Annual OSU Gerontology Conference

Oregon State University • Corvallis, OR

Annual OSU Gerontology Conference

Oregon State University | Corvallis, Oregon

47th Annual OSU Gerontology Conference

Healthy Aging-Friendly Communities: Connecting people and places through research and practice

 Oregon State University Alumni Center – Corvallis, Oregon

Friday, May 31, 2024

Social Networking Event
with Book Read on May 30, 2024, 5:30 P.M.

For 47 years, the Annual OSU Gerontology Conference has offered contemporary and applicable gerontological education from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. We invite you to network with colleagues as well as local, national, and internationally-known gerontology professionals.

Keynote Speakers:

Alan DeLaTorre, PhD
Adjunct Research Associate, Institute on Aging IOA Portland State University, College of Urban and Public Affairs
Topic: Are We Age-Friendly Yet? 17+ Years of Age-Friendly Research, Policy, and Practice in Oregon
Approximately 17 years ago Portland, Oregon became the first U.S. city to join the World Health Organization’s global age-friendly cities project. However, Oregon cities and communities have been planning communities to address population aging since the 1980’s, including efforts that span rural counties, high-density 15-minute neighborhoods, and state-level legislation. This presentation will offer a retrospective of age-friendly efforts in the state, highlights of action-focused age-friendly research, successes and challenges related to creating and implementing age-friendly policies, and emerging strategies for aging in place and in community.

Anthony D. Ong, PhD
Professor of Psychology in the College of Human Ecology, Director of the Center for Integrative Developmental Science and Human Health Labs at Cornell University
Topic: Positive Emotions as a Source of Resilience in Later Life
Aging is characterized by inevitable changes in cognitive and physiological functioning. However, the impact of these changes varies considerably among individuals.

Resilience and vulnerability, which develop over the life course, play a crucial role in shaping the aging experience. In this talk, I focus on what is known about positive emotions as a factor in both mental and physical health processes. Plausible mechanisms that underlie the association between positive emotions and mental and physical health are described, and illustrative studies examining these mechanisms are reviewed. Overall, findings indicate that positive emotions exert protective health effects. These findings point to new research questions that pose important challenges for future research.

Max Brown, PhD
Office of Aging and People Disabilities Oregon Department of Human Services

Deb McCuin, M.Ed
Office of Aging and People Disabilities Oregon Department of Human Services

Topic: Oregon State Plan on Aging and an Age-Friendly Oregon
Comprehensive, multi-sector planning is underway to make Oregon an Age-Friendly state, and the 2023-2026 Older Americans Act (OAA) State Plan on Aging provides several goals, objectives, and strategies toward an Age-Friendly Oregon as well. This plenary session provides a brief overview on the essential role and scope of the Oregon State Plan on Aging and its relation to the Older Americans Act, the five main focus areas of the State Plan, and examples of how the State Plan and Older Americans Act programs have objectives and strategies committed to contributing to the more comprehensive, multi-sector efforts for an Age-Friendly Oregon. State Plan work includes more specific goals and objectives in housing, volunteerism, social isolation and social engagement, family and unpaid caregiving, and workforce development. The State Plan’s focus and efforts are all framed within an equity lens, including several objectives and strategies primarily or exclusively committed to equity initiatives, with the intent to serve older adults with the greatest economic and social needs. While the resources and the capacity of the State Plan and Older Americans Act programs are limited, these efforts are intended to coordinate with broader and longer-term planning and development toward an Age-Friendly Oregon. This session will engage community partners to share their ideas and suggestions for collaboration between the State Plan on Aging and those broader initiatives and opportunities.