Aging Well Conference

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19th Annual Evanston Aging Well Conference and Film Night

The Evanston Aging Well Conference and Film Night for older adults, their families, professionals and other caregivers will include a wide range of topics. The conference will be held Friday, May 5, 2017 at the Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave., Evanston.   Registration for the conference is now closed.

Admission to both events is free. All costs are underwritten by the collaborating organizations and sponsors.

Aging Well Award

Each year, the Evanston Aging Well Conference pays tribute to an Evanston older adult who has made an impact on the community through his/her interest in aging and service to the local community. Nominations are now closed.  This year's Aging Well Award will be presented to Ellen Browne, who is currently the president of the North Shore Village Board.  She has also served various agencies and organizations, including SASI, North Shore Senior Center, Evanston League of Women Voters, Evanston Mental Health Board and American Society on Aging, to name a few.

Evanston Aging Well Conference 

Date: Friday, May 5, 2017
Time: 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: The Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave., Evanston


View the 2017 Aging Well Conference brochure.

Evanston Aging Well Conference Schedule of Events

8 to 8:30 a.m. Registration; Continental Breakfast

8:30 to 8:40 a.m. Welcome by Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl

8:40 to 9:10 a.m. Opening Session: Keynote Presentation: The Longevity Revolution – The Challenges and Potential of Living a Long Life, Mark Miller...Journalist Mark Miller is a nationally-recognized expert on trends in retirement and aging. Mark is a columnist for Reuters, Morningstar and and a contributor to The New York Times.

9:15 a.m 2017 Aging Well Award: Presented to Ellen Browne for outstanding leadership and service to older adults in Evanston. Throughout her career, Ellen has contributed to many local, state and national organizations including North Shore Senior Center, SASI, North Shore Village, Evanston League of Women Voters and American Society on Aging.

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Session 1 Workshops

Technology for Seniors in an Age-Friendly Community, George Lowman, consultant and curricula author for technology classes...With so many apps and devices, we all need some help navigating Smartphones, Skype, Facetime or the latest trends. Discover how technology and software can improve quality of life and productivity, and at the same time, be fun

Who’s Got Your Back? Understanding POAs and Living Wills, Tom Wendt, Center for Disability and Elder Law/Legal Director...Gain valuable information about the benefits of completing a power of for healthcare and property as well as a living will. Participants of this session also will have an opportunity to complete documents for FREE in a separate workshop with attorneys on May 11 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Levy Center.

Palliative Care and Hospice: Debunking the Myths, Nicholas Parise, MD, Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care...Palliative Care...Palliative care and hospice services have distinct benefits to improve quality of life. This seminar outlines the differences between these related types of care and how each is used to manage pain and other symptoms.

Innovative Care Strategies for LGBTQ+ Elders, Jacqueline Boyd, founder, The Care Plan...LGBTQ+ elders face significant challenges throughout the aging process. Learn more about the perspectives, needs and strategies for aging well within these vibrant communities.

Staying Safe in Your Home Environment, Drina Nikola, Interior Designer, Dwelling Spaces + Places and Julee Lockard, Occupational Therapist...As we age, safety, fall prevention and accessibility are critical issues for our living spaces.  Explore the advantages of a home assessment to identify potential issues and discover practical solutions for thriving successfully in any environment.

Understanding Medical Cannabis: A Comprehensive Approach to Healthcare, Michael Richards, patient development representative, PharmaCannis...For individuals who are seeking information about the IL Medical Cannabis program, this seminar will cover all aspects of cannabis as medicine. Gain an understanding of the science of cannabis and how it works with the body, as well as qualifications for the program and how to apply.

Meditation for all Ages, Sensei, Mui, meditation teacher, The Merion...From sharpening the mind to reducing anxiety, the benefits of meditation for all ages are well documented. Explore different meditation techniques that may be modified for any individual needs in this Q&A and practice session

10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Session 2 Workshops

Your Financial House Appraisal, Mary Sue Durrbeck, financial coach, Durrbeck Financial Group...Our financial independence takes a lifetime to build, and it may be time to inspect each room of your financial house. Starting with a confidential self-assessment, this session will review step-by-step ways to implement changes and/or improvements so that you feel confident you understand your financial situation and resources.

Making Alzheimer’s a Memory, Dr. William Klein, Professor, Dept. of Neurobiology, Weinberg College of Arts & Science, Northwestern University...With hope and anticipation, many are looking for groundbreaking treatment and research that will make Alzheimer’s and other dementia a distant memory. In this overview of current research and treatments, Dr. Klein will also present future developments for Alzheimer’s and related dementia with the latest findings in the field.

Seniors Bullying Seniors: Out of the Playground and into Senior Communities, Amy Nathan, MS, LCPC, NCC, North Shore Senior Center...While the schoolyard bully may be familiar, the adult bully is rarely discussed. Understanding the characteristics of these behaviors among older adults will help to identify successful interventions that may minimize bullying. This session also outlines tactics for older adults to avoid becoming a target for bullies.

Eat Clean– Live Well, Trish Walker, executive director, and Wendi Clayton, executive chef, of Magically Made Meals... Refresh your eating habits by eating clean. In this demonstration, explore how to ignite your senses while making healthy food choices. We’ll also sample delicious recipes that emphasize fresh and whole foods. Limited to 25.

Creating Together: Art and Stories as a Communal Experience, Charlotta Koppanyi, M.Sc., art and ceramic facilitator, The Merion and C.G. Jung Center...This hands-on session explores the benefits of communal art work and story creation. Participants will verbally “write,” tell and illustrate stories based on a theme from the facilitator while also building community and social connectivity.

Seated Tai Chi & Qigong, Mark W. Przybysz, instructor, Universal Healing Tao...Slow, relaxed movements from Tai Chi and Qigong are designed to improve and increase  mobility and flexibility and may be performed while seated. Following an explanation and  demonstration, participants will practice Tai Chi and Qigong movements.

Noon to 12:30 p.m. Closing Session: And What Can We Do?, Illinois Rep. Robyn Gabel (D) 18th District... Robyn Gabel has maintained a strong commitment to serving the people of Illinois as an advocate for women, children and families throughout her career. She served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition, a not-for-profit advocacy organization, from 1988 to 2010 and previously worked as legislative aide to Alderman (now Congressman) Luis Gutierrez. Her legislative priorities include affordable, accessible health care, environment and sustainability issues, education, and economic development.

Collaborating Sponsors: 
AgeOptionsCity of Evanston; CJE SeniorLife; Elder Care Sources LLC; Evanston Public LibraryHome Care Assistance; In-Home Counseling for Seniors; Mather LifeWays; The Merion; Metropolitan Family Services; National Award Services, Inc.; North Shore Senior Center; North Shore VillagePEER Services, Inc.Rainbow HospiceSenior Connections; Services for Adults Staying in Their Homes (SASI)Visiting Angels of Evanston


Transportation for the Conference will be available for individuals who live within ZIP codes 60201 and 60202 through the City of Evanston’s Levy Senior Center. You will be able to request transportation assistance at the time you register online for the conference. Registration will be available April 3. If you have questions, you may call the Levy Senior Center at 847-448-8250. 

Parking at the conference:  Adequate parking lot space for all attendees

If you have a disability or need additional assistance, please call 847-864-7274.

If you have questions, please call 847-864-7274 or email

Evanston Aging Well Film Night 

Date: Wednesday, May 3, 2017  Time: 7 p.m. 
Location: Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Avenue, Evanston
Free admission, so no registration is necessary, but seating space is limited.

Film: A New Color: The Art of Being Edythe Boone

Long before Black Lives Matter became a rallying cry, Edythe Boone embodied that truth as an artist, an educator, and a great-grandmother.  When a personal tragedy ignites a national outcry, everything that Edythe has worked so tirelessly for is at stake.

From humble Harlem beginnings herself, the indefatigable Edy has for decades introduced underserved youth and seniors to the transformative power of art.  Filmed in an observational style over three years.  A New Color creates an opening to see the world through Edy's eyes and her artistic legacy commemorating the great events of her time.  Those events keep coming, as we see when the death of Edy's nephew becomes a national symbol of racist policing.

The persistence of racial inequality in this country evokes for activist artists like Edy powerful and deep questions: Have Edy's nearly eight decades of social justice work meant something? Has it been worth the sacrifice? Can building multicultural bridges through art bring about positive change?  Who will carry on her civil rights legacy?

Edy's reaction shows the depth of her clear-eyed, compassionate commitment to building a just and peaceful community.  A New Color illuminates timely social issues and shows how the work of one resilient woman reverberates throughout a community to inspire a powerful chorus: "Our lives matter and we will not be disempowered by those who judge us for our age, gender, or the color of our skin." An intimate portrait of somebody extraordinary, Edythe's story shows not what it is to be Black or to lose a loved one but what it is to be human.

For further information, please call Services for Adults Staying in Their Homes (SASI) at 847-864-7274.