November 19-21, 2024


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


7:00 a.m.–8:00 a.m.


Please join us for ICAA’s 2024 interactive warm-up, a prime opportunity to start building your conference community. Dress comfortably to connect with fellow attendees, embrace wellness, and participate in group activities accompanied by special event music. Engage with exceptional industry presenters who will invigorate you and set the stage for a conference dedicated to aging well, along with the programs and services that support our shared objectives.

Everything’s cool when you’re part of a team!Aleen Daily & Sara Fink

Have a huge list of programs and projects but not enough help, resources or time? Stop trying to do it alone! Learn how to create team synergy magic within and beyond your department. Discover strategies, techniques, and programming ideas successful in other communities across departments and resident groups. Want to expand that reach beyond just your community? We’ll cover that too. Remember, “Everything is better when we stick together. Side by side, you and I are gonna win forever.”

You’ll be able to:

  • Identify strategies and techniques to overcome barriers to effective interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Gain ideas and action steps for developing collaborative programming across departments and resident groups.
  • Apply daring leadership techniques to enhance staff and resident experiences, regardless of managerial role.

Faculty: Aleen Dailey, MS, ACSM-CEP & GEI, NCSF-CPT, RYT 500hr, Wellness Coordinator; and Sara Fink, MOT, OTR/L, Director of Therapy, Carolina Village.

Intergenerational programming–Building collaborations & bridging gapsAmanda Valorosi & Melody Carter

Technology can isolate older adults from younger generations if they’re less tech-savvy. This isolation harms overall well-being. Professionals face challenges creating successful intergenerational programming. We’ll discuss generating interest, documenting testimonials, and building lasting friendships. Think outside the box regarding accessible generations, utilize existing connections, reach out to schools and organizations. Explore mutually beneficial intergenerational programming outcomes. Attendees will outline their desired intergenerational program.

You’ll be able to:

  • Develop strategies for marketing and recruiting participants for your intergenerational program.
  • Demonstrate a session lesson plan with interactive activities for your chosen generational groups.
  • Outline an action plan to initiate your own intergenerational program.

Faculty: Amanda Valorosi, MSG, Human Service Supervisor; and Melody Carter, AA, Social Services Coordinator II, Human Services Department, City of Carson.

8:15 a.m.–9:15 a.m.

Unlocking the value of technology through literacyAbbie Richie

In our tech-driven world, we overlook tech literacy’s critical role. While technology can enhance older adults’ lives, its potential remains untapped without proper adoption. This session explores tech literacy’s vital role in senior living communities. Learn why technology investments struggle without patient guidance and support. Gain strategies for effectively integrating technology, leading to improved resident well-being, staff satisfaction, and operational efficiency.

You’ll be able to:

  • Develop effective tech literacy programs tailored to the unique needs of senior living communities, incorporating patient guidance and confidence-building strategies.
  • Implement strategies to enhance resident satisfaction and staff efficiency through tech literacy initiatives, demonstrating measurable improvements in both areas.
  • Learn to evaluate technologies through the lens of being able to provide the support and guidance needed to maximize such benefits, ensuring that tech investments are utilized effectively.

Faculty: Abbie Richie, BA, Tech Guru, The Smarter Service.

Environmental wellness for every season–Nurture your life with natureEmily Ridgley, Sarah Robertson & Airianna Culler

Nature exposure significantly impacts senior health, but older adults often lack access. We’ll explore research linking nature to improved cognitive function, brain activity, mental health and sleep. Learn to integrate meaningful environmental programs through creative, seasonal approaches despite space and resource constraints. Experience ready-to-implement sensory programs adaptable across care levels.

You’ll be able to:

  • Recall the scientific evidence linking nature exposure to health improvements.
  • Create seasonal environmental wellness programs, overcoming limitations of space and resources.
  • Access and adapt comprehensive seasonal sensory programs for various care levels.

Faculty: Emily Ridgley, BS, ACSM, National Director of Training and Customer Support, Wellness Services; Sarah Robertson, BA, NASM, National Director of Training and Customer Support, Wellness Services; and Airianna Culler, BS, National Director of Training and Customer Support, Wellness Services, Aegis Therapies.

Promoting quality of life: The Montessori for Aging & Dementia modelAmy Laughlin

Memory Support communities aim for environments where individuals with cognitive impairment thrive. Learn how Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina transitioned to the Montessori for Aging & Dementia model, creating prepared environments promoting independence and abundant living. Feedback from care partners, residents and families highlights successful outcomes in this interactive session.

You’ll be able to:

  • Review the Montessori for Aging & Dementia philosophy’s goals and principles.
  • Identify simple programming changes to create a Montessori prepared environment.
  • Discuss transitioning from a traditional to Montessori-driven Memory Support model.

Faculty: Amy Laughlin, BA, NCCAP, Director of Residential Life, Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina.

Not your grandma’s nursing homeAngie Frantz

Many still stigmatize senior living, but as Boomers join, evolving with a “Not Your Grandma’s Nursing Home” perspective is crucial. This session showcases “outside the box” events, activities and programming that celebrate life and play, bringing joy, movement, fulfillment and purpose to residents. Learn unconventional event/activity planning for residents and prospects, PR/branding ideas to highlight events, and social media engagement strategies.

You’ll be able to:

  • Gain “outside the box” event/activity ideas providing a new senior living perspective.
  • Explore PR and branding tactics to promote remarkable events.
  • Leverage social media for event storytelling and engagement.

Faculty: Angie Frantz, BF-CMT, CPM, Product Manager, Prestige Senior Living.

Thrive under fire: Handling difficult customers like a proKathleen Weissberg

Customer service is essential for a strong reputation, but different in senior living. Complete a self-scored inventory identifying your personality traits to better understand yourself and relating to others. Explore 10 “difficult” personality types and strategies to address each, bringing out the best in people. Gain real-time strategies heightening customer service awareness, improving satisfaction and outcomes.

You’ll be able to:

  • Identify key personality attributes impacting daily interactions.
  • Describe “difficult” personalities and strategies for mitigating conflict.
  • List evidence-based customer service approaches impacting senior living satisfaction and outcomes.

Faculty: Kathleen Weissberg, OTD, National Director of Education, Select Rehabilitation.

Protecting the aging shoulder: Mobility and stabilityAaron Aslakson

The shoulder complex’s mobility comes at the expense of stability and injury risk. This presentation provides an in-depth anatomy and biomechanical analysis of the shoulder joints, including age-related changes. Practice simple yet effective exercises to help older adults maintain shoulder mobility and stability. Learn exercise and equipment modifications to enhance implementation in personal training and group settings.

You’ll be able to:

  • Discuss how aging impacts shoulder anatomy/biomechanics affecting movement.
  • Demonstrate exercises targeting shoulder/rotator cuff muscles for stability and mobility.
  • Modify exercises/equipment for personalized programming in training and groups.

Faculty: Aaron Aslakson, PhD, ACSM, Assistant Professor and Director of Exercise Science, Crown College.

LimitLESS: Challenging disability through fitnessAndrew Lingelbach

Fitness profoundly enriches those with disabilities, whether age-related or from birth. Through empathetic interviews and scientific principles, develop strategies engaging older adults with disabilities in fitness programming. The legally blind presenter combines life and professional experiences to describe inclusive exercise modalities and techniques serving this underserved population.

You’ll be able to:

  • Design fitness programs for older adults with a range of disabilities.
  • Identify business opportunities in the underserved disability demographic.
  • Promote diversity, inclusion and belonging through impactful disability programs.

Faculty: Andrew Lingelbach, BS, ACSM/NCHPAD, Fitness Coordinator, Erickson Senior Living.

Dynamic flexibility: From the ground up!Manuel Velazquez

Move every joint and muscle from the Ground Up! Learn functional self-myofascial release techniques and appropriate applications for maintaining/regaining range of motion, strength, balance and proprioception—allowing an active lifestyle using multi-joint movements without equipment. Discuss older-adult limitations and safe progressions. Improve functional mobility and dynamic flexibility effectively.

You’ll be able to:

  • Apply non-equipment self-myofascial release to flexibility programs.
  • Combine dynamic flexibility with balance/proprioception for active agers.
  • Focus on joint mobility and muscle stability from feet to hands.

Faculty: Manuel Velazquez, BA, ACE, Movement Specialist and Wellness Trainer, Rancho La Puerta Spa & Resort.

9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.



10:45 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

CREATIVE EXCHANGELawrence Biscontini & team of experts

Gain valuable information to help your organization build a stronger team through an idea exchange with industry colleagues and experts. Come away with strategies for implementing effective ideas with others in a supportive, engaging environment.

11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m.


Indulge in a delectable lunch while engaging in enlightening discussions with our esteemed partners in this informative session.

12:45 p.m.–5:15 p.m.

ICAA EXPO GRAND OPENINGRaleigh Convention Center

Explore new and innovative offerings at the wellness-focused ICAA Expo. Discover products and services, technologies and equipment to support multidimensional wellness from providers committed to meeting the industry’s needs.

3:45 p.m.–4:45 p.m.

Internships in senior living: Who, what, when, where & why?Haley Kinne-Norris

With the growing older-adult population, plan for future staffing needs through local university/college/high school internship programs. This intergenerational opportunity provides students insight into older adults while assisting residents and programs. Expose students to senior living career opportunities. Whether in sales, wellness, enrichment or administration, internships benefit your community’s success while reducing costs.

You’ll be able to:

  • Review resident/program benefits from local/international internships.
  • Identify academic partners for continued internships/volunteer opportunities.
  • Determine community needs met through interns instead of hired staff.

Faculty: Haley Kinne-Norris, MS, NCCAP, Regional Wellness and Enrichment Coordinator, Liberty Senior Living.

Loneliness & social isolation antidotes: Wellness-based interventions and programsRobert Winningham & Charles De Vilmorin

Explore using social wellness to combat loneliness and isolation and discover the effects of loneliness, isolation and perceived/instrumental social support on mental and physical health. Loneliness may be more dangerous than smoking! Learn to assess and reassess residents’ psychosocial needs for personalized engagement. Explore practical interventions and programs improving social engagement, wellness and quality of life. Gain ways to operationalize efforts for sustainability and effectiveness.

You’ll be able to:

  • Describe mental and physical health correlates of loneliness.
  • Implement person-directed social programs assessing/reassessing residents’ needs.
  • Describe three meaningful programs/interventions for social engagement.

Faculty: Robert Winningham, PhD, Professor of Psychological Sciences and Gerontology, Western Oregon University; and Charles De Vilmorin, MA, CEO and Cofounder, Linked Senior.

Optimizing meaningful activity for residents with dementia in assisted livingSarah Holmes and Barbara Resnick

Meaningful activity benefits persons with dementia, but assisted living residents often lack engagement opportunities, experiencing behavioral symptoms of distress. The presenters developed MAC-4-BSD, a four-step theory-based approach optimizing meaningful activity engagement. Learn this comprehensive approach’s tools for implementation in assisted living and senior communities. Discover the value of MAC-4-BSD based on trials across five assisted-living settings.

You’ll be able to:

  • Describe approaches to engage residents with dementia in meaningful activity in assisted living settings.
  • Review the Assessment of Resident Preferences for Meaningful Activity Tool to identify opportunities for meaningful activity engagement.
  • Discuss practical implications of the findings from the MAC-4-BSD trial to increase engagement.

Faculty: Sarah Holmes, PhD, MSW, Assistant Professor, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, University of Maryland School of Nursing; and Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, Associate Dean for Research and Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland School of Nursing.

Follow the Paths to Wellness: Integrating community partners and participantsJennie Griggs, Kristina Wolfe & Kimberly Baradei

Discover the benefits of innovative integrated programming incorporating healthcare and wellness principles. Paths to Wellness combines healthcare professionals and community organizations to provide motivating, actionable steps for aging well. Discover the benefits of innovative integrated programming incorporating healthcare and wellness principles. Develop funding strategies through sponsors, partnerships and nonprofits. Identify and recruit local healthcare experts for programming. Integrate the eight domains of wellness and livability, designing programs that evoke health and wellness action in targeted populations.

You’ll be able to:

  • List components for developing innovative programs incorporating local instructors, healthcare experts, and sponsors.
  • Recall the benefits of this program model for individuals in your professional domain.
  • Identify actionable steps to integrate wellness domains in targeted population programming.

Faculty: Jennie Griggs, MA, IFTA, Director of Northern and Eastern Wake Senior Centers; Kristina Wolfe, PT, APTA Geriatrics Credentialed Balance and Falls Professional, Founder/Owner, Prosper PT & Wellness; and Kimberly Baradei, MA, CCC-SLP, CBIS, Founder, Elevate Speech Services.

Disrupting the aging process: Enhancing functional movement for older adultsJoe Turngren and Rick Muhr

Join us for a workshop focused on disrupting how we approach exercise in senior living communities. The presenters will demonstrate how to leverage your understanding of the challenges and limitations of the aging population to improve residents’ independence and quality of life.

You’ll be able to:

  • Recall the principles of functional movement and their relevance to daily activities and quality of life.
  • Recognize the benefits of exercise to physical and mental health, cognitive function, and management of chronic conditions.
  • Apply principles of safe exercise for older adults and implement strategies for encouraging regular physical activity.

Faculty: Joe Turngren, Senior Living/Medical Manager, Matrix Fitness; and Rick Muhr, BA, Matrix Brand Ambassador.

Corrective core training for the active agingLeslee Bender

Corrective core training is crucial for active aging, providing a foundation for all life’s activities. With traditional crunches now considered detrimental to spinal health and overall ineffective, this session introduces alternative exercises and programs suitable for all fitness levels and abilities, including those who may need a chair for support. Ideal for trainers and facility directors, attendees will learn to construct a core training program focusing on balance, strength, mobility and stability without compromising safety.

You’ll be able to:

  • Grasp the significance of corrective functional core training across all abilities.
  • Advocate for back-friendly movements that effectively strengthen the core.
  • Employ various positions and small equipment in core training routines.

Faculty: Leslee Bender, BA, ACE, Owner, Ageless Training Academy.

Reducing fear & improving function: Incontinence, falls, injury, cognitionMike Studer

Fear, a normal and sometimes protective emotion, can become a debilitating force, influencing our movement, choices and overall functionality. Fear is a powerful distractor. This session delves into identifying, addressing and mitigating fear related to falling, incontinence, reinjury, cognitive loss, terminal disease and stigmatization. Learn strategies to recognize various manifestations of fear and employ methods to alleviate these fears in residents, clients and patients, fostering a sense of security and enhancing quality of life.

You’ll be able to:

  • Recognize and discuss fear and its consequences with residents, clients, patients and caregivers.
  • Identify and educate about different expressions of fear: falling, incontinence, pain and errors/embarrassment.
  • Effectively reduce fear in residents, clients and patients using evidence-based principles.

Faculty: Mike Studer, PT, DPT, MHS, NCS, CEEAA, CWT, CSST, CBFP, CSRP, FAPTA, Adjunct Professor, Touro University and UNLV DPT programs, and Cofounder/Co-owner, Spark Rehabilitation and Wellness, Bend, Oregon.

Pole walking to improve cognitive healthJoy Cochran

Aerobic exercise improves brain function and delays cognitive decline in older adults. Nordic walking turns a familiar activity into a total body workout, increasing aerobic intensity and driving brain change. A 2023 study showed Nordic walking significantly improved multiple cognitive domains in people with Alzheimer’s. Learn how specialized poles can be safe, impactful tools across the continuum of care.

You’ll be able to:

  • Identify five evidence-based benefits of Pole Walking for enhancing brain health and quality of life.
  • Differentiate between Activator and Urban Poling techniques to select the most effective, safe approach for each resident.
  • Perform five functional exercises with specialized poles to increase aerobic capacity.

Faculty: Joy Cochran, PT, DPT, Owner, JOY Explorations, and Clinical Evidence Specialist, Urban Poling.

4:45 p.m.–5:15 p.m.


Secure your spot in the Class of 2024 photo at the ICAA Conference to preserve the memories of your experiences and connections. We welcome all attendees, exhibitors, speakers, volunteers and staff to join us for this not-to-miss moment.