Aging well

Friday May 13 2011


The Annual Beard Center on Aging Conference, "Aging Well in Mind, Body, & Spirit," will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. May 24 in Elliot & Rosel Schewel Hall with speakers, workshops, and an exhibit hall.

Keynote Addresses:

9:15 a.m. - Rosemary Bakker, environmental gerontologist  and author of the AARP Guide to Revitalizing Your Home: Beautiful Living for the Second Half of Life, will share how the design of our home environment can optimize our health, functionality, and well-being in later life. She has been a speaker on CBS, NBC, and PBS, and has been featured in AARP's "Modern Maturity." In the afternoon, she will conduct a workshop about home safety and design for persons with dementia. In both programs, audiences will learn about special equipment and other strategies that can be easily adopted to make the home safer.

3:45 p.m. - Jenny Herrick, RN, will offer insight into the value of humor in our lives. Author of You Laugh, I'll Drive, she will also present a session on developing and maintaining a positive attitude. She shares her experiences as a member of Dr. Patch Adam's fun medicine delegation to China, as well as her experiences as a clown at Ground Zero.

For the remainder of the day, there will be eighteen sessions on a variety of age-related topics taught by experts from a number of disciplines. Participants will learn about developing and maintaining a sense of purpose at the end of life, how to communicate effectively with persons with dementia, positive caregiving strategies, and how to cope with change and loss. Other topics include end-of-life caregiving, nutritional needs in the later years, and how to recognize depression.

The Conference on Aging is presented by the Beard Center on Aging at Lynchburg College in partnership with the Centra Foundation, Centra Mental Health Services, and Centra Rehabilitation and Senior Care Services with support from the Senior News, Home Instead Senior Care, and Gentle Shepherd Hospice. Other sponsors include:  Generation Solutions, Heritage Green, Hospice of Virginia, Runk & Pratt, Oakwood Health and Rehabilitation Center, Senior Independence, The Summit, and Valley View Retirement Community.

Cost is $40 for seniors and $75 for the general public. A limited number of scholarships are also available. See the full schedule and register on line at  or contact Denise Scruggs at 434-544-8456 for additional information and a conference brochure.