Conference could be ‘starting point’ for change

Lynn Ivey hopes Monday’s discussion on aging in Charlotte changes the way people look at the role of seniors in the community and serves as a starting point for celebrating the strength of the city’s aging population.

The Ivey, an adult day-care center in SouthPark with a focus on helping families of patients with memory loss diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, is one of the leading forces behind the upcoming The Many Faces of Aging Conference. The conference, on Monday, June 3, will include three experts on senior and aging issues who will discuss with local residents what needs to be done to make Charlotte more livable for seniors and those who one day will be seniors.

“I really hope there will be a groundswell of interest in the community for taking positive action,” Lynn Ivey, director of The Ivey and member of the local Council on Aging board, said. Ivey said the conference will focus on three main issues: choosing livable environments for aging, such as finding a home that will “age with you” that includes wider doorframes if you eventually require use of a wheelchair, or an elevator if the home is two stories; perusing life-long learning and creative aging options; and promoting volunteerism and community leadership.

“What I hope, particularly around volunteerism and community leadership, is that people will recognize we have this huge population that is aging that are a very positive asset for economic development,” Ivey said.

Ivey said it’s important to change the way seniors and others look at living in retirement, and she hopes the conference is a starting point for that attitude change.

“I’ve seen from personal experience how important it is to celebrate the strength in seniors and individuals and not focus on deficits,” Ivey said. “We would like to spread that message out into the entire community.”

Information received from the conference will be packaged together into what Ivey and others hope can be used to promote change in the Charlotte area toward planning for future generations. It also will be used in a Queens University of Charlotte needs assessment on making the city more livable for seniors.

“We hope to energize the public and energize our elected officials to really make our community very livable for all generations,” Ivey said.

The conference, Monday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Queens University Sports Complex, 2229 Tyvola Road, is sold out, though a waiting list is available at the event website, www.many facesofaging.org. Speakers will include Sandra Timmermann, executive director for the MetLife Mature Market Institute; Michael Olender, AARP’s new North Carolina associate state director; and Ronald Manheimer, former education director of The National Council on Aging in Washington, D.C.

The website will be updated with news from the conference and future news on the mission over time, Ivey said.

The Ivey is located at 6030 Park S. Drive. Find more information on the center’s website, www.theivey.com.

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