Aging Across the Life Course: Knowledge Exchange 2018

As promised in my annual Aging & Longevity Conference Round Up January 9th, I would keep you up to date with on any new events. So, here is an event that has popped up since then, to take place in Toronto – April 30th & May 1st. Rather than calling it a conference, this is the 13th annual Knowledge Exchange by the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE). Co-hosted with Ryerson University’s National Institute on Ageing (NIA), this year’s title is – Transitions: Aging Across the Life Course.

The agenda covers the waterfront with over 24 sessions on a diverse number of themes from age friendly communities, caregiving and cannabis education, to financial literacy, ethnicity & aging and end of life.

Having attended a number of events with the NIA and other groups over the last few years, I have elected to give this one a miss. Not just because I’ve heard a number of the same presenters before (though the cannabis topic is interesting), but because I’ve committed as a Conference Partner to attend the larger International Federation on Ageing, 14th Annual Conference  in Toronto, August 8-10, 2018. There will be well over 1000 delegates from 55 countries at this event.

All the same, I do have colleagues and friends who will be attending the NICE event, so I’m bound to get filled in on any new and relevant knowledge exchanged. One thing positive for sure, the Toronto area over this past year or two has had an abundance of choice for learning opportunities on a multiplicity of subjects within the field of aging and longevity.

While the usual suspects attend these valuable events, from researchers and academics, to policy makers, health practitioners and politicians, I often wonder – when and how will this inner circle of the enlightened take this content in a digestible package (under one branded entity), on a road show across Canada to colleges, universities and professional associations?

Aging and life course, understanding for our current and “future selves”

If this truly is a “life course” discussion, then younger audiences need to learn and participate, encouraged to more understanding of how these aging and longevity issues matter to their current and “future selves”. Yet, this travelling community road show could also be directly presented in such a way as to let students know more about career options in, and synergies between, fields such as gerontology, technology, design, and home & health care; work that we are going to need more of on the road to 2030 and beyond.

If you are new to the discussion of Aging Across the Life Course and have never attended a conference or knowledge exchange; it is worth mentioning that if you have not done any study, (or even if you have), on the diverse theories of “life course”, terminologies can get misused in the context of a conversation.

To help with this matter, as I have done previously, I include here a useful link to an Oxford Academic, Journal of Gerontology entry from 2012, titled Integrating Varieties of Life Course Concepts by Duane F. Alwin. Finally speaking of conversational context, here is a more recent entry from the Oxford Academic, Journal of Gerontology, January 2018 – Aging in Context by Rachel Pruchno, PhD.

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