Aging conference targets professionals, consumers

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May 22, 2011 4:57 PM

The Eastern Carolina Council Area Agency on Aging hosts a two-day conference in New Bern this week addressing a variety of senior citizen issues.

“Paving the Way to a Livable and Senior Friendly North Carolina,” is Thursday and Friday at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center.

The targeted audience is professionals and advocates for older adults, but it includes employers of seniors and the spouses and grown children of frail older people.

Keynote speakers include Dennis Streets, director of the N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services.

Mary Bethel, the co-director for advocacy for AARP of North Carolina is another main speaker, along with Bob Garner, the associate director of communications for AARP North Carolina.

There are a number of registration options, ranging from professional and non-professional for the entire conference or just one day. The rates range from $15 to $65.

These are some of the topics and the speakers:

  • “Reverse mortgages,” by Dottie Wright, housing counselor with Twin Rivers Opportunities.
  • “The Poverty Simulation: A Virtual Experience of Life on the Edge,” by Barbara Heckman, and Sarah Wilson of Coastal Community Action.
  • “The Right Way to Voice Concerns,” by Angelia Pridgen and Shelia Lewis, ombudsmen for the Eastern Carolina Council. They will provide advocacy tips for residents in long-term care.
  • “Guardianship 101,” by Lawrence Craige, attorney with N.C. Guardianship Association. He will discuss basic issues and where to find information.
  • “Transportation, Senior Friendly Communities,” by Alex Rickard, transportation director of the Eastern Carolina Council. The talk includes future planning for seniors in this region.
  • “Older Americans Act Reauthorization,” by John Thompson, the Carteret County delegate of the Senior Tar Heel Legislature. He will provide a brief history of the act, set for reauthorization this year, as well as the population it serves and advocacy efforts.
  • “End of Life Care,” by Susan Redding, president of the End of Life Care Coalition of Eastern North Carolina. She will talk about care options including life-sustaining measures and palliative care.

There will also be talks on topics such as Medicare, nutrition, legal planning and Alzheimer’s.

Conference times are 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Thursday and 8:45 a.m. to noon Friday.

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