November 8 - 10, 2022


Enrich your career with shared learning, inspiration, and exploration of new innovations and best practices in wellness.


7:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m.

Create your own “Wellness Wednesday” podcastJanet Olson & Christina Gamble

Learn every step involved in starting a podcast to enhance communication and deliver important messages to residents and team members. Steps include identifying your reason for starting a podcast, understanding your audience, naming your podcast, choosing a format and gathering the necessary equipment. Discover how creating a podcast can enhance wellness in all dimensions for all participants.

You’ll be able to:

  • Describe the steps involved in creating a wellness podcast and the seven benefits of producing a podcast.
  • Discuss why creating a Wellness Wednesday podcast can enhance all dimensions of wellness in a life-plan community.
  • Implement a wellness podcast for both residents and team members in your community.

Faculty: Janet Olson, MS, Wellness Director, and Christina Gamble, BA, AFAA, Wellness Supervisor, Paradise Valley Estates.

Fostering intergenerational connections in your communityJennifer Kulik

What have you learned from an older adult? What have you shared with someone younger than you? Research shows intergenerational interactions help shape our lives in important ways. The session will highlight relevant research, demonstrate models of intergenerational programs and activities, and detail the necessary steps to plan and implement a successful intergenerational program in your community.

You’ll be able to:

  • Design an intergenerational program for your community.
  • Find local youth partners and other support to help implement an intergenerational program.
  • Facilitate several activities designed for an intergenerational audience.

Faculty: Jennifer Kulik, PhD, Founder and CEO, SilverKite Community Arts.

Breaking barriers, implementing a personal training programChelsea Blanding & Patrick Picciocchi

Physical fitness is among the most important factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for older adults. Not only can exercise help boost cognitive, muscular and cardiovascular health, but it can elevate mood, decrease stress and improve confidence. Personal training can be beneficial in breaking barriers in sedentary older adults while increasing participation in your fitness programming. Learn techniques to implement a personal training program as a fee-for-service program, plus explore how implementing one can benefit your fitness and rehab departments.

You’ll be able to:

  • Implement a fee-for-service personal training program in different levels of care.
  • Provide one-on-one personal training to improve residents’ mental, physical and social well-being.
  • Implement strategies that will be beneficial for the partnership between your fitness and rehab departments.

Faculty: Chelsea Blanding, MS, CPT, Fitness Director, and Patrick Picciocchi, MS, CPT, Executive Director, Matthews Glen, Acts Retirement-Life Communities..

Assessing and addressing the effects of long COVIDDean Sbragia

Learn how to identify symptoms of long COVID, differentiate from other neurological challenges, formulate a treatment plan and create assessments to gauge efficacy of interventions. Screening options are both computerized and observational, and most interventions can be performed with equipment that exists at most facilities. Case studies from ongoing research will be shared and updated.

You’ll be able to:

  • Identify the manifestations of long COVID.
  • Identify severity of the condition and determine which level of intervention is required.
  • Assess which interventions are best for each individual, decide how to progress and determine criteria for discharge.

Faculty: Dean Sbragia, MBA, CDP, CMDCP, CEO, Medical Fitness Solutions.

Chair yoga for older adultsAllissa Raway

Experience and learn an entire chair yoga class that will challenge strength, balance, mobility, endurance and dual-tasking while settling the mind and spirit. Leave with a better understanding of how to intelligently design a chair-based yoga class. Discuss safety measures, contraindications and brief yoga philosophy. Take home sequences of poses you can adapt to your community.

You’ll be able to:

  • Teach poses that increase balance, flexibility, strength, postural awareness, brain health (through dual-tasking, coordination and meditation) and cardiovascular health in mixed-level, older-adult classes.
  • Integrate yoga philosophy and tradition, alignment, cueing and safety precautions to your classes.
  • Intelligently design classes with yoga postures to enhance participants’ class experiences and increase their mind-body outcomes.

Faculty: Allissa Raway, BS, MES, Fitness Lead, Friendship Village of Bloomington..

Less is more: Time-sensitive programming for older adultsColin Hoobler

Dramatically reduce exercise time, fall risk and joint pain using programming techniques based on biomechanics, sports medicine and neuroscience. When specific biomechanical principles are applied, a full body strengthening program should take only five to seven minutes for a deconditioned person and 15 to 20 minutes for a relatively fit individual.

You’ll be able to:

  • Apply the concepts of work and torque to time-saving programming for older adults.
  • Differentiate between time-sensitive and traditional programming methods based on scientific principles.
  • Describe time-sensitive programming in a way that inspires older adults to participate in class offerings.

Faculty: Colin Hoobler, PT, DPT, MS, S3 Balance, LLC.

Implementing a cueing hierarchy to maximize participant successLibby Norris, Ruth Parliament, Michelle Kerr & Janice Hutton

In today’s hybrid movement environment, the type and timing of your movement cues have an immediate impact on participant experience and safety. In this workshop, we will develop an easy-to-implement cueing system that highlights how to progress from essential cues to layer more focused cues that teach, educate and motivate your participants. Learn how to leverage the power of your words to deliver the best possible class results.

You’ll be able to:

  • Implement a cueing formula to use in a class format that promotes great technique, manages posture, offers a range of exercise challenges, inspires effort and fully engages everyone.
  • Identify the priority of sequencing cues and the importance of cueing consistency to deliver a great participant experience.
  • Adapt your cueing skill set to deliver a safe, engaging class in both live and virtual formats.

Faculty:Libby Norris, BA, FIPTS, Inspired Energy; Ruth Parliament, MEd, FIPTS, House of Parliament Wellness; Michelle Kerr, Fitness Programs, City of Mississauga; and Janice Hutton, Owner, Phys-excel Fitness Consulting.

8:45 a.m.– 9:45 a.m.

Cognitive training boosts wellness, memory: Acar Brain Health Study outcomesTheresa Perry & Cynthia Green

A recent two-year study across 23 Acts Retirement-Life Communities shows cognitive wellness programs empower residents with a deeper understanding of how to direct their brain fitness engagement, promote more participation in brain wellness interventions, boost confidence in their ability to make a difference to their brain health, and increase use of memory strategies. Learn details of study methods, interventions, and findings—and how to support the science behind wellness-based interventions.

You’ll be able to:

  • Explain the science behind the efficacy of brain training programs for cognitively independent adults.
  • Share the results of a large community-based study on the impact of scalable, affordable brain wellness training for cognitively independent older adults.
  • Discuss how your community can contribute to the research by collaborating with educational and academic partners.

Faculty: Theresa Perry, Corporate Director of Wellness, Acts Retirement-Life Communities; and Cynthia Green, PhD, President, TBH Brands.

Actively engaging your team for cultural transformationJill Ricker & Christina Matzke

An organization’s culture is what happens day to day. It is revealed in it its systems, tools, decision-making and relationships between employees, leadership, team members, families and residents. Does your culture enable employees who enable residents? For new employees, building culture begins in the interview process, along with their perception of your organization and its reputation in the outside community. Is it possible to create culture and make it last? Join us for an experiential session on culture building from an operational perspective.

You’ll be able to:

  • Recognize the impact of a community’s culture and describe how staff, residents, families and the surrounding community contribute to your culture.
  • Describe how culture impacts the longevity of employees and discuss how to build a culture that will help you retain staff during these critical times.
  • Act to enable employees to enable residents to resist negative stereotypes about being old.

Faculty:Jill Ricker, BS, CDP, National Director of Operations, SAIDO Learning, Covenant Living Communities and Services; and Christina Matzke, BS, President and COO, Sunset Senior Communities.

Stories of a lifetime: How sharing life stories benefits elder engagement and mental well-beingWalter Schlomann

Numerous studies show the benefits of reminiscing and reviewing one’s life. This session highlights two programs: Biographical Recordings and Life-Stories Sharing. Biographical Recordings allows older adults to preserve their stories in audio, video or print form. Life-Stories Sharing utilizes video clips to foster active discussions. Such themes as “The Greatest Generation” or “Technology Then and Now” aid in reminiscing. Discussion will explore the programs’ objectives, methodologies and benefits for creating engagement for older adults.

You’ll be able to:

  • Implement these programs in your environment.
  • Interview older adults about their lives in order to create stories that will benefit them.
  • Describe the advantages of these programs to senior managers, supervisors, staff, marketing departments and potential clients and their families.

Faculty: Walter Schlomann, BA, President, Heritage Media Group.

Innovation through senior living technology adoptionNick Patel & Paul Steinichen

Every retirement community should have a strategic roadmap when it comes to implementing and supporting smart technologies. Whether updating old technology systems to meet new needs or adding new technology and infrastructure, communities must look for ways to best serve their constituents. Learn how a proactive, holistic approach to smart technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive modeling, can be leveraged to enhance quality of life of older adults and improve clinical decision-making.

You’ll be able to:

  • Break down existing and emerging smart technology ecosystems and trends being incorporated into the master planning of new and repositioned life-plan communities.
  • Recognize the importance of infrastructure design in supporting prominent technology solutions and its impact on the master planning and overall design of senior living communities.
  • Discuss how provider organizations adopt and deploy smart technologies, including AI and predictive modeling, and how these technologies can be leveraged to enhance the overall sense of community, safety and quality of life for residents.

Faculty: Nick Patel, BSC, President, and Paul Steinichen, MS, Technology Officer, ThriveWell Tech.

Power training: Practical insights from the researchJoseph Signorile

Power (the product of applied force and movement velocity) declines exponentially with age, which increases the risk of falls and reduces the ability of older adults to perform activities of daily living. Recent research has provided new insights into the practical applications of power training in wellness centers, extended care settings, physical therapy units and gyms. This session will explain how to apply the newest testing and training techniques and technologies to increase power in your facility.

You’ll be able to:

  • Recognize the importance of power for maintaining independence and reducing fall risk.
  • Refer to the latest assessment techniques for assessing upper and lower body power that are easy to apply in any clinical setting.
  • Develop and apply targeted power training to meet individual needs and goals.

Faculty: Joseph Signorile, PhD, Professor, University of Miami.

Make life with Parkinson’s manageable through movementMargot McKinnon

This session introduces how the nervous system works and describes the role it plays in human movement. We will apply that knowledge to determine what happens to the nervous system in people living with Parkinson’s disease and how movement is affected. Then we will review best practices for exercise programming and intervention to manage and potentially slow down the progressive nature of this disease. Learn how to design exercise programs that help people living with Parkinson’s enhance their movement potential.

You’ll be able to:

  • Relay a basic understanding of neurophysiology with respect to neurological impairments related to Parkinson’s disease.
  • Describe techniques that promote change in movement patterns for individuals with neurological impairments.
  • Design exercise programs for individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

Faculty: Margot McKinnon, MEd, NPCP, CEO, Body Harmonics, Inc.

Wake up your body and mind after 50Malin Svensson

Turning 50 is a milestone that often prompts clients to consider how to live the best healthy life. This session will help you guide clients to overcome their fear of aging and open their minds to endless possibilities. By discovering new ways to change thoughts, clients will feel empowered and motivated to exercise. Learn about pain-free ways to move the body. Also explore body and mind practices that play a key role in leading a fun, healthy and fulfilling life.

You’ll be able to:

  • Implement a holistic system to help clients create a positive mindset about their health and fitness.
  • Share the importance of socialization, emotional support and goal setting.
  • Analyze and update your exercise programming so that it is safe and effective and has high adherence.

Faculty:Malin Svensson, MA, CPT, President, Nordic Body.

The longevity strategyJoy Prouty

What do longevity and active aging mean to us and to those we care about? It truly depends on where we are in life. So, how do we take the lead and initiative to plan for longevity personally and professionally? Is there a roadmap? Gain ideas for longevity areas we identify, including evaluating career, remaining relevant in a changing tech world, and finding that passion toward goals/opportunities that drives us to grow and evolve. How do we keep our clients engaged and feeling relevant and purposeful, too? Let’s discuss!

You’ll be able to:

  • Take the lead and initiative to think about, and plan, for longevity and what it means in your life.Break down existing and emerging smart technology ecosystems and trends being incorporated into the master planning of new and repositioned life-plan communities.
  • Evaluate your career (job), and identify steps, opportunities and decisions that take you forward as you follow your goals and passion.
  • Build a successful client base, business relationships and network, with longevity as the outcome.

Faculty: Joy Prouty, ZES (Zumba Education Specialist), Zumba Fitness, LLC.

10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.

Innovate mobility: Digitally bridging and scaling the mobility training gapNathan Estrada

This session reveals how digital, evidence-based mobility training programs can empower older adults through dual-task training and allow them physically and emotionally to live to the fullest. Colorado has proven that digital solutions work for older adults, who are more than ready to have their needs met in home and digitally. A new class of clinically and actuarially validated digital mobility programs that require no in-person setup or progression can change lives.

You’ll be able to:

  • Recall the technology utilization and engagement behaviors of today’s older adults and translate this knowledge to boost enrollment in any digital health program.
  • Discuss how reflexive balance training through dual-tasking works and how to overcome barriers for successful programs.
  • Measure and assess the outcomes for digital health programs, quantify user experience and cost savings, and leverage outcomes to maximize impact and build collaborative coalitions.

Faculty: Nathan Estrada, DPT, Vice President of Clinical, Nymbl Science.

Taking lessons from rural America to the whole countryTerry Hill & Debra Laine

The rural environment has been described as older and less healthy with gaps in health outcomes. The National Rural Health Resource Center works to improve rural healthcare and has assisted a move toward value-based care models. These efforts have created collaborative, community-based practices that can also be applied to urban environments. Explore the financial advantages for rural hospitals and aging services providers when they work together in new value payment models, while promoting health equity and transitions of care.

You’ll be able to:

  • Choose collaborative, community-based rural approaches that address health equity and transitions of care to apply in your organization or community.
  • Identify ways of integrating aging services within acute care models.
  • Determine how aging service providers can access payment for their services, as part of rural value-based payment models.

Faculty: Terry Hill, Senior Advisor for Rural Health Leadership and Policy, and Debra Laine, Senior Program Specialist, Team Lead, National Rural Health Resource Center.

Accessible yoga for personal training clientsCindy Senk

Yoga is an ancient practice that unites mind, body and spirit. Practicing yoga provides numerous evidence-based benefits, including calmness of mind, flexibility and functionality of body, and enhanced connection to others. You do not have to be a yoga teacher to share its benefits with your personal training clients. In this session, learn accessible yoga poses that are easily adaptable to your clients’ physical needs and abilities, and practice along with the presenter.

You’ll be able to:

  • Teach a sun salutation while sitting in a chair.
  • Teach the three-part yoga breath.
  • Teach tense and release technique.

Faculty: Cindy Senk, MEd, CPT, Personal Trainer, Yoga Teacher, Owner, Movement for ALL.

Accommodate, assist or acquiesce?Patricia VanGalen

Are we nudging people toward dependence in a safe but small environment? When should I accommodate a challenge so I can keep doing what makes me tick? When do I need assistance so I can keep living well with purpose for longer? When is it time to acquiesce and accept long-term services? Family members, healthcare providers and individuals wrestle with these scenarios. It’s up to us to lead, mentor and boost confidence and competence through our actions, coaching, programming and services. It’s a mindset makeover.

You’ll be able to:

  • Redefine accommodation, assistance and the need for home healthcare and/or skilled nursing services through a lens of hardiness.
  • Challenge the mindset of safety being the number one priority when it kills creativity, purpose and dignity and promotes apathy and depression.
  • Educate and inspire older adults to take the uncomfortable road sometimes, to defy the backward slide.

Faculty: Patricia VanGalen, MS, CPT, ETT, Owner, Active & Agile.

Pilates moves for superior postureLinda Magee

Keeping posture in good form is vital for activities of daily living and proficient functional movements. These pilates exercises help to correct postural imbalances, strengthen underactive muscles and increase flexibility of overactive muscles. Learn a systematic approach to cueing your participants to taller versions of themselves. This session is targeted to your active-agers who can get down and back up from the floor..

You’ll be able to:

  • Determine which muscles may be overactive in order to implement corrective pilates exercises for the imbalance..
  • Cue participants with the kinetic chain points as references effectively for specific postural deviations.
  • Vary participants’ body position to accommodate flexibility issues.

Faculty:Linda Magee, MA, NASM Master Trainer, Owner, Linda Magee Fitness.