Saturday, October 21, 2017
9:00 am

Age Friendly & Livable Communities Action Plan
We're sorry, the 2017 Aging Well Conference is sold out.

WHAT: The 2017 Aging Well Conference - Toward Resilience: Building a Community for All Ages

WHEN: Saturday, October 21, 2017, 9am - 4pm (doors open at 8:15am)

WHERE: Buckley Center, University of Portland, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd, Portland

For more information about Age-Friendly Portland & Multnomah County, please visit

Map to event:  Buckley Center Auditorium (1.29 MB)

Event Schedule

8:15am: Check-in, Vendors, and Networking
9:00-11am: Opening Program

  • Finding Our Voice: Powerful Stories of Resilience. Enjoy a morning of storytelling hosted by Master Storyteller Paul Iarrobino and featuring three older adults sharing their accounts of resilience and aging. This interactive presentation will showcase valuable, but often sidelined, older adult voices while giving the audience access to the power within their own unique stories.

11:15-12:15pm: Morning Sessions
12:15-1:15pm: Lunch & Activities
1:30-2:30pm: Afternoon Sessions
2:45-3:45pm: Moderated Panel Discussion

  • Beyond Ready: Facing Disaster From a Place of Strength. A moderated discussion with locally-based thought leaders and on-the-ground coordinators that work behind the scenes to preserve our health, safety, and well-being during community emergencies. Learn how older adults are uniquely impacted during a crisis and more importantly, the great asset older adults can be during recovery.

3:45-4pm: Closing Session

Morning Sessions

Bouncing Back from Life's "Sinkholes": RESILIENCE!
Presenters: Vicki L. Schmall, Ph.D. Gerontology Specialist; Elaine Friesen-Strang, Volunteer State President, AARP of Oregon; Joanne Warner, Ph.D., Nurse Educator

Difficult events that are life-changing are inevitable, especially as we age. It might involve acknowledging a life-changing disability, dealing with a devastating family loss or medical diagnosis, or assuming an ongoing caregiving responsibility for a loved one. This workshop will focus on individual resilience and dealing well with significant life challenges and becoming strong, healthy, and emotionally vital after something bad happens. Focus will be on building RESILIENCE, the ability to bounce back from difficult and heart-wrenching experiences, versus "sliding deep into a sinkhole." Panel members will share diverse personal stories about significant life changes and their resilience, and engage the audience in an open conversation.

This workshop will address questions such as: What is emotional agility? How do we own our vulnerabilities with a forward thinking force? What can we do to move forward with dignity, grace and resolve after a crisis or trauma? What does it mean for us and others if we are not resilient? And, what do we need to do now if one day our ability to be resilient is "stolen from us" by a dementia?

Managing Your Pain: Options with Medical Marijuana
Presenter: Nicole Baker-Wagner

This workshop will show how medical marijuana works, in what ways medical marijuana is used, including as a pain management alternative to opioids, and what is known about particular issues associated with medicinal marijuana use for older adults. Learn critical steps in communicating with your physician about medicinal marijuana options in your own personal health care.

Mindful Resilience: Practicing to Access Our Inner Wisdom in the Face of Change, Adversity, and Resistance
Presenter: Stephanie Edman

Participants of this workshop will learn the basics of mindfulness and the potential of our amazing brain to adapt and thrive in difficult situations. We will explore the topic of acceptance and how this practice can support us in daily life as well as more challenging times.  

Included will be an interactive group discussion, guided meditation, and activities that encourage connection and community. Each participant will be given the opportunity to look within to access their inherent wisdom and to move forward with clarity to create a life that aligns with their own personal values and intentions.

Relationship and Resiliency
Presenter: Steve Joiner

Relationships are the foundation of our resilience. When we cultivate relationships, we build communities that support our social, spiritual, and emotional well-being at all stages of our life. Participants in this session will explore various ways to build and maintain authentic and intentional communities in all facets of our lives. The goal of this workshop is to share some techniques for intentional, authentic relationship building as well as to tap into the vast "wisdom of the room" on the topic. Expect to find a thoughtful and intentional space to share and reflect on what you know.

Use the House You Have to Make a Better World: Home Sharing as Contribution and Financial Stability
Presenters: Rachel Mohlere, Mortgage Advisor, Board VP, VillagesNW; Michele Fiasca, Owner; Barbara Nelson, HomeShare Mgt; Aram Irwin, Building Designer

An interactive exploration of the value and work-ability of shared housing. Four speakers will walk participants through the various hurdles which prevent older adult homeowners from fully utilizing their properties. Advantages to sharing discussed as: Increasing live-ability, visit-ability, share-ability and financial stability - while contributing to those in need of housing, and being part of the creation of a new and resilient model for aging in our modern times.

Participants will discuss a proposed policy/program designed to remove procedural and monetary hurdles from older homeowners attempting to modify homes for sharing - especially when target populations will be served by the housing, such as returning veterans, students, those newly released from incarceration, etc. Expect to leave inspired to action, with clarity about the steps needed to move forward.

Walkability: Promoting Health & Mobility
Presenters: Noel Mickelberry, Oregon Walks; Jane Loverin, Portland Community College

In this workshop, presenters will discuss how walkable communities are critical to creating age-friendly and resilient communities. Hear about the elements of a walkable community, as well as programming aimed at people with varying levels of mobility to utilize walking for health and connectivity. In particular, presenters will discuss accessible walking programs like AARP’s NeighborWalks and Walk with Ease - a program delivered in partnership between Oregon Health Authority, OSU Extension, and Portland Community College. Participants will have the opportunity to sample the Walk with Ease program and learn about an opportunity to engage in public policy discussions related to walkability and public health.

Lunch, Vendors, and Activities

  • Grab ‘n’ Go Lunch hosted by Multnomah County
  • Senior Recreation with Portland Parks & Recreation
  • Pop up AARP NeighborWalks with Commissioner Loretta Smith
  • Multnomah County Library Outreach Services
  • Elders in Action
  • Aging, Disability, & Veterans Services Division
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • Tri-Met Hop FastPass
  • Emergency Preparedness

Afternoon Sessions

Creative Expression: Theatre for Conflict Resolution to Power of Resilience
Presenters: Grace E. Reed, KBOO Disability Awareness; and Marianne S. Wallace

Participants will use various creative expression tools such as poetry, writing, color, movement, storytelling, voice that allows for outlet, and skills that can be used to present the theatre piece. Individual strengths and weakness will be identified to prepare for a 'pop up' theatre piece. Theatre of the Oppressed model is used to conduct this short but powerful presentation. Participants will leave with a sense of knowing their resilience and how to strengthen what needs to be stronger. This can be shared with friends, family and community.

Healthy Home for Healthy Aging with Feng Shui
Presenter: Miyoko Fuse

Miyoko Fuse, a gerontologist and author of Healthy Home for Healthy Aging with Feng Shui, will share how a healthy home supports your physical and psychological well-being, promotes independence, and facilitates social interaction. Your well-being at home supports community stability and livability. This workshop introduces the principle of feng shui that is a Yin-Yang duality, a natural method of rejuvenating any area of your home to produce harmony and positive communication. You will learn how to create a safe, healthy, and harmonious home by space planning, colors, accessibility, and indoor air quality that are affordable.  

Imagine a Village: Neighbors Helping Neighbors Stay Neighbors
Presenters: Rachel Mohlere, Vice Chair of Villages NW Board of Directors; Patt Opdyke, Past Chair of North Star Village, Kathi Fradkin, Co-chair of Viva Village

The session will engage participants to try and imagine a village in which community members come together to figure out and develop the resources they will need to age comfortably in their own homes. The representatives of Villages NW will briefly explain the Villages movement nationally and in the Portland metro area. The representatives will then facilitate small group discussions amongst the session participants in the kinds of things that a person would need to be able to age in their home well and maintain social connections.

The Joys and Challenges of Encore Entrepreneurship
Presenter: Jackie  B Peterson

This workshop will focus on encore entrepreneurship; particularly the creation of solo businesses. These enterprises, called monetizing your expertise, can be created by almost anyone who has life and work experience, who is observant of their community and its needs, and has some energy and a lot of passion for the business they want to create. In fact, people over fifty are creating more businesses than any other age group. They are choosing to do something they care about, something they have always wanted to do, or something that will leave a legacy, and something that will support their retirement security. Presenters will explore the environment for starting solo encore businesses, share many stories of those who are doing this already, and point out joys and challenges of being a late-in-life entrepreneur.

Singing the Same Song: Cultivating Intergenerational Friendships
Presenter: Jenny Sasser, Ph.D.

The focus of this interactive workshop is inter-generational friendships and how they are a crucial component of individual and community resilience. Explore how we might go about creating meaningful connections with persons who are at different points in the life-course than we are. How do we reach out across our perceptions about and expectations for ourselves and others at different ages and stages so that we can expand our circle of friends to include persons of different generations? How can we celebrate the strengths of each age and stage? How can we create vibrant intergenerational friendships around shared interests and commitments? How might we carry a "spirit of friendship" into all of our interactions with others, wherever they might be in their travels through the life-course?

Thanks to Our Sponsors and Partners

Other Partners

Alzheimer’s Association

Multnomah County Library Outreach Services

Portland Parks & Recreation Senior Recreation Program

True Path Consulting NW