Summer Shorts 36: The Art of Ageing Forum – a quick nod!

Seven summers of summer shorts! Since 2012, I usually write some quick musings, for a few opening weeks of the lazy hazy days of summer and this year I start with a quick nod to AGE WORKS and their major event last week at Niagara College – titled the Art of Ageing Forum.

A warm engaged sizeable gathering of attendees were treated to a tight program of speakers, which offered a wide range of topics for older adults with interests at an individual level and also included content for professionals and businesses that service and market to that large demographic – older adults.

As open and large a population as older adults might suggest, that phrase does apply (for a whole host of reasons) more appropriately than the term Seniors. More rationale on that another day. But one point to start with, which I made in my Art of Ageing Forum presentation – Making Sense of a Longevity Economy, is that depending on what reports or studies you read, we keep moving the line of scrimmage, as to when you start calling someone an older adult (or Senior if you will).

All this makes it more of a challenge these days for communicating any message, be it in social policy announcements, evolving idealisms on ageing or targeted consumer marketing. The Art of Ageing Forum highlighted this for me as I listened to the other presenters and spoke with audience members, sponsors and exhibitors. This was my great kick at this energizing hospitable event – the networking conversations after each presentation.

There was plenty of merit in the eclectic mix of topics on a personal level for all the attendees, from Barbara Arrowsmith-Young on Neuroplasticity to Deidre Walsh on the Positive Effects of Mindfulness and Ellis Katsof sharing Protirement, his model for reframing retirement.

While these examples stood out, on another level for me, the opening presentation – Global Trends on Ageing by Dr. Jane Barratt from International Federation on Ageing was an enlightenment for local listeners. It was a great win too for Marylou Hilliard and Anne Hossack at AGE WORKS as it demonstrated the scope of their vision for developing future conversation on the issues of aging and longevity.

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