Wednesday Schedule

Wednesday Session 1  1:30PM to 2:30PM


W1-1  Consent is Sexy: Ethical Dilemmas in Sexuality and Aging

Sexuality educators have declared that consent is sexy, offering a new view of communication and sexual pleasure. Yet many older adults have not received adequate sexuality education about communicating their wants, desires, and boundaries. Consent includes such properties as clear communication, cognitive acuity, and enthusiastic affirmation. In their absence, sexual expression is not consensual. In this highly interactive training, we’ll discuss ethical dilemmas and tools to navigate consent. A great emphasis of this training will be on the application of principles to participants’ work with older adults.

Jane Fleishman, PhD, MEd, MS, AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator, Speaking Of, LLC


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W1-2  Building Your Retirement-Ready Financial House

With retirement getting closer every year, will you be ready to leave your paycheck behind and start on your new adventure? Have you saved enough? Do you know how your pension works with Social Security’s WEP and GPO rules? What do you mean Medicare isn’t free?  What am I missing?

In other words, are you building your retirement-ready financial house? This lively and engaging presentation by retirement maven, author, and blogger, Marcia Mantell, takes you through 10 tasks to tackle before you retire. Plus she gives you an in-depth look at how your state pension could reduce Social Security payments. And, she’ll leave you with some action steps and tips to make your planning more complete.

Come enjoy a jam-packed conversation about the twists and turns of Social Security, WEP and GPO, Medicare, and tasks to tackle so your income can last 20, 30 or more years.

Marcia Mantell, President & Owner, Mantell Retirement Consulting, Inc.


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W1-3  Remote Job Training for Workers  55 and Older

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs is partnering with the state MassHire program and Operation ABLE to create a new training and employment initiative for job seekers 55 and older to prepare them for emerging remote employment and training opportunities.  With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, EOEA is developing protocols for training, recruitment, job development, job coaching, IT support and case management to help older workers succeed in remote employment.  The presentation will include a discussion of early successes, benefits and challenges to working from home, and opportunities to get involved. Attendees will walk away with a thorough understanding of this exciting new program, marketing materials and new strategies for job coaching in a rapidly changing labor market.

Amanda Bernardo, Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives, Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs
Sacha Stadhard, Director of Policy and Program Operations, Massachusetts Department of Career Services
Mark Gyurina, Chief Program Officer, Operation ABLE of Greater Boston, Inc.


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W1-4  Practicing Positive Psychology Virtually

Using evidence-based practice advocated within the field of positive psychology, participants will participate in virtual exercises to build awe, compassion, connection, empathy, forgiveness and gratitude. Participants will receive programming and curricular examples for their use. The benefits of practicing positive psychology by older adults in a virtual format will be discussed.

Beverly Dolinsky, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology, Endicott College


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W1-5  Dementia and Communication: Dos and Don’ts

This program provides an overview of how communication is affected and altered by dementia and similar cognitive impairments, what signs and symptoms you may observe, and challenges you may encounter when trying to communicate. Participants will walk away with practical, research-based strategies for overcoming these obstacles, along with greater confidence when interacting with individuals with dementia, whether in a professional or personal setting.

Beth Cardillo, M.Ed, LS.W, CDP, Executive Director, Armbrook Village Senior Living
Julie Williamson, CDP, Executive Director, Standish Village at Lower Mills


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W1-6  Medicare Supplement Plans VS Medicare Advantage Plans

BCBSMA is proud to offer online and on-site educational presentations to the COA’s of Massachusetts  Our programs include Medicare Education and Wellness presentations. We have been offering educational offerings for 20+ years and would like to invite you to hear our newest presentation: Medicare Supplement VS Medicare Advantage- Which Coverage is Best for Me?

Medicare Supplement Plans or Medicare Advantage Plans? Which Coverage is Best for Me?

If you are new to Medicare this is the #1 question most people have when looking for additional insurance. However, once on a plan, it’s always a good idea to re-look at your choices each year. Circumstances Change. So Can Your Health Plan. Every year, during the open enrollment period from October 15 to December 7, you can change your Medicare plan for the following year. So even if you’re already on a plan, join our webinar and make sure you’re still enrolled in the best plan for you. No Blue Cross plan details will be presented, but you will leave with an understanding of which type of plan best fits your needs.

What We’ll Cover:

  • What’s Original Medicare
  • Differences between Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Do I need Prescription Drug Coverage?
  • Real life case studies
  • Resources to help you in the decision process

Susan Flanagan, Senior Plan Consultant | Retail and Small Group Market, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts


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W1-7  BACK TO THE FUTURE!  To A Place Where All Generations Thrive

Treehouse Intergenerational Community living is an innovative WIN-WIN-WIN for three generations. For 15 years, over 100 people ranging in age from newborns to 96, have lived next door to one another in an intentional intergenerational Treehouse community in western Massachusetts, that weaves families adopting children who’ve experienced foster care together with older adults who act as “honorary grandparents”. 

The award winning Treehouse Community model invests in foster care, vital aging and affordable housing innovation, and promotes the creation of enduring relationships across the generations.  The result:  All generations are thriving and new solutions to challenges facing older adults are being created.  Goals:  Engaging Treehouse community members and staff in a lively presentation, this workshop will present an overview of the Treehouse Community Model; key elements of Treehouse Intergenerational community living and benefits; and highlight innovative perspectives on affordable housing, and aging in community.

Judy Cockerton, Founder/Executive Director, Treehouse Foundation
Kerry Homstead, Director of Training, Treehouse Foundation
Kattye Soares, Intergenerational Arts Coordinator, Treehouse Foundation
Linda Desmond, Treehouse Foundation board member, Vital Aging Professional, Treehouse Foundation
Treehouse Community Members


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Wednesday Session 2  3:00PM to 4:00PM


W2-1  Interpersonal effectiveness skills to say no with less guilt and yes with less fear

Knowing how to react when the needs of your community extend far beyond the resources you have is difficult, but not impossible. This workshop will help participants identify and use interpersonal skills to respond to difficult situations, like not being able to provide what is needed, and challenges and opportunities, like reentry, effectively. Participants will practice what they learn during the workshop and will be given tools they can use to plan for saying both no and yes with confidence in the future.

Mary Curlew, LICSW, Community Education and Training Specialist


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W2-2  Hope in the Voices of Dementia – A Panel of Individuals with Young Onset Dementia

This session will provide participants with insight into what it is like to live with dementia from the perspective of the person living with the disease. Panelists will discuss the stigma associated with dementia, challenges specific to Young Onset and Early Stage, and strategies to reduce stigma and improve cultural sensitivity surrounding dementia diagnosis. Panelists will share coping strategies including the role of social engagement, emotional support and disease education and will share what they would like professionals to know about living with a dementia diagnosis and how they can best support this population moving forward.

Tania Paparazzo, MSW, LICSW
Panelists of people with young onset dementia


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W2-3  Understanding Guardianship

Professionals in the fields of aging, disability, and mental health services view guardianship in many different ways. This presentation shares a fresh, practical approach to helping individuals improve their lives.

Participants will learn how guardians are appointed, standards for guardian decision-making, training and services for families and new guardians, and best practices for collaborating with guardians to drive needed outcomes.

Tools and resources from The Center for Guardianship Excellence will be shared.

Heather Connors, PhD, Executive Director, Center for Guardianship Excellence

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W2-4  Dying to Know: Presenting Funeral and Death Related Programs to Your Service Area

Funeral consumers are often overwhelmed and undereducated when it comes to options and choices for final disposition, ceremony and funerary products and services. And many are reticent to discuss death and dying in general, yet the need for information and resources exists, so how to help our older adults navigate these end-of-life facts?

Join our panel of educational presenters to learn successful approaches to  programs that have served our communities and which can be replicated in yours! We will cover funeral consumer information ( including burial and cremation cost comparisons), community death education topics and issues we have successfully presented, and we’ll highlight and deconstruct the popular “Dying to Know” symposiums produced at the Barnstable Adult Community Center.

Jim Couchan, Vice-President, Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts (FCAWM)
Heather Massey, Cape Cod Representative and Education/Outreach Coordinator, Funeral Consumers Alliance of Eastern Massachusetts (FCAEM)
Susan Griffin, Activity Coordinator, Barnstable Adult Community Center(BACC)


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W2-5  Seniors Mentoring Seniors

The “Seniors Mentoring Seniors” program will:

  1. Describe the history of the Andover Senior Mentors and their mission of sharing some of their professional insights and knowledge with other seniors.
  2. Discuss the program-sharing architecture the Mentors have developed for their presentations.
  3. Develop a sample program, with audience participation, detailing how the program-sharing architecture can be used to assist seniors in developing and delivering a program.

Roland Jacobson, Andover Senior Mentor
Jeff Kaplan, Andover Senior Mentor
Don Schroeder, Andover Senior Mentor


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W2-6  CarFit – How to Help Older Drivers Find Their Safest Fit

Personal Mobility is critical to healthy aging but ill-fitting vehicles can make driving both uncomfortable and unsafe.

CarFit, developed and offered by AAA, AARP, and AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association), is an educational program that provides a quick yet comprehensive review of how well you and your vehicle work together. CarFit events offer drivers a 20-30 minute “fit” with a trained technician and an occupational therapist who assess how well you fit in your vehicle and make suggestions and adjustments to improve driver safety.

Goals of this presentation are:

  • Enhance knowledge of CarFIt programs;
  • Provide information and instruction on how to become an Event Coordinator;
  • Provide an overview of how to host your own CarFit virtual or in-person event;
  • Receive information on training opportunities to become a CarFit Technician; and
  • Provide instruction on how to host a CarFit “Train-the-Trainer” event in your community.

Join us and learn how to enhance your own driving bring this fun and effective program to your community, and increase mobility and safety for all.

Andrea Cordis, State Coordinator, CarFit
Michele Ellicks, Community Outreach Coordinator, MAss Registry of Motor Vehicles


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