Self: Glomming onto My Identity While Living with DementiaGerda Saunders

Ten years after my diagnosis, my memory loss has eroded my sense of “self” and reduced my independence despite the fact that I don’t yet demonstrate “obvious” external symptoms. Going “under the hood” of my and my family’s growing experience of how the disease is slowly debilitating me, I will give examples of how my memory loss has led to profound self-doubt, diminished functionality, anxiety, and other identity changes to which I—and those who love me —have to continuously adapt. I will also present examples of how the humor, understanding, and love of my husband Peter, children and grandchildren, and made-in-America family have enabled me to live joyously despite my disease.

1:30pm – 2:20pm

Caregiving & In-Home Services

Conversations & Challenging Behaviors with Dementia: Which Part is Mine?Nancy Madsen, MS, SSW, CPM; Utah DAAS

Participants in this session will be empowered with methods for effective communication with a person with dementia as well as strategies for de-escalating behaviors that can be associated with dementia. These tools along with five basic tenants in caring for a person with dementia have the potential to bring more peace to relationships.

So We’re In a Pandemic

Resources to Reduce Financial Exploitation in Your Community and A Primer on COVID-19 Scams: Perspective & Resources From the FTCKate Nance; Utah Adult Protective Services and Thomas Dahdouh; Federal Trade Commission

Elder financial abuse has been called the “Crime of the 21st Century,” and costs Utahns millions of dollars each year. The effects of financial exploitation are more than just financial and threaten the health and well-being of those who have been victimized. Learn about resources in your community to educate and support seniors, law enforcement, and prosecutors as we work together to fight financial exploitation. and Learn about scam prevention from the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency. This session will provide an intro to the many written and other resources we have to help consumers protect themselves from scams and how to report scams. We will also delve in more depth into two common types of scams — imposter scams and COVID-19 scams.

Active & Healthy Aging

Smashing the Stereotype: Using Technology to Fight Isolation Among Utah’s SeniorsKristina Raner; Five County Area Agency on Aging and Dr. Bora Lee; Utah Assistive Technology Program JoLynne Lyon; Utah Assistive Technology Program Marilyn Hammond; Utah Assistive Technology Program

The impact of COVID-19 not only changed our immediate response in how we approached engagement with older adults but also changed our overall perspective and focus as an agency. This presentation will focus on how our AAA has turned the unique challenges we all faced because of COVID-19 into an opportunity to not just adapt but identify new and improved ways of engagement for years to come. Through addressing different technologies and virtual programming that have been implemented or developed, as well as the impact we have seen this have on our older adult population, this presentation aims to educate and encourage participants to combat social isolation through embracing and incorporating virtual interaction into their service delivery now and into the future. and As the new lifestyle reflects the demand on seniors to switch their lives from in-person interaction to online platforms, the need to stay connected with loved ones becomes more vital. With many senior centers and other organizations being closed last year, many seniors and other people were left without support to be connected with their family and friends. This event will share various resources on how to stay connected and provide demonstrations on multiple apps, including how to use zoom basics to support seniors to have more meaningful online interaction.

Kristina Raner – AAA-Five County Presents – A Whole New World of Technology

Resource List Planning and Facilitating Accessible Virtual Advisory Committee Meetings:

Preserving Independence

Multidisciplinary Approach to Addressing Elder JusticeRebecca Beaumont; Utah Adult Protective Services Traci Lee; Utah Adult Protective Services

The utilization of multidisciplinary teams is an evidence-based approach to addressing the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older adults. In this session you will learn about how this approach improves outcomes for victims, ensures perpetrators are held accountable, and provides ongoing support to service providers. Participants will learn about what this collaboration looks like, how you can participate, and why it is considered a victim-centered approach to addressing the safety of our communities.

2:30pm – 3:20pm

Caregiving & In-Home Services

Caregiver Talking Points: Preventive Wellness Coaching ProgramKathy Nelson

The breakdown of caregiver wellness leads to increased stress and compassion fatigue, which puts caregivers at risk for developing behaviors that lead to the abuse and neglect of those they care for. Caregivers need preventive wellness coaching and learning programs—options that offer a simple, step by step approach to care management and survival. These programs and supportive tools also need to be flexible and mindful of caregiver schedules, learning styles, and emotional depletion. Participants will learn about a new cost-effective, flexible coaching program and how it can be implemented to support the needs of preventive caregiver wellness.

So We’re In a Pandemic

Emergency Preparedness: Managing in an Emergency Whether You Like It or Not Preston Hutchings, Russ Stoddard, and Melinda Cudney.

Between snow days, car accidents, pandemics, and even earthquakes, managing a service program for older adults can be an exciting challenge. In the world of Aging Services, disasters and emergencies are unavoidable events that we must work through. In this session, participants will learn from real-life examples of managing in an emergency and leave with practical tools for ensuring their agency is prepared for whatever comes it’s way.

Active & Healthy Aging

Physical Exercise and the Ethics of Self-Care: The Best Defense against Burn-out, Compassion Fatigue, and Overall Life StressPaige Corley

Evidence-based programs are often geared to the older adult advising participation in a regular cardio and strength routine, eating a healthy diet, and stress reduction. But how many of us actually follow the advice given in these classes? How can we be believable to our participants if we don’t follow our own advice? Learn how to simplify health in order to make it a part of your lifestyle.

Preserving Independence

Social Determinants of Health in Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Elizabeth Garcia-Leavitt, LCSW; University of Utah Dept. of Geriatrics Aging Brain Care Program

This session will discuss the current state of Dementia care in Utah. We will discuss how Dementias and Dementia care impact resources and policies state-wide. We will also discuss the role of the caregiver and the societal impact of Dementia caregiving. Participants will come away with specific resources and tools to help Dementia patients and their loved ones.