Fall Conference to Focus on Needs of Seniors

photo for senior conference storyEyes focused on meeting the needs of the swelling senior population, a group of local organizations is planning a fall conference aimed at making local businesses and communities more age friendly.

The Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) has awarded a grant of approximately $30,000 to Rollins College Hamilton Holt School to create the one-day conference to be held in November.

Individuals from AARP, the University of Central Florida (Learning Institute for Elders, School of Social Work and School of Public Administration), Rollins College (Center for Health Innovation and Center for Lifelong Learning) and others will use local research compiled by SalterMitchell, to develop the program.  This planning group will reach out to Chambers of Commerce, the Florida Council on Aging, restaurant owners, the Florida League of Cities, and representatives from the hospitality industry to help publicize the event.

The SalterMitchell research revealed there is a great opportunity to educate business owners and government/community leaders on ways the built environment can better support older adults in a variety of settings.

“I found the results encouraging since the report indicated that business owners and local governments are willing to consider making accommodations for older adults, but they really don’t know what changes to make,” said Diana Silvey, WPHF Program Director, Older Adults.  “We are hopeful the conference will provide this type of education as well as highlight best practices implemented in other communities that can be replicated in our area.”

The conference will be held in conjunction with the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) 2015 Annual Meeting taking place in Orlando November 18-22.  GSA has agreed to help promote the event that could include presenters from its annual meeting.

For more information on the conference, contact Bob McKinlay, Director of Grants and Contracts at Rollins College, at 407-646-2192 or by email at Rmckinlay@rollins.edu.