2019 Conference Program

Revisiting Relationships: Intimate, Intergenerational, and More

This year’s theme—Relationships Revisited: Intimate, Intergenerational, and More—is intended to bring attention to relationships that are vital to any older person’s well-being. However, they are often overlooked in the lives of older people. In all of health care, sexual health often may be a taboo subject between older adults and their health care providers. Sexual intimacy is vital to well-being in all intimate relationships.  And relationships with younger adults are also vital for those of all generations, despite the deep age-segregation of our culture. There is much to be gained in expanding the connections between people of all ages – for the health and wellbeing of all. So in this conference, we seek to offer best practices for professionals and individuals to ensure that such issues of sexual health, intimacy, and positive intergenerational connections are explored. We also offer workshops on other contemporary issues and topics that relate to aging and professional practice, such as dementia friendly practices, roles of technology and creative arts in later life, and promotion of physical and mental well-being.

Download 2019 Conference Program Flyer here.

PRESENTATIONS LIST

Opening Session

Christina Pierpaoli Parker

Lovers and friends: A millennials’ thoughts on love, intimacy, and relationships in later life.

Morning Breakout

Session 1. Sally Pelon & Lihua Huang
Sexual Health Promotion in Long-term Care
Session 2. Julie Lake & Anne Larson
Healthy Aging and Intergenerational Programs
Session 3. Laura Armenta
"Generation Stew":  Finding Common Ground and Shared Knowledge in the Studio
Session 4. Karen Vander Laan
Helping Our Loved Ones Be Proactive for a Change
Session 5. Leara Glinzak & Tim Tuthill
Changing the End of the Story: Bringing Families Together Through Distress, Grief, Art Therapy and Resiliency
Session 6. Veronica Kirin
Your Grandmother Uses Technology Better Than You: How to Use Tech to Facilitate Better Relationships with Seniors

Student Research Posters

Early Afternoon Breakout

Session 7. Anna M. Hammersmith
Breaking Up and Shacking Up: Divorce and Repartnership in Later Life
Session 8. Anne Kulik & Kathlaine Moore
Breaking the Age Barrier on Friendships: The Beauty of Intergenerational Care
Session 9. Christina Pierpaoli Parker
Just Do It: Cognitive Behavioral Strategies for Promoting Healthy Sexuality with Aging
Session 10. Meri Goehring
Movement Influences Cognition: So Why Don't we MOVE more?
Session 11. Jing Chen 
Sexy and Brainy: How Do They Go Together in Aging?
Session 12. Jana Broughton
Leading Heterogeneous Teams in Senior Care Settings: What they don't teach you in Leadership 101

Mid Afternoon Breakout

Session 13. Iris Zink
Let's talk about sex: helping health care providers talk to patients about intimacy in chronic illness.
Session 14. Tricia Harney
The Evolution and Modern-Day Practices of Experiential Dementia Training
Session 15. Justine Braford & Nisha Mckenzie
Menopause, Manopause, and Redefining Sexuality
Session 16. Loretta Konecki 
Paint, Write, and Dance for Your Life
Session 17. Lihua Huang
Social Ties in the Third Place
Session 18. Chris Dondzila & Steve Glass
Currency for Retirement: Investing in Physical Capital

Closing Session

Panelists: Justine Braford, Meri Goehring, Nisha McKenzie, Christina Pierpaoli Parker, Rita Zink
Moderator: Jennifer Feuerstein
Intimacy in Later Life: What You’ve Always Wanted to Know but were Too Timid to Ask 

____________________________________________________________________________

CONFERENCE PROGRAM DETAIL

8:15 am – 9:00 am  REGISTRATION [Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall]

Pick up packets and name badges
Continental Breakfast CEU
CEU Check-In Tables [Room 119E]:

  • Social Work
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy

8:15 am – 1:15 pm  SPONSOR DISPLAYS

9:00 am – 10:30 am  OPENING SESSION

Welcome – Conference Overview and Introduction
Jennifer Feuerstein, Associate State Director, AARP MI

Conference Overview & Introduction
Dr. Priscilla Kimboko, Conference Coordinator

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION

Lovers and friends: A millennials’ thoughts on love, intimacy, and relationships in later life.

[ S, N, O]

This keynote address will provide an overview of the science of sex and intimacy with aging, drawing from the latest empirical literature on how to promote safe and satisfying sexual and intimate functioning in later life.  Developmental and biopsychosocial frameworks will contextualize changes, buffers, and risk factors associated with late life sexuality and intimacy. We will explore physical and psychological benefits of these relationships and provide practical, clinical takeaways (e.g. assertiveness training, exercise, interdisciplinary intervention, improving sleep) for promoting active, healthy sexuality and interpersonal functioning in later life.

Keynote Speaker: Christina Pierpaoli Parker MA, PhD candidate.

Christina Pierpaoli Parker, MA, PhD-c is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Clinical Geropsychology doctoral program at the University of Alabama under the co-mentorship of Drs. Forrest Scogin and Martha R. Crowther. Her research and clinical work explore the intersection of older adults’ physical and psychological health, focusing on the adjustment to and behavioral management of chronic health conditions (e.g. HIV, metabolic syndrome, osteoarthritis). Current interests include developing psychoeducational interventions for understanding, treating, and improving sexual dysfunction in later life. She has published in the Journals of Aging & Health, Sex & Marital Therapy, and The Clinical Gerontologist and presented at international conferences. She translates her academic research for Eng(aging), her widely acclaimed blog on Psychology Today, which has landed her interviews as an aging expert on The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman and The Aging Literacy Podcast with Dr. Bill Thomas. Her forthcoming book, Trixxx Aren’t Just For Kids, written with Dr. Elizabeth DiNapoli, explores the science and stories of sex in later life.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the complex biopsychosocial factors contributing to sexual functioning and risk among older adults.
  2. Understand the physical and psychological benefits of intimacy and interpersonal engagement in later life and how to promote such engagement.
  3. Acquire basic cognitive and behavioral tools with which to improve their interpersonal, physical, and psychological hygiene.

10:15 am BREAK

10:30 am MORNING WORKSHOPS

SESSION 1
Loosemore Auditorium

Sexual Health Promotion in Long-term Care
[S, N, O]

Based on the World Health Organization sexual rights framework, this workshop will shed light on sexual needs, expression, and sexual health of older adults in long-term care settings. Special attention will be paid to societal and institutional barriers of sexual well-being and intimacy of older adults in long-term care settings. It will carefully examine best practice that supports safe and healthy sexual expression and relationships in long-term care settings. Gaps in research and practice guidelines in sexual well-being among community-dwelling older adults will be discussed.

Presenters: Sally Pelon, PhD, Assistant Professor, Grand Valley State University; Lihua Huang, PhD, Associate Professor, Grand Valley State University

Dr. Pelon teaches at GVSU in the School of Social Work. Her area of study includes hospice care and end of life. Dr. Pelon worked in hospice and end-of-life care for a number of years. She teaches policy, research, and interprofessional patient centered care for people living with chronic illness.

Dr. Huang is currently an associate professor at Grand Valley State University, School of Social Work. She has extensive teaching and research experience in domestic and international settings. Her research concentrates on gerontology, immigration and refugee, women and gender issues, and social work education.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Gain better understanding of sexuality in later life.
  2. Attain greater insights of sexual needs and expression of older adults in long-term care settings.
  3. Critically examine interventions and practices that interfere with sexual well-being of older adults in long-term care setting and their impact on intimacy and health in later life.
  4. Build skills for sexual rights-oriented interventions and practices to promote sexual health in long-term care settings.

SESSION 2
Room 111D

Healthy Aging and Intergenerational Programs

[ S, N, O]

This session will focus on some local examples of volunteerism and intergenerational programs, pairing older adults and youth. You will learn more about how these programs bring multiple generations together and the health benefits for all those involved. In addition to intergenerational programs, participants will learn how volunteerism among peers also contributes to healthy aging. This session will help participants understand how future generations can help dispel the myths and stereotypes of aging.

Presenters: Julie Lake, MPA, CTRS, BS Therapeutic Recreation, Health and Wellness Coordinator at Senior Neighbors; Anne Larson, BAA, Senior Companion Program Supervisor

Julie Lake, MPA, CTRS, has worked in the field of aging for 20 years. In her current position at Senior Neighbors she coordinates evidence-based health promotion programs for older adults in Kent County. She has extensive experience coordinating and facilitating the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, Chronic Disease Self-Management / Diabetes Self- Management (locally known as PATH), EnhanceFitness, Life Reimagined, A Matter of Balance, and Healthy Eating for Successful Living in Older Adults as both a leader and a Master Trainer. Julie was the developer and now project coordinator of the Senior Odyssey of Michigan program. She is involved with many different community collaborations addressing health and wellness among older adults.   Previously Julie spent 8 years working in the recreational therapy department of a skilled nursing facility. Her skilled nursing experience includes being the Director of Recreational Therapy where she worked with subacute rehab patients as well as long term care residents. Julie has presented widely on recreational therapy and health promotion in aging services. She is also a co-author of Innovations: A Recreational Therapy Approach to Restorative Programs for Skilled Nursing Facilities. Julie received the WGVU I HAVE Made a Difference Award in the category of Health in 2018.

Anne Larson received her Bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University. She served 10 years as an on air radio DJ, as well as part owner of Larson Photography for 10 years. Currently, she is in her 9th year as the Supervisor of Senior Neighbors Senior Companion Program.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify how keeping active and engaged benefits one's health.
  2. Identify the benefits of intergenerational programming and peer to peer support.
  3. Identify ways to be a part of relationship building programs in their communities.
  4. Learn about some local volunteer and intergenerational programs. 

SESSION 3
Room 109D

"Generation Stew":  Finding Common Ground and Shared Knowledge in the Studio

[S, N, O]

This workshop includes interactive exercises to encourage positive conversations across generations. We will share observations and expectations, from various generation points of view, on topics such as work ethics, sexuality, health and more.

Presenter: Laura Armenta, BFAH (Bachelor’s Fine Arts and Humanities -Contemporary Dance/Choreography), Holistic Movement Expert at Armentality Movement Arts Center, Dance Anthropology, Yoga Practitioner (Certifications, Thai-Yoga Therapy Practitioner, Ayurvedic Medicine Consultant, Martial Arts Practitioner), Podcaster: "Generation Stew"

Ms. Armenta is a Mexican-born performing artist, adventurous entrepreneur, educator, wellness coach, and holistic practitioner. As an expert on movement, both individual and artistic, she explores her skills and passions through her many endeavors: as the founder and artistic director of Laura Armenta Dance Company, owner of Armentality Movement Arts Center, and faculty member at GVSU. Her professional experience allows her to combine dance with various holistic disciplines, whether on stage, in the studio, or in the classroom. It has also driven her growth and expertise as an ethnochoreologist. Laura has been a devoted yogini since 1991 and has served the residents of Grand Rapids since 1999, bringing Armentality to schools, non-profits, and the community at large. In a few words, Laura Armenta is a visionary, multi-skilled dancer, choreographer, healthy living enthusiast, and master teacher for more than 25 years. It is these qualities that make up Armentality. A belief, a philosophy, a way of living.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Appreciate similarities and different skills from individuals that belong to a different generation group.
  2. Erase or diminish misconceptions about generational differences.
  3. Identify ways to foster more generational mix and dialogue in programs, activities offered or in which one participates, as well as in the workplace and professional interactions.

SESSION 4
Room 138E

Helping Our Loved Ones Be Proactive for a Change

[S, N, O]

The workshop will begin with a discussion of surprise changes seen in family and friends that often cause their loved ones to react.  What if there are ways that would help you (and others) be proactive and not reactive when things are changing?  A change model will be introduced and practical tools will be discussed as a strategy for each common barrier to change:  Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement.  Participants will create an individual plan to proactively address needed changes for others and themselves.

Presenter: Karen Vander Laan, PhD, MSN, RN, Consultant

Dr. Vander Laan brings 33 years of professional nursing experience to her current role as a consultant “working for a change.” Her practice roles as a critical care staff nurse, nurse educator, regional burn center nurse manager, clinical nurse specialist for neuroscience, orthopedic, and surgery patients, senior nurse researcher, ethics consultant, and nurse advocate provide a strong interprofessional foundation for interacting with clients, their family members, and their health care team members.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Appraise a model of barriers to change.
  2. Explore practical strategies to overcome barriers to change.
  3. Create a plan to proactively address needed changes.

SESSION 5
Room 136E

Changing the End of the Story: Bringing Families Together Through Distress, Grief, Art Therapy and Resiliency

[S, N, O]

When a loved one has a diagnosis of dementia this can have direct and indirect effects on family adaptation affecting family relationships including communication process, stress, challenges in belief systems, organization and social support. With a loved one’s behavior changes as a result of dementia can have a more direct negative impact on the influence of family relationships, (Kim, Lim, et.al, 2017). Practicing and integrating resiliency can better enhance the family’s adjustments and adaptations (Deist & Greeff, 2015). Creativity can bring families closer for better communication, processing distress, better connect with others (Ehresman, 2014)  and art therapy is shown to work through blocks such as sadness and anger (Fehlner, 1996) and through creativity can practice resiliency to better chance relationships (Hass Cohen & Findlay, 2015). This presentation will demonstrate how dementia has negatively impacted family relationships and through Art Therapy was able to improve family relationships.

Presenters: Leara Glinzak ATR, MSAT, Registered Art Therapist, Master of Science in Art Therapy with a Concentration in Counseling; Tim Tuthill MDiv, MSW, Director of Pastoral Care, First United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids

Leara Glinzak is the Owner and Art Therapist in her private practice, I Light LLC in Grand Rapids and comes with 10 years of experience she is a Nationally Registered Art Therapist with a Master of Science in Art Therapy with a Concentration in Counseling. She has published research in the peer reviewed Journal of the American Art Therapy Association and has been a presenter and workshop facilitator on topics surrounding Dementia nationally and locally some including the National Conference of the American Art Therapy Association, Leading Age, and Mount Mary Symposium.

Tim Tuthill has worked in multiple settings with older adults in home, community and residential settings. His approach is to work alongside of people, centering on their human need to find meaning and purpose in the face of life changes and circumstances. He holds a M.Div. from Southern Methodist University and an MSW from MSU.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify reasons and discuss why Dementia plays a role in negatively impacting family relationships.
  2. Learn why healthy relationships are important at a time of experiencing losses for all of those affected by Dementia, love one and caregivers.
  3. Discuss and be able to apply the example case studies as applicable to their own professional or personal situations to create more healthy family dynamics.

SESSION 6                                                                                                    
Room 117E

Your Grandmother Uses Technology Better Than You: How to Use Tech to Facilitate Better Relationships with Seniors

[S, O]

Our elders aren’t tech resistant because they can’t learn it. Rather, they are very intentional as to when they leverage the benefits of technology. As a result, their relationships (both personal and in work) are deeper and longer-lasting. On the other hand, millennials are known to leverage technology for everything from creating snazzy slide decks and managing workflows to ordering food, rides, and even dates. In this session, I use my personal experience driving 12,000 miles across America to interview 100 people born between 1911-1945 (the Greatest Generation) and subsequently writing my book, Stories of Elders:  What the Greatest Generation Knows about Technology that You Don’t to illuminate when and how to use technology to enhance communication, relationships, workplace performance, and overall life satisfaction. This session incorporates the insights and experiences of a millennial on the issues of technologies impacts on older adults and ways to relate to the older generation.

Presenter: Veronica Kirin, BA in Anthropology; Author

Veronica Kirin is an entrepreneur and author of Stories of Elders:  What the Greatest Generation Knows about Technology that You Do. She has spoken at conferences and events across the United States.  She was named by Forbes as one of five notable graduates of Grand Valley State University, has been recognized as the founder of a Top Women Owned Business and 40 Under 40 Business Leader, and is the first business in Grand Rapids to be certified by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Know how elders are using technology.
  2. Be more intentional with technology in their own lives.
  3. Be able to facilitate intergenerational communication within work and personal relationships.

11:15 am STUDENT RESEARCH POSTERS                                      
West Hallway, DEV E

Poster 1.

Presenters: Katelyn Anthony, Bachelors, Biomedical Sciences; Mark Cunningham, Bachelors, Cell & Molecular Biology

Research Advisor:    Dr. Sok Kean Khoo, Associate Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology

MicroRNAs in Urine as Detection Biomarkers for Parkinson’s Disease

The diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is based on subjective observation of motor symptoms, which occur after 50-70% of a patient’s dopaminergic neurons are lost. It is therefore imperative that all biological biomarker options be tested in the hopes of finding a clinical tool to aid and quicken diagnosis. MicroRNAs are small RNAs that regulate gene expression by binding to the 3’-UTR of messenger RNA. Using Firefly Microparticle Technology, we examined expression of 65 target microRNAs which are neurology-related. We found nine microRNAs in urine that can differentiate PD from healthy controls.

Poster 2.

Presenters: Alysha Burd, Bachelors, Psychology; Rebecca Saur, Bachelors, Psychology

Research Advisor: Dr. Jing Chen, Associate Professor, Psychology

Promoting Intergenerational Connections: A Real-Life Approach to the Classroom

Loneliness is a prevalent problem among older adults (e.g. Sorkin, Rook, and Lu, 2002). In this presentation, we will briefly review the literature on the health, emotional, and psychological consequences of loneliness in adults. Following this, we will present a proposal designed to reduce loneliness experienced by older adults in West Michigan. Specifically, this program includes implementing a service learning course at Grand Valley State University devised to teach students about the aging process through traditional lecture and first-hand experience by visiting local nursing homes. This will address the epidemic of loneliness in older adults, as well as college students.

Poster 3.

Presenter: Ashleigh Harrah, Bachelors, Cell and Molecular Biology/ Biomedical Sciences 

Research Advisor: Dr. Sok Kean Khoo, Associate Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology    

MicroRNA-34b and 34c as disease progression biomarkers for Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder where patients have decreased levels of dopamine due to aggregation of alpha-synuclein (a-Syn) protein in neurons.  MicroRNAs are small molecules that bind to complementary messenger RNA to regulate protein expression. miRNA34b/c are known to bind to a-Syn protein. Here, we used qRT-PCR to evaluate miRNA34b/c expression in sera of fast and slow progression PD patients.  We showed fast progressors have significantly higher miRNA34b/c expression than slow progressors at the time of diagnosis/baseline. Additionally, slow progressors have significantly lower miRNA34b/c expression at baseline compared to 12-24 months of disease progression. Thus, miRNA34b/c may serve as blood-based biomarkers to differentiate and track progression of PD.

Poster 4.

Presenter: Jack Kelly, Bachelors, Psychology, Philosophy

Research Advisor:    Dr. Jing Chen, Associate Professor, Psychology

Bridging the Generational Gap on a Virtual Platform

The disconnect in terms of technology between youth and the elderly is a major problem in intergenerational relationships. In this presentation, I will propose programs that can potentially bridge the intergenerational gap we see today with a virtual platform by involving young people helping increase older adults’ understanding of technology.

Poster 5.

Presenter: Rachel Lawson, Bachelors, Psychology

Research Advisor:  Dr, Jing Chen, Associate Professor, Psychology

Social Participation Through Volunteerism: Bridging the Gap Between Generations via Befriending and Mentorship Programs

Human connection in the way of friendships is valuable in preventing loneliness, isolation, and depression. As adults age, they are at higher risk for losing some of our previous connections. Thus, social participation through volunteerism becomes key in increasing social interaction, fostering friendships, and decreasing the risk of older adults to developing such conditions. In this presentation, I will propose a volunteer program that focuses on fostering intergenerational mentorship. This program will create opportunities for young and older adults to form meaningful bonds and hopefully have long-lasting positive impacts on both young and older generations.

Poster 6.

Presenters: Kaitlyn Mulvey, Bachelors, Therapeutic Recreation; Christine Roudebush, Bachelors, Therapeutic Recreation

Research Advisor:  Dr. Dawn DeVries, Associate Professor, Therapeutic Recreation

The Sandwich Generation: How Therapeutic Recreation Can Help Caregivers Combat Stress

Caregivers within the sandwich generation experience increased stress as a result of being caught between the demands of caring for two generations: young minors and aging parents.  In addition to providing care to others, sandwiched caregivers must find time for self-care given their susceptibility to anxiety, depression, and other health concerns.  However, little research has been conducted regarding successful interventions to help this population find balance.  Therapeutic Recreation, which uses leisure as a method for developing coping skills, is fit to serve the needs of sandwiched caregivers given their increased risk for stress-related illnesses and decreased leisure participation.

Poster 7.

Presenters:  Gage Paul, Bachelors, Biomedical Sciences;  Diego Flores, Bachelors, Cell Molecular Biology

Research Advisor:    Dr.  Sok Kean Khoo, Associate Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology

Beta-synuclein as treatment for Parkinson’s symptoms

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Another hallmark of PD is alpha-synuclein (α-syn) protein aggregates in the brain, known as Lewy bodies. Lewy bodies can be targeted by beta-synuclein (β-syn), a protein homolog that reduces α-syn aggregation in vitro. In fruit flies, α-syn can be expressed within its nervous system by inserting human α-syn gene into its genome. Flies will be fed β-syn peptide in a dose dependent and controlled environment. Using β-syn to treat PD symptoms in fly may lead to development of novel treatment for PD.

Poster 8.

Presenter: Macie Weiland, Cell & Molecular Biology (joint BS/MS graduate)

Research Advisor:    Dr. Sok Kean Khoo, Associate Professor, Cell and Molecular Biology

Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2)-related microRNAs as progression biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD), the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, is known to progress at different rates in patients. Currently, there is no objective method to track and stratify the progression of PD patients. Thus, it is essential to identify PD progression biomarkers to better monitor the patients.  MicroRNAs are small molecules that regulate gene expression and can reflect pathological status specific diseases.  Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) is a gene involved in the pathogenesis of PD.  Here, two LRRK2-related microRNAs, miR-29a and miR-29c, are evaluated in serum with the aim to differentiate slow from fast PD progressors.

Poster 9.

Presenters: Sidney Weaver, Bachelors, Biomedical Sciences, Paige Matusiak, Bachelors, Biomedical Sciences; Yousif Slim, Bachelors, Biomedical Sciences; Calley Gooch, Bachelors, Biomedical Sciences

Research Advisor: Dr. John Capodilupo, Professor, Biomedical Sciences

Investigation into the cellular processes of GAP-43 protein and association with learning and memory in Alzheimer’s disease

Past efforts to identify biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease have largely focused on investigating the role of beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.  Our focus is to extract and isolate the phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated isoforms of GAP-43, a growth associated protein widely expressed in neurons. Previous findings have demonstrated that the phosphorylated isoform is indicative of learning and memory formation. We believe that the relative ratio of these two isoforms may serve as a potential biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease. We are currently trying to enhance resolution of GAP-43 isoforms by altering our 1D and 2D-SDS-PAGE techniques.

Poster 10.

Presenter: Jamesha Tiner, Masters, Health Administration

Research Advisor:    Dr. Priscilla Kimboko, Professor, Health Administration and Aging

The Value of Social Activity, Leisure Activity, Therapeutic Recreation, and/or Recreational Activity for Older Adults

As the older adult population continues to increase, individually older adults will face changes (physically, psychologically, mentally, socially, etc.) that will place a challenge on their sense of acceptance and capacity to live a fulfilling life. Enhancing the life of an older adult goes beyond providing them with appropriate medical care, nevertheless, there are other care measures and/or activities that are substantially important. There has been a growing emphasis on quantity of care versus quality of care and how activities promote health in the life of the elderly. Social activity, leisure activity, therapeutic recreation, and/or recreational activity is good for the human being, regardless of age.

11:45 am-1:00 pm  LUNCHEON [Gordon Gallery, Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall, University Club]

1:00 pm   EARLY AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS

SESSION 7                                                                                                    
Room 117E

Breaking Up and Shacking Up: Divorce and Repartnership in Later Life

[S, N, O]

Divorce rates have doubled for people 50 and older between 1990 and 2010 (Brown & Lin, 2012), leaving many older adults single. Although many remain single, some of these older people may choose to repartner through either remarriage or cohabitation (Brown, Lin, Hammersmith, & Wright, 2018). Today, gray divorce and repartnership play and increasingly prominent role in the lives of older people, often relating to changes in one’s finances, health, as well as close social relationships, like those with adult children. This workshop will explore recent trends in gray divorce as well as repartnership and the potential consequences of these changes in marital behavior.

Presenter: Anna M. Hammersmith PhD, Assistant Professor, GVSU

Dr. Hammersmith graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2018 with a PhD in Sociology and a minor in Quantitative Methods. Her areas of specialization are aging and families, parent’s relationships with their adult children, caregiving, as well as union dissolution and formation in later life.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the recent trends related to divorce later in life (gray divorce) and repartnership.
  2. Identify the correlates/predictors of gray divorce and repartnership.
  3. Understand potential consequences related to gray divorce and repartnership.
  4. Extrapolate the possible ramifications of the increased prevalence of gray divorce and repartnership for career practitioners when working with and/or treating older people.

SESSION 8                                                                                                    
Room 109D

Breaking the Age Barrier on Friendships: The Beauty of Intergenerational Care

[S, N, O]

The session will inform attendees on how an intergenerational center operates in the city of Grand Rapids. The content will dive into what a typical day looks like for our participants. As well as, focusing on the positive outcomes we see using an intergenerational model for both children and the older population. As a growing program, we will inform the audience on what we have learned in the process and what we hope to see in the future.

Presenters: Anne Kulik, M.P.H, B.S, Senior Wing Program Director at Bethlehem Intergenerational Center; Kathlaine Moore, Bachelor’s Degree, Early Childhood Program Director  Early Childhood Program Director at Bethlehem Intergenerational Center

Anne Kulik has experience working with older individuals on a personal level and on a professional level. She works for Bethlehem Intergenerational Center as Senior Wing Program Director. During her time at the center, she has continued her education in the field of intergenerational care.

Kathlaine Moore received her Bachelor's Degree in child development from Central Michigan University. She has 12 years of experience in the early childhood field. During that time she has worked with infants and toddlers, preschool, and school age children. As the early childhood program director at the Bethlehem Intergenerational Center, she has experience working with children on a personal and professional level. During her time at the center, she continues education in the field of intergenerational care.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand intergenerational care.
  2. Understand how an intergenerational center operates in Grand Rapids.
  3. List some key lessons learned in creating this model of care.

SESSION 9                                                                                                    
Room 136E

Just Do It: Cognitive Behavioral Strategies for Promoting Healthy Sexuality with Aging

[S, N, O]

Attitudes and beliefs towards aging and sexuality play a major role in aging and sexual functioning through a series of behaviorally-mediated processes. This workshop will deconstruct the contribution(s) of thoughts and attitudes toward sex, aging, and health in maintaining (dys)functional health and sexual health behaviors in later life. Cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavioral techniques— including cognitive reframing, opposite action, and behavioral activation--- coupled with evidence-based lifestyle interventions (for sleep, exercise, and diet) will culminate in an integrative, biopsychosocial analysis of later life sexual functioning and ways of managing its changes.

Presenter: Christina Pierpaoli Parker, MA, PhD candidate.

Christina Pierpaoli Parker, MA, PhD-c is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Clinical Geropsychology doctoral program at the University of Alabama under the co-mentorship of Drs. Forrest Scogin and Martha R. Crowther. Her research and clinical work explore the intersection of older adults’ physical and psychological health, focusing on the adjustment to and behavioral management of chronic health conditions (e.g. HIV, metabolic syndrome, osteoarthritis). Current interests include developing psychoeducational interventions for understanding, treating, and improving sexual dysfunction in later life. She has published in the Journals of Aging & Health, Sex & Marital Therapy, and The Clinical Gerontologist and presented at international conferences. She translates her academic research for Eng(aging), her widely acclaimed blog on Psychology Today, which has landed her interviews as an aging expert on The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman and The Aging Literacy Podcast with Dr. Bill Thomas. Her forthcoming book, Trixxx Aren’t Just For Kids, written with Dr. Elizabeth DiNapoli, explores the science and stories of sex in later life.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the complex biopsychosocial factors contributing to sexual functioning with aging.
  2. Understand the connections between psychological, physical, and sexual health in later life.
  3. Acquire basic cognitive and behavioral tools with which to improve their general and sexual health.
  4. Learn strategies for increasing sexual communication, self-efficacy, and safety.

SESSION 10                                                                                                  
Room 111D

Movement Influences Cognition: So Why Don't we MOVE more?

[S, N, O ]

This workshop will provide information regarding the recent evidence on how movement influences cognition in the older adult. It will also review evidence on the most common barriers to exercise encountered by older adults and how to help individuals overcome these barriers.

Presenter: Meri Goehring Associate Professor of Physical Therapy PhD, PT, GVSU

Dr. Meri Goehring is a physical therapist and Board Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as well as a Certified Expert for the Aging Adult. She is an associate professor and associate chair of the Grand Valley State University Department of Physical Therapy in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She remains clinically active working primarily in adult rehabilitation. She currently performs research in the area of fall prevention.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand how cognition changes with aging. 
  2. Describe how movement can influence cognition.
  3. Understand the common barriers to movement encountered by older adults and how these may be overcome.

SESSION 11
Room 138E

Sexy and Brainy: How Do They Go Together in Aging?

[S, N, O]

Life expectancy has dramatically increased over the last century. As people are enjoying longer lives, a growing number of issues, such as sexual activity and its impact on psychological functions, begin to emerge and need to be addressed. In this talk, I will review some recent research that have investigated the relationship between sexual activity and cognitive functions and discuss possible mechanisms that may drive the direction of this relationship in the aging process.

Presenter: Jing Chen, PHD, Associate Professor of Psychology, GVSU

Dr. Chen is an associate professor of psychology at GVSU.  She earned her Ph.D. in experimental psychology /cognitive aging from Washington University.  Her recent research focuses on factors that may affect developmental outcomes. She teaches courses on development including Perspectives on Aging and Lifespan Developmental Psychology.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Learn recent research studies that investigate the relationship between sexual activity and cognitive functions in late adulthood.
  2. Learn the research that explores how sex hormones may influence older adults’ cognitive functions.
  3. Understand the problems and issues that remain to be addressed in future research regarding the role of sexual activity in older adults’ cognitive functions.

SESSION 12                                                                          
Loosemore Auditorium

Leading Heterogeneous Teams in Senior Care Settings: What they don't teach you in Leadership 101

[S, N, O]

Working with complex teams is challenging for any leader. In senior living environments, your team members offer the unique challenge of being so very different in many aspects.  This program will help you as a leader to recognize the communication skills needed to motivate, direct and create successful outcomes of each member and to get the team focused and working toward the same goal of serving seniors.

Presenter: Jana Broughton, M.A., B.A., Executive Director, Samaritas Senior Living, GR

Jana Broughton Jana has over 25 years of experience as a leader in senior care communities and aging services.  She is a passionate advocate for seniors and has a personal educational and research interest in building cross functional teams; understanding adult learning and training future leaders in aging services.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand what a heterogeneous team is.
  2. Identify four barriers to team communication and how to navigate them. 
  3. Recognize different styles of team motivation and when to use them.

2:00 pm BREAK

2:15 pm MID AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS

SESSION 13                                                                          
Loosemore Auditorium

Let's talk about sex: helping health care providers talk to patients about intimacy in chronic illness.

[S, N, O]

Defining why talking about intimacy is important and that every single illness affects one sex life. Defining intimacy and how sex changes through the lifespan, helping normalize the topic of sex and intimacy. Briefly discusses top 10 myths of intimacy. Discuss gender/transgender sensitive issues.

Presenter: Iris Zink Certified Rheumatology Nurse Practitioner MSN, ANP-BC, RN-BC

Iris Zink has been a rheumatology Nurse Practitioner for 18 years. She is the immediate past president of the Rheumatology Nurses Society where she was president from 2015 to 2017. She has traveled extensively lecturing on a variety of topics pertaining to arthritis, women and autoimmune disease, laughter for healing and intimacy and chronic disease. She has published many times on topics about patient care and intimacy. She co-authored the chapters on HIV and arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Ehlers Danlos Hypermobility syndrome in Core Curriculum Rheumatology Nursing Text.
She is adjunct faculty at Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University and a passionate teacher, lecturer and caregiver. In 2016 Iris opened the first Nurse Practitioner run early arthritis clinic in Michigan to provide access to care for those individuals who are underinsured or uninsured. In 2017 she was honored to receive the Lupus Foundation of America’s Inspirational award for coining PJ day which will occur every May 2nd to raise money and awareness for Lupus.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Define why talking about intimacy is important and that every single illness affects one sex life.
  2. Define intimacy and how sex changes through the lifespan, helping normalize the topic of sex and intimacy.
  3. Briefly discusses top 10 myths of intimacy.
  4. Discuss gender/transgender sensitive issues.

SESSION 14                                                                                                  
Room 138E

The Evolution and Modern-Day Practices of Experiential Dementia Training

[S, N, O]

Modern-day dementia training engages technology and virtual-experience that can sensitize a de-sensitized caregiver while enhancing their knowledge.  Learn how experiential dementia training improves dementia care by sparking caregiver empathy and sense of connection to those in their care.

Presenter: Tricia Harney, MA, MBA, BS, Director of Operations, Senior Helpers GR

Tricia Harney graduated from Wayne State University in Therapeutic Recreation; migrating from Therapeutic Recreation Specialist in Skilled Nursing Facilities to an MBA with Operations and Marketing experience in Hospice, AL and Home Care industries over 25+ years in eldercare.  Originated award-winning "Art in the Garden" experiential art program for SNF and AL residents.  Currently a Certified Teepa Snow Senior Gems Dementia Training instructor.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify dementia characteristics and demographics.
  2. Gain an understanding of the evolutionary practice of experiential dementia training.
  3. Identify elements of modern-day experiential dementia training and the application of technology in Virtual Reality-based (VR-based) dementia training.
  4. Identify three external training resources available for organizational use and adaptation.

SESSION 15
Room 136E

Menopause, Manopause, and Redefining Sexuality

[S, N, O]

Sexuality inevitably changes as we age. We will describe the physiologic and psychologic changes that can affect sexuality and relationship. In that, we will also outline evidence based interventions for helping our patients/clients utilize those changes to enhance their sexual satisfaction and improve overall well-being.

Presenters: Justine Braford, BS, LMSW, CST (Certified Sex Therapist), Owner, Grand Rapids Specialty Therapy; Nisha Mckenzie, PA-C, Certified Sexuality Counselor, ISSWSH Fellow, PA-C, Director at Center for Women's Sexual Health and Grand Rapids OB/GYN

Justine Braford is founder and co-owner of Grand Rapids Specialty Therapy in Grand Rapids, MI. She is an AASECT certified sexuality therapist who has dedicated her career to helping individuals and couples find peace and joy in their sex lives while honoring the idea that this is unique for everyone.

Nisha Mckenzie PA-C, Certified Sexuality Counselor, ISSWSH Fellow, is the founder and director of the Center for Women’s Sexual Health in Grand Rapids, MI. She is an AASECT certified sexuality counselor and teaches in the University of Michigan Sexual Health Program as well as in the GVSU PA Program. She speaks at medical and therapy conferences across the country with a dedication to helping providers understand how to better include sexual health into general health.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the physiologic changes in vaginal tissue that affect sexuality during menopause.
  2. Identify the hormones that are altered during midlife transitions and how those affect health and wellness.
  3. Identify and assess common sexual functioning difficulties in aging and ways to re-frame the problem using a strengths-based approach.
  4. Identify specific ways in which aging individuals and couples can create a broader sexual repertoire to build resiliency within their sex life.

SESSION 16                                                                                                  
Room 117E

Paint, Write, and Dance for Your Life

[N, O]

Participating in creative activities such as drawing, painting, crocheting, writing poetry, writing life stories or novels, dancing, and making things have been found to promote higher levels of cognitive functioning, lower rates of limitations to daily physical functioning, and lower rates of hypertension. This session will provide participants with an opportunity to do a few creative activities, as well as, hear a personal story of how creative activities have aided one retiree to maintain a positive quality of life.

Presenter:

Loretta Konecki, Ph.D., M.A.T., B.A. Retired Professor of Curriculum and Education

Six months after I retired, I had breast cancer in both breasts. At Gilda's Club I learned the importance of nutrition, activity, positive social relationships and creativity in healing and well-being. I took my first art and poetry classes. Since then I have taken up drawing, painting, crocheting, writing poetry, writing novels, going to lunch with old and new friends, and attending concerts and plays.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the role creativity has in supporting a quality of life in older adults.
  2. Identify the health and social benefits of creative activities for older adults.
  3. Carry out possible creative activities with older adults.

SESSION 17                                                                                                  
Room 109D

Social Ties in the Third Place

[S, N, O]

The theory of Third Place identifies informal public or semi-public social gatherings as the third place after older adults’ home and long-term care facilities. It asserts that the third places play a crucial role in health and well-being in community-dwelling older adults. Empirical evidence suggests relationships built in third places might be associated with better health outcomes, which lead to no or lower rates of institutionalization or delay in institutionalization. Examples of third places can be coffee shops, bookstores, church, parks, and senior centers. Using senior centers as a case study of the Third Place, this workshop examines how senior centers provide mechanisms not only decreasing the risk of isolation and depression among older adults, increasing social connectedness, but also improving global health of participants through nutrition, social learning, health literacy, and physical activities.

Presenter: Lihua Huang, PhD, Associate Professor, GVSU

Dr. Huang, is currently an associate professor at Grand Valley State University, School of Social Work. She has extensive teaching and research experience in domestic and international settings. Her research concentrates on gerontology, immigration and refugee, women and gender issues, and social work education.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe and interpret the theory of Third Place in later life.
  2. Understand the impact of the Third Place on community-dwelling older adults, based on empirically approved positive associations between the Third Place and social relationships.
  3. Examine organic and professional-induced third places and their health effects through case studies.
  4. Apply practical knowledge of the Third Place as a prevention approach into social relationship building in older adults.

SESSION 18                                                                                                  
Room 111D

Currency for Retirement: Investing in Physical Capital

[N, O]

When it comes to planning for retirement and the years that follow, most people focus on finances. Optimizing your physical health is equally important as you enter this next phase of life to afford you the ability to do what you like!  Physical activity and exercise are an important aspect of improving your physical capabilities, maintaining it through the future, and even “turning back the aging clock” to make you feel decades younger.  Today’s culture often focuses on specific activities aimed at younger populations, leaving the aging population feel left out.  This presentation will assist individuals to apply concepts of exercise presented to younger generations and how it applies to those approaching retirement and beyond.

Presenters: Chris Dondzila, PhD, Assistant Professor, GVSU; Steve Glass, PhD, Professor, Exercise Science, GVSU

Dr. Dondzila is an assistant professor in the Movement Science Department at GVSU.  He teaches courses that examine how physical activity/exercise can enhance the human body’s functioning and reduce the impact of chronic diseases.  His research interests include the relationship between physical activity and health in older adults, mediating factors to exercise behavior, and physical activity measurement technologies.

Dr. Glass has been at Grand Valley since 2003, having started the exercise science program as well as serving across campus in various administrative roles. His research interests are in exercise programming, muscle activation studies and using perception of effort as a tool to design exercise programs. He is an avid exerciser and competes in ballroom dancing with his wife.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session participants will be able to:

  1. Learn how to create a more physically active environment.
  2. Learn how muscles change with age, and learn appropriate training to offset muscle loss.
  3. Learn the potential to improve their overall health and physical well-being (it is never too late!).

3:15 pm  BREAK

3:30 pm  CLOSING SESSION                                                 
Loosemore Auditorium

Intimacy in Later Life: What You’ve Always Wanted to Know but were Too Timid to Ask

[S, N, O]

Late life sexuality, and the tools to optimize it in older adulthood, receives little attention. Even health care and social service professionals rarely broach these topics, often for a host of complicated reasons stemming from discomfort, lack of knowledge or training, and ageism—or their combination. As a consequence, many older adults sense that they do not have social or clinical spaces in which to share and process “taboo” concerns about their sexual functioning and real needs for intimacy. These stymied sexual health conversations contribute to negative health outcomes among older adults, including depression, decreased quality of life, undetected or untreated sexually transmitted diseases, and reduced sexual satisfaction. 

This session will elicit some of those unspoken questions in its aims to educate both professionals and older adults about the contributions of safe, satisfying, and healthy sexuality to global wellness in later life. Thus, in this closing session, participants will have an opportunity to anonymously ask expert panelists any outstanding questions about late life sexuality and intimacy. Participants will deposit their questions into a box throughout the conference to facilitate this. An interactive session, the panel’s moderator will pose these questions to the panelists— five experts in aging and sexuality—who hosted more focused sessions earlier in the conference. Neither the moderator nor the panelists will reveal participants’ names for any reason, at any time, to promote candor. Answers are not intended to substitute for consultation with your own medical doctor.

These topics of later life sexuality and tools to achieve sexual health and intimacy are rarely discussed openly. Even health care and social service professionals rarely broach these topics. As a result, many older adults suffer in silence and avoid these ‘taboo’ questions when experiencing problems in these domains. In some circles the idea of continued sexuality and intimacy is abhorred including among professionals who work closely with older adults...SO, this session will bring forth some of those unspoken questions, and will help educate both the professionals involved and the older adult attendees on the importance of sexual health and intimacy to well being in later life.

Panelists: 

Justine Braford, Meri Goehring , Nisha McKenzie, Christina Pierpaoli Parker, Rita Zink

Justine Braford, LMSW, CST, is founder and co-owner of Grand Rapids Specialty Therapy in Grand Rapids, MI. She is an AASECT certified sexuality therapist (CST) who has dedicated her career to helping individuals and couples find peace and joy in their sex lives while honoring the idea that this is unique for everyone.

Meri Goehring, Ph.D., PT, is a physical therapist and Board Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as well as a Certified Expert for the Aging Adult. She is an associate professor and associate chair of the Grand Valley State University Department of Physical Therapy in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She remains clinically active working primarily in adult rehabilitation. She currently performs research in the area of fall prevention.

Nisha Mckenzie, PA-C, Certified Sexuality Counselor, ISSWSH Fellow, is the founder and director of the Center for Women’s Sexual Health in Grand Rapids, MI. She is an AASECT certified sexuality counselor and teaches in the University of Michigan Sexual Health Program as well as in the GVSU PA Program. She speaks at medical and therapy conferences across the country with a dedication to helping providers understand how to better include sexual health into general health.

Christina Pierpaoli Parker, MA, PhD-c is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Clinical Geropsychology doctoral program at the University of Alabama under the co-mentorship of Drs. Forrest Scogin and Martha R. Crowther. Her research and clinical work explore the intersection of older adults’ physical and psychological health, focusing on the adjustment to and behavioral management of chronic health conditions (e.g. HIV, metabolic syndrome, osteoarthritis). Current interests include developing psychoeducational interventions for understanding, treating, and improving sexual dysfunction in later life. She has published in the Journals of Aging & Health, Sex & Marital Therapy, and The Clinical Gerontologist and presented at international conferences. She translates her academic research for Eng(aging), her widely acclaimed blog on Psychology Today, which has landed her interviews as an aging expert on The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman and The Aging Literacy Podcast with Dr. Bill Thomas. Her forthcoming book, Trixxx Aren’t Just For Kids, written with Dr. Elizabeth DiNapoli, explores the science and stories of sex in later life.

Iris Zink, MSN, ANP-BC, has been a rheumatology Nurse Practitioner for 18 years. She is the immediate past president of the Rheumatology Nurses Society where she was president from 2015 to 2017. She has traveled extensively lecturing on a variety of topics pertaining to arthritis, women and autoimmune disease, laughter for healing and intimacy and chronic disease. She has published many times on topics about patient care and intimacy. She co-authored the chapters on HIV and arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Ehlers Danlos Hypermobility syndrome in Core Curriculum Rheumatology Nursing Text.
She is adjunct faculty at Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University and a passionate teacher, lecturer and caregiver. In 2016 Iris opened the first Nurse Practitioner run early arthritis clinic in Michigan to provide access to care for those individuals who are underinsured or uninsured. In 2017 she was honored to receive the Lupus Foundation of America’s Inspirational award for coining PJ day which will occur every May 2nd to raise money and awareness for Lupus.

Moderator:

Jennifer Feuerstein, BAA, Certificate in Aging, Associate State Director, AARP MI

Jennifer Feuerstein is a community organizer, activist, public speaker, and writer on life after 50. She is the Associate State Director for AARP Michigan and a Crew Member for WOTV 4 as the on-air expert for the ‘Encore Years’. Her work involves helping older adults live their best lives and advocating on their behalf. She has written for various publications including Faith Grand Rapids and West Michigan Woman magazines on topics related to aging. She’s working with the City of Grand Rapids to certify them to become an age friendly community. She sits on various task forces and steering committees to move Grand Rapids forward to be equitable for people of all ages and diverse backgrounds. And she’s disrupting aging by being a prominent voice to elevate the conversations of health, wealth, self and sex after 50!

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe typical later life sexual health issues that are of concern to older adults and practitioners
  2. Understand strengths and strategies of different professions in addressing later life sexual health and intimacy concerns
  3. Identify normal issues in later life sexual health and intimacy and possible diseases impacting them
  4. Describe different strategies/tools for dealing with challenges to later life intimacy and sexual health


Page last modified February 12, 2019