Aging: The Final Frontier

Exploring Spiritual Maturity and Aging

Aging: The Final Frontier is a one-day conference sponsored by representatives of the Christian Community and friends, all experienced in engaging with the aging population.


 

 

 

Why this conference? Because we are all getting older! Because all generations depend on each other; because the demographics are shifting: Baby Boomers are becoming Senior Boomers.  Because we need one another as we explore the challenges and opportunities lying ahead for all of us.  This conference will share ways new and old that churches (and other agencies) are engaging elders in creative ministry.  We will consider the prospects that our own aging can be joyful, fruitful and faithful.  You will meet others who care about aging, and discover resources to support and encourage your own visions.…and more.

Who will be there? Aging: The Final Frontier is for anyone concerned for those in the Senior Years, currently and into the future.  Family caregivers, health care workers, social workers, pastors, chaplains, engaged and prospective lay ministers, missionaries, those of any age, and even the simply curious – all are encouraged to attend.

Keynote speaker: Dr. Paul T.P. Wong on “Spirituality and Successful Aging”

Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D., C.Psych. is Professor Emeritus of Trent University and Trinity Western University, and Adjunct Professor at Saybrook University. He is a Fellow of APA and CPA, and President of the International Network on Personal Meaning and the Meaning-Centered Counseling Institute.  Internationally known for his research on successful aging and the vital role of meaning in well-being, he has served on both the National Advisory Council on Aging in Canada and the Biological-Behavioural Science Panel of NIMH in the USA. He has been invited to give keynotes globally. He is known to the Christian community as the founding pastor of the Chinese Gospel Church in Toronto, the founding director of the Graduate Counseling Program of the Trinity Western University, and Chair of Division of Social Science & Business Administration of Tyndale University College.

Workshops: 3 sessions, 6 tracks, 18 options to choose from as explained below.

March 30th, 2019

9:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

(Registration opens at 8:15)

105 Gibson Centre, 105 Gibson Drive, Markham, Ontario L3R 3K7

(click here for a map; site is wheelchair accessible)

Free Parking on Site

Registration instructions: To register you will first need to select 3 workshops of your choice. The workshops are described below to assist you with your choices. After making your 3 selections below, you will be re-directed to the Registration Site. At that site, initially you will order a ticket; then you will fill out the contact and payment information; after that you will record the 3 workshops you have selected. (The Registration Site stays active for only 8 minutes; therefore it is wise to choose the 3 workshops before visiting the Registration Site.) The workshops are given below and explained after the Schedule for the Day.

Registration fee: $40 without lunch; $50 with lunch

Groups of 5 or more people can register for $30 without or $40 with lunch: Please contact agingconference2019@gmail.com for details

Lunch menu given at the bottom of this Webpage

Online Registration Closes on March 25

Walk-ins welcomed if space available (cash only); check this site after March 25

If you have further questions, concerns or comments, you can reach us at agingconference2019@gmail.com


SCHEDULE FOR THE DAY

8:15-8:45               Registration

8:45-8:55               Plenary Session: Worship in Song

9:00-9:20               Plenary Session: Devotional – Demographic Realities & the Biblical Call

9:25-10:40             Concurrent Workshops: A (choose 1 – see below)

10:40-11:10            Refreshment Break

11:10-11:40            PLENARY KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Dr. Paul T.P. Wong

11:45-12:45            LUNCH (Menu at bottom of page)

12:45-2:00            Concurrent Workshops: B (choose 1 – see below)

2:00-2:10              Short Break (Drinks available)

2:15-3:30              Concurrent Workshops: C (choose 1 – see below)

3:30-3:45              Debrief and Closing Prayers



Click Here to download posters

ALL WORKSHOPS AT A GLANCE

Notice: the horizontal rows are concurrent workshops – select one only from each row.

Descriptions are given below

Track #1: Disruptions:

Dementia and Disability

Track #2:

Care for the Caregivers

Track #3:

Reframing Aging

Track #4:

Ministering & the Aging

Track #5:

Outreach: Local

Track #6:

Outreach: Global and Local

A1 Dementia: Supporting our Community Through Understanding

A2 Caring for those Assisting the Vulnerable aging

A3 Spiritual Needs

& Aging: Fruitfulness Regardless

A4 Universal Design and Strengthening the Intergenerational Church

A5 “Our point of view”: Little Trinity Anglican Church – Older Adults Ministry (Panel)

A6 Global Aging-Mission: the facts & the call

B1 “I’m not disabled”:

Aging & disabilities

B2 Caregivers:

taking care of oneself

B3 Aging and You:

Stages of Aging

B4 Using Music to Care, and Why

B5 Chaplains: Who They Are, What They Do… and Can Do for You

(Panel)

B6 – Disability, Death, and Control

C1 Dementia Friendly Personal-Spiritual Care

(Panel)

C2 Support Services for Vulnerable Older Adults and Caregivers

(Panel)

C3 Building Blocks of Faith

C4 Ministering to Spiritual Needs:

Faith Storytelling

C5 Community Outreach – 105Gibson Centre

C6 Focus on Aging in China

Select one workshop of your preference from each row in the following charts:

one from row A: Workshop A – 9:25-10:40

one from row B: Workshop B – 12:45-2:00

one from row C : Workshop C – 2:15-3:30

Record your 3 choices before you visit the registration LINK – you will see the link after your Workshop C selection.


CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – SESSION A

(CHOOSE only 1 from the 6 LISTED under Workshops A)

9:25-10:40 Workshops: A

Track #1: Disruptions:

Dementia and Disability

Track #2:

Care for the Caregivers

Track #3:

Reframing Aging

Track #4:

Ministering & the Aging

Track #5:

Outreach: Local

Track #6:

Outreach: Global and Local

A1 Dementia: Supporting our Community Through Understanding

A2 Caring for those Assisting the Vulnerable aging

A3 Spiritual Needs

& Aging: Fruitfulness Regardless

A4 Universal Design and Strengthening the Intergenerational Church

A5 “Our point of view”: Little Trinity Anglican Church – Older Adults Ministry (Panel)

A6 Global Aging-Mission: the facts & the call

A1 – Dementia: Supporting Our Community through Understanding

Have you looked at the news and heard about the rising numbers of Alzheimer’s disease diagnoses? Do you understand the difference between Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease? Come learn about what the term ‘Dementia’ means, the different types and the warning signs. Alzheimer’s disease affects many aspects of daily living including communication and behaviour. By examining the ways an individual living with dementia communicates, we can learn ways to have effective communication with them. Changes in behaviour can be an aspect of living with dementia and understanding the meaning behind the behaviours will help us respond and create effective strategies in managing these changes. Come to understand how to support those in your community who are caregivers and those who live with a dementia, so that they can have the best possible quality of life.

Stacey Mendonca Stacey Mendonca is the Public Education Coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of York Region. She is a Social Worker and a graduate of George Brown College (SSW) and York University (BSW).  Stacey has had a passion for working with those living with dementia since her grandfather was diagnosed when she was young. In the six years she worked with the Alzheimer Society of York Region, she has worked front-line in the Adult DAY Programs and for the last four years in the Support and Education team. Stacey is responsible for education of the general public, as well as community outreach and caregiver education. She greatly enjoys her job and is always happy to talk with community members.

A2 – Caring For Those Assisting the Vulnerable Aging

Caregivers are wonderful people, but they also need all the help they can get.  What do you do when the care you have worked hard to provide is resisted or resented?  How do you row your caregiving boat straight when unresolved family dynamics rise from the deep and you can’t see where you are going?  Are you a professional caregiver?  Is the amount of time you are given to help each resident or client less than ideal to even get to know them a little?  Tools will be offered for dealing with these issues in the context of practical conversation about the way the church and other friends can encourage, assist and support front-line care givers.

Henk Bruinsma has served as a pastor for 36 years.  For the last ten of those years, he has served as a pastor and chaplain at Holland Christian Homes (HCH) in Brampton where he and his colleagues serve 240 residents in Long Term Care. In the independent living areas of the same complex, they minister to over 800 seniors (average age 87) who range from those able to live fully independent lives to those who benefit from advanced levels of assisted living.  Henk and his colleagues also offer pastoral care to family caregivers and to over 400 staff who work at HCH.

A3 – Spiritual Needs and Aging: Fruitfulness Regardless

A 80-year-old woman described for me a weekly Bible study she leads for single moms in a poor neighbourhood. She paused, and then, with fire in her eyes, declared, “I have a pulse. That means I have a purpose.” She was embodying Psalm 92:14: “The righteous will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.” The Lord created us to seek first the Kingdom, and that purpose continues in various forms until we see him face to face. What does that look like? How do we in our church communities declare that our society’s tendency to see the elderly as useless is a lie, and how do we encourage Psalm 92 living? This workshop will explore very specific, actionable strategies that can be adapted for all congregations and situations.

Dr. Syd Hielema is the team leader for Faith Formation Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously he has served as a professor of ministry at Redeemer University College (Ancaster, ON) and Dordt College (Iowa). Syd has been married to Evelyn for 42 years, and together they serve both as grandparents and as caregivers to three elderly parents.

A4 – Universal Design and Strengthening the Intergenerational Church

Someone once said, “If we want to stay young, then we need to hang out with young people.”  The word young could be substituted with many words like: involved, active, or relationally connected.   This workshop will focus on how to encourage and equip congregations to cultivate a culture in which faith in God is nurtured and relationships are fostered as all ages learn and grow, serve, and worship together.  We will explore the benefits of intergenerational approaches to all aspects of congregational life and address some of the challenges as well. We will also look at Barbara Newman’s concept of Universal Worship Design where she shows how the entire worshiping community benefits from worship services that are designed and led with the goal of including everyone, with an emphasis on the idea that when one part of the body is blessed and strengthened, all parts of the body are blessed and strengthened.

Lesli van Milligen serves as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church and is currently working as a Regional Catalyzer with Faith Formation Ministries which supports the “cradle to grave” discipleship efforts of local congregations for that denomination.  She recently worked with a peer learning group of 11 congregations who spent a year exploring how to support the faith walk of those who are in the last third of their life. This group also explored strategies to capture the wisdom of seasoned saints and the energy of youth and young adult emerging leaders as a way to strengthen the Intergenerational nature of Church.  This experience has brought rich insight and practical ideas to both of Lesli’s workshops.

A5 –“Our point of view”: Little Trinity Anglican Church – Older Adults Ministry (Panel)

Little Trinity Anglican Church is an example of a downtown evangelical church which has recently expanded its gospel ministry among older adults as new and long-standing members of the church face challenges and opportunities as they age. Learn how different members of the Lay Pastoral Care Team have drawn on their gifts, experience and skills to strengthen support for older adults and their families, how they have acted upon direct feedback from the older adults of their church and increased engagement among older adults. You will hear stories and teaching about the key approaches that are part of this ministry. Come with your questions and stories so that together we might learn to be more faithful and fruitful in our churches and our neighbourhoods.

Chair: Lorna Beatty – In her family home, Lorna learned how to experience mutual enrichment through friendships with older relatives and neighbours. She enjoys supporting older adults through friendship, mutual interests, gospel readings, prayer and assisting with serving Communion.  She is the Chaplain at New Horizons Tower, a retirement and assisted living home for older adults and a project of Dovercourt Baptist Church.

James Beck is the Lay Pastoral Associate at Little Trinity Church. He is responsible for the leadership of the Lay Pastoral Care Team. As a team we support, encourage and learn from each other as we do home and hospital visits and provide regular events for our mobile older adults to attend. We continue to develop our skills and knowledge base in order to be as effective as possible in our care.

Jane Kuchma is the Executive Director of Richview Residence. She has been fortunate to learn from many seniors what helps contribute to quality of life as we age.  She will identify components of the Richview housing program, the supports provided, including how seniors help seniors and stay involved in the community. She will share how her work experience informs her involvement with the Lay Pastoral Care Team.

Elizabeth Johnston has been involved with older adults for many of her 40 years as a member of Little Trinity. This has included: monthly Sunday lunches, back when numbers were small, one to one lunches, home visiting, occasional hospital visits, prayer together and general befriending. Liz has faithfully transported other parishioners to and from church.

A6 – Global Aging-Mission: The Facts and the Call

The World is Aging!  Many are saying: “Global aging is a defining phenomenon of the 21st century”.  It certainly is a major global trend.  Is the Church ready and faithfully serving in our time?  The Mission Community?  The challenge is local and it is global, and it will only increase.  The United Nations summarized their extensive study, World Population Ageing 1950-2050 in four key points:  population aging is unprecedented, pervasive, profound, and enduring.  The World Health Organization forecasts the elderly population (over 60 years of age) to grow from an estimated 680 million people in 2011 to 2 billion by 2050 with those over 60 outnumbering those under 15.  This historically unprecedented situation is already impacting all dimensions of life, including the economic, social, and political spheres. Biblically, “true religion” includes caring for the widows (Ja 1:27), with explicit commandments in the Old and the New Testaments to honour the aged as we honour our parents (Ex 20; Lev 19:32; Mat 15; Eph 6; 1 Tim 5).  Honour, understood biblically, is holistic and integrated.  The world has several “holistic” action plans–Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing  (MIPAA, 2002), and WHO Global Strategy on Ageing (2016), although each is woefully lacking elaboration of the religious-spiritual dimensions.

Tom McCormick has ministered for over 40 years in Nursing Homes, and is a chaplain at both a Long Term Care Home and a Retirement Community in Richmond Hill.  In the 1980’s he published a manual for training others. In 2003 he coauthored Nursing Home Ministries.  Currently he is facilitating a program in Ministries for the Ageing.  Tom has served as an overseas missionary in Peru, Papua New Guinea, Cameroon, India, and China.  He lives near Toronto, Canada, while teaching part-time at Tyndale Seminary.

CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – SESSION B

Select and record your 3 choices before you complete the registration process.  Registration LINK given after your Workshop C Selection below.

(CHOOSE only 1 from the 6 LISTED under Workshops B)

12:45-2:00 Workshops: B

Track #1: Disruptions:Dementia and Disability

Track #2: Care for the Caregivers

Track #3: Reframing Aging

Track #4:Ministering & the Aging

Track #5: Outreach: Local

Track #6:Outreach: Global and Local

B1 “I’m not disabled”:Aging & disabilities

 B2 Caregivers:taking care of oneself

B3 Aging and You:Stages of Aging

B4 Using Music to Care, and Why

B5  Chaplains: Who They Are, What They Do… and Can Do for You (Panel)

B6 Disability, Death, and Control

B1 – “I’m Not Disabled”: Aging and Disabilities

I am a young woman with Cerebral Palsy – and may not be the first person one would expect to talk about aging!  However, I have encountered numerous older people who struggle with the fear and the reality of losing one’s abilities.  “At least I’m not disabled,” some of them say. Or even “If I am ever stuck in a wheelchair, I’d just want to die.” Such loaded comments are harmful to our relationship with God and with each other.  Aging and disability often go hand-in-hand. How are we, as the Body of Christ, called to support each other as our abilities shift?  How are the older members to face their losses in abilities, and how can the rest of the body improve our care for them?  In a context that seems to idealize youth and independence, Christians can model a love that is interdependent.  This workshop seeks to encourage and celebrate life, examining ways to support loved ones and caregivers as abilities and needs change.  How do we live with the loss of abilities with grace? How do we counter the negative connotations that the term “disabled” often carries with it? I will be sharing from scripture, academic research, and personal experience.

Rev. Miriam Spies is the Communications and Volunteer Specialist for Safe Church and Disability Concerns of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA).  Ordained in The United Church of Canada, Miriam brings pastoral and ecumenical experience.  She continues to engage in academic work in disability theology (that is, what do disabilities have to say and teach us about our relationship with God, with each other, and with our faith in Jesus).

B2 – Caregivers: Taking Care of Oneself

Caring for the elderly as they decline — whether it is a spouse caring for a partner, children caring for parents, or other forms of caring relationships — is often physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausting. How might the caregiver care for him or herself? This reflective, meditative workshop will explore the dynamics of caregiving, and then suggest steps that we as caregivers might take to protect our own souls, hearts and bodies. The presenter will speak both from his own experience as a caregiver and from his experience as a pastor.

Dr. Syd Hielema is the team leader for Faith Formation Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously he has served as a professor of ministry at Redeemer University College (Ancaster, ON) and Dordt College (Iowa). Syd has been married to Evelyn for 42 years, and together they serve both as grandparents and as caregivers to three elderly parents.

B3 – Aging and You: Stages of Aging

We naturally recognize youth and adolescence as special periods of our lives, each with unique challenges, responsibilities and opportunities. Whether we consider the second half of life or the last third, there are further distinctive challenges for each of us.  Aging presents ambiguities and tensions:  between fruition and decline; between satisfactions and losses; between failures, regrets, “could have been”s, and unlived dreams…and the glorious fulfillment of the Promises of God in Christ Jesus (Revelation 21-22).  We undoubtedly have an irreplaceable message and a matchless hope to live and to share.  To care for the aging means we each must also care for the unique old man or woman slowly awakening within us.  In this workshop, we look together at the exceptional privileges, challenges, and opportunities both for our own growth and for ministry, as we explore the spiritual and personal challenges of the human aging process.

Tom McCormick has ministered for over 40 years in Nursing Homes, and is a chaplain at both a Long Term Care Home and a Retirement Community in Richmond Hill.  In the 1980’s he published a manual for training others. In 2003 he coauthored Nursing Home Ministries.  Currently he is facilitating a program in Ministries for the Ageing.  Tom has served as an overseas missionary in Peru, Papua New Guinea, Cameroon, India, and China.  He lives near Toronto, Canada, while teaching part-time at Tyndale Seminary.

B4 – Using Music to Care, and Why

What can we do with music, with ourselves and with others whom we are ministering to? Does it go beyond singing a few hymns together? What are the benefits of music to special need populations such as those with dementia and in palliative care? This introductory workshop explores these questions, giving pointers to how we can use music in care contexts. If time allows, we will include some interactive hands-on segments. Come discover the importance of music for well-being, and a holistic approach in ministering to the elderly. No musical training necessary!

Jennifer Tong is trained as a classical pianist and has a doctoral degree in Musicology. In recent years her interests have expanded to include using music for care and healing. Currently she performs regularly in nursing homes, and recently she was a part of a Music, Motion and Memories program. She also leads a Music Group which consists of like-minded Christians who are interested in using music to minister to the elderly. She is actively engaged in research in music therapy theories and practices.

B5 – Chaplains: Who They Are, What They Do… and Can Do for You (Panel)

Chaplains are Spiritual and Religious Care Providers who work in diverse healthcare settings and older adults’ institutional homes. This panel is made up of experienced chaplains. We will address questions such as why we became chaplains, what prepared us for this ministry, what are some joys and heartbreaks in our work, and what has helped us to become resilient as chaplains.  We will also welcome questions from the floor.

Chair: Lorna Beatty – Lorna has worked with older adults since she graduated as an Occupational Therapist in 1983. She completed a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies in 1991. She completed a Basic Unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Sunnybrook Health Sciences in 2013.  Since that time, she has worked as a Chaplain or Chaplaincy Student with older adults in acute care, rehabilitation and complex continuing care, long-term care and retirement and assisted living. Throughout her career, Lorna has maintained a special focus on palliative care and end of life care. She is currently the Chaplain at New Horizons Tower.

Henk Bruinsma has served as a pastor for 36 years.  For the last ten of those years, he has served as a pastor and chaplain at Holland Christian Homes (HCH) in Brampton where he and his colleagues serve 240 residents in Long Term Care. In the independent living areas of the same complex, they minister to over 800 seniors (average age 87) who range from those able to live fully independent lives to those who benefit from advanced levels of assisted living.  Henk and his colleagues also offer pastoral care to family caregivers and to over 400 staff who work at HCH.

Nell DeBoer graduated with a Bachelor of Religious Education from Tyndale, and a Master of Religion from Wycliffe College, Toronto School of Theology, U of T.  She completed her Clinical Pastoral Education at Toronto Western Hospital and Toronto General Hospital.  She served as chaplain for the Toronto Hospital Ministry of the Christian Reformed Church, and continues to visit mostly seniors in long-term care facilities.  Her work as a chaplain led her to pursue a Doctor of Ministry where she wrote her thesis about healing called “Yearning for Wholeness.”

Lynne Hieminga took two years of a Master of Divinity (Pastoral Care focus) at Tyndale University, and completed one and a half years of Clinical Association of Practical and Pastoral Education (CAPPE) training through the Toronto School of Theology. She has wide experience as a Coordinator of Spiritual and Religious Care and Chaplain. This includes 5½ years in the University Hospitals, 2 years at the Toronto Rehabilitation Hospital (Dunn Ave.), and 15 years at the City of Toronto Long Term Care facilities. She currently serves as a church “Chaplain” overseeing pastoral care of a large congregation.

John McNeill: Prior to becoming a Chaplain in a Retirement Home, John McNeill served in pastoral roles in three local churches (London, Montreal and Toronto) for 28 years.  In 2014 he began his work at Fellowship Towers, now Davenhill Senior Living, in Toronto, serving some 160 Residents and 90 Staff.  John received a Honours B.A. in English from The University of Waterloo and a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary.  He and his wife, Jeanette, have been married for 36 years.  They have three sons and a daughter as well as three grandsons and one granddaughter.

B6 – Disability, Death, and Control

Changing approaches to Palliative Care, end-of-life decision-making, and euthanasia (“MAiD” ) are topics of urgent concern to all of us. Does the Church need to humbly acknowledge that euthanasia is a legitimate ministry that has taken us 2000 years to discover? Or could our society be stumbling into a mistake? None of us should ignore these questions, and many of us cannot. How will we navigate our way through our personal end-of-life decision-making in a culture that increasingly sees euthanasia as a good thing, and appropriate in a growing number of circumstances? How can Christian caregivers work in secular teams or within health care systems where euthanasia is rapidly becoming normal? In this interactive workshop we will explore how the question of control could be the key issue that we need to address to find our way through these complex challenges. We will look into its implications for addressing the desire for assisted suicide as it may arise in our own lives, the lives of those close to us, in our health care system, and in our society generally.

Dr. Terence McQuiston is a physician trained in Toronto who worked for four years on the in-patient cancer service at Sunnybrook Hospital. After working there, he ran a family practice, and in 2004 he changed to full-time geriatric work. He is now semi-retired and works three days a week in the Donway Place Retirement Residence where he helped establish an in-house chaplaincy.  Physician-assisted suicide (euthanasia or Medical Assistance in Dying – MAiD) has long concerned him. He has written on the subject and visited the Netherlands. He believes there’s a better way to address the needs cited by euthanasia advocates.

CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS – SESSION C

Select and record your 3 choices before you complete the registration process.  Registration LINK given after your Workshop C Selection below.

(CHOOSE only 1 from the 6 LISTED under Workshops C)

2:15-3:30 Workshops: C

Track #1: Disruptions:Dementia and Disability

Track #2: Care for the Caregivers

Track #3: Re-framing Aging

Track #4:Ministering & the Aging

Track #5: Outreach: Local

Track #6: Outreach: Global and Local

C1 Dementia Friendly Personal-Spiritual Care(Panel)

C2 Support Services for  the Vulnerable Older Adults and Caregivers(Panel)

C3Building Blocks of Faith

C4 Ministering to Spiritual Needs:Faith Storytelling

C5 Community Outreach – 105Gibson Centre

C6 Focus on Aging in China

C1 – Dementia Friendly Personal-Spiritual Care (Panel)

How might we participate in providing kind and respectful personal-spiritual care appropriate for those with dementia, whether you are a friend, a family member or a professional?  This panel of experienced practitioners and resource people will help us explore such matters as:  what are the resources available; what resources are not available but are needed; and what is the special place for “spiritual care”.  Questions and comments will be welcome throughout this interactive workshop.

Chair: Jim Amy – Jim is a graduate of Tyndale Seminary and Fuller Seminary. He served with Emmanuel International relief mission for ten years and as pastor of Stouffville Christian Church for the past 30 years. Pastor Jim has ministered to the staff and residents of Bloomington Cove, a home dedicated to dementia care, as chaplain and spiritual advisor for over 20 years. His passion is to sensitize the Church to a faithful Christian response to this vulnerable community.

Ron Beleno is an active advocate for dementia, caregiving, aging, and research communities.  Being a caregiver to his father who lived with Alzheimer’s for 10+ years to age in place at home until January 2018, Ron utilized technology, community, and access to research to support his family’s life to live well and as best as possible.  In recent years, Ron has been called upon to do presentations for Alzheimer’s Societies, communities, police, and researchers to share his knowledge on living safely with dementia, especially for those at risk of going missing. He is an active member, advisor, and mentor to numerous organizations and educational institutions such as AGE-WELL NCE, Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) at Baycrest, City of Toronto’s Seniors Strategy, SE Health (formerly known as Saint Elizabeth Health Care) and the Translational Research Program (TRP) at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine.  Ron’s activities are usually posted on his twitter feed at www.twitter.com/rb33canada.

Henk Bruinsma has served as a pastor for 36 years.  For the last ten of those years, he has served as a pastor and chaplain at Holland Christian Homes (HCH) in Brampton where he and his colleagues serve 240 residents in Long Term Care. In the independent living areas of the same complex, they minister to over 800 seniors (average age 87) who range from those able to live fully independent lives to those who benefit from advanced levels of assisted living.  Henk and his colleagues also offer pastoral care to family caregivers and to over 400 staff who work at HCH.

Mona Lancaster is the founder and director of a not-for-profit dementia initiative called Memory Lane Home Living Inc. in Richmond Hill, Ontario. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology/Sociology, and has worked in the field of mental health. Mona is currently completing a Gerontology Certificate through McMaster University. While she was at university, she worked as a nurse’s aide and became acquainted with the care needs of seniors and the Long Term Care system. During the last 4 years Mona reacquainted herself with the care needs of seniors as she became a caregiver for her mother, who was diagnosed with vascular dementia.  Mona began questioning the existing systems of care, with the help of other interested individuals in dementia-related fields. Together they sought an alternative co-operative model of living that better addresses the needs of caregivers and their loved ones on the dementia journey. Mona’s passion to improve daily living with dementia has inspired the Memory Lane Home Living Inc. and other dementia initiatives.

Stacey Mendonca is the Public Education Coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of York Region. She is a Social Worker and a graduate of George Brown College (SSW) and York University (BSW).  Stacey has had a passion for working with those living with dementia since her grandfather was diagnosed when she was young. In the six years she worked with the Alzheimer Society of York Region, she has worked front-line in the Adult DAY Programs and for the last four years in the Support and Education team. Stacey is responsible for education of the general public, as well as community outreach and caregiver education. She greatly enjoys her job and is always happy to talk with community members.

Glen Zeidler has walked the dementia journey with his mother who died in 2016. Glen currently serves part-time as a chaplain at a retirement community in the Don Mills area in Greater Toronto, providing spiritual support to those who are experiencing loss and those whose spouses have dementia or are themselves entering the beginning phases of the disease. His desire is to bring comfort and peace through the gospel.  Glen is also full-time pastor at Lighthouse Bible Church.  He is married to Leah.

C2 – Support Services for the Vulnerable Older Adults and Caregivers (Panel)

This panel of experienced practitioners will share their answers and perspectives to the following kinds of concerns: How did you get involved with vulnerable older adults and their caregivers in the community? What are some of the organizations that provide quality care for older adults or their caregivers? Whom do you refer to when there are spiritual or religious care needs or opportunities?   Whom do you call when you have no one to reach out to a vulnerable older adult with no caregivers? Which are your top five support services?  Come with your questions and contributions.

Chair: Tom McCormick – Tom has ministered for over 40 years in Nursing Homes, and is a chaplain at both a Long Term Care Home and a Retirement Community in Richmond Hill.  In the 1980’s he published a manual for training others. In 2003 he coauthored Nursing Home Ministries.  Currently he is facilitating a program in Ministries for the Ageing.  Tom has served as an overseas missionary in Peru, Papua New Guinea, Cameroon, India, and China.  He lives near Toronto, Canada, while teaching part-time at Tyndale Seminary.

Lorna Beatty has worked with older adults since she graduated as an Occupational Therapist in 1983. She completed a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies in 1991. She completed a Basic Unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Sunnybrook Health Sciences in 2013.  Since that time, she has worked as a Chaplain or Chaplaincy Student with older adults in acute care, rehabilitation and complex continuing care, long-term care and retirement and assisted living. Throughout her career, Lorna has maintained a special focus on palliative care and end of life care. She is currently the Chaplain at New Horizons Tower.

Rebekah Churchyard is a Gerontological Social Worker (MSW, RSW) based in Toronto, Ontario. Working as Project Manager with The Neighbourhood Group (TNG) in the Neighbour 2 Neighbour (N2N) 2.0 Program, she is committed to supporting older adults and countering ageism and age-related stigma in our culture. N2N 2.0 is a project funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to enhance volunteer-based Friendly Visiting programs for isolated seniors in the Toronto core. Project partners include Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre, West Neighbourhood House and Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre. Rebekah also volunteers as Vice-President of Toronto Council on Aging, Member of the World Young Leaders in Dementia and with the Toronto Seniors Strategy 2.0 Accountability Table. Rebekah believes in transformative social work and values keeping seniors seen, engaged and connected.

Sue Lantz (Bachelor of Arts, Master of Public Administration) is the Founder and Managing Director for Collaborative Aging (https://collaborativeaging.com/).   Through her work as a consultant, Sue has specialized in policy research and consultation on the topics of aging, dementia, and caregiving.  Most recently, Sue led a consultation with over 800 people in the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to learn about the lived experience of caregivers and health professionals to identify their priority needs and recommendations for improvements.  Through this research and co-design process, Sue co-developed the Caregiver Support Framework which is a guiding policy document for improving the supports available for caregivers in Ontario. Sue is an active member of the City of Toronto’s Seniors Strategy Accountability Table and the Caregiver Collaborative Forum.  Sue is also an Advisory Board  member of Ryerson University’s National Institute on Ageing, and has also contributed to national and provincial policy papers on the topic of caregiving.   Sue’s passion is in developing collaborative, practical and grass roots solutions for aging in place and supporting caregivers.

Veronica Law started her practice as an Occupational Therapist since 1998. To enhance her clinical practice, she graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Science. Concurrently, she works as a Care Coordinator with the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN, formerly CCAC) focusing on seniors’ community care. As an Occupational Therapist, she focuses on promoting functional independence in her clients’ activities of daily living, education of home safety and fall prevention, as well as strategies to tackle issues arising from dementia. As a Care Coordinator, she develops a close partnership with clients and caregivers. She is a strong advocate for advanced care planning with the goal of keeping clients living at home with adequate community support.

Janice Wilson graduated from Tyndale Seminary in 2011. After that, she served two years as a children and youth pastor in a downtown Toronto church. Since then, the Lord has opened the doors for her to use her gifts in the community, serving as the Executive Director of NeighbourLink North York (http://neighbourlink.org/). She has also recently completed a second Master’s degree in the field of philanthropy and nonprofit leadership with Carleton University. NeighbourLink North York, where she has served for the past 5 years, is a Christian charitable organization located in Willowdale. NeighbourLink North York has served seniors and adults living with disabilities and life-limiting illnesses in the community over the past 24 years. As a community outreach ministry it is currently engaged in finding new ways to serve seniors and other adults who are experiencing life transitions (e.g. those associated with aging), and social isolation.

C3 – Building Blocks of Faith

The Building Blocks of Faith are one way of describing how Christ is formed in us. Developed by Laura Keeley and Robert Keeley, this model proposes that whether we are 3, 33, or 93, we all have the same basic spiritual needs:  the need to Belong, the need to Know and Understand God’s story and our place in it, the need to have Hope and the need to understand how we are Called and Equipped in every season of life.   Join us as we look at how we can use these four Building Blocks as a tool to assess how our current work in the church is supporting the needs of our aging population. These Building Blocks can also be used as a way to brainstorm new ways to support the continued spiritual growth of those who have been walking in the life of faith for many years.   This is a practical workshop that will facilitate conversation around these Building Blocks in order for participants to leave with action steps that they can apply to a variety of ministry settings.

Lesli van Milligen serves as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church and is currently working as a Regional Catalyzer with Faith Formation Ministries which supports the “cradle to grave” discipleship efforts of local congregations for that denomination.  She recently worked with a peer learning group of 11 congregations who spent a year exploring how to support the faith walk of those who are in the last third of their life. This group also explored strategies to capture the wisdom of seasoned saints and the energy of youth and young adult emerging leaders as a way to strengthen the Intergenerational nature of Church.  This experience has brought rich insight and practical ideas to both of Lesli’s workshops.

C4 – Ministering to Spiritual Needs: Faith Storytelling

Sometimes our elderly are referred to as “The silent generation,” because they were raised to “just get on with life” and not share openly about their inner experiences. Their silence is both our loss as younger folk and their loss as aging folk. The Psalms encourage us over and over again to share our lives from one generation to the next, and psychologists reinforce this biblical truth as they observe how families and communities that pass on the stories of life orally are stronger because of it. Is it possible to encourage our silent ones to talk? Yes it is! This workshop will begin by describing why storytelling is a key discipline in the Christian life, and then suggest many simple ways to encourage storytelling habits among our elderly so that their stories bless all the generations.

Dr. Syd Hielema is the team leader for Faith Formation Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously he has served as a professor of ministry at Redeemer University College (Ancaster, ON) and Dordt College (Iowa). Syd has been married to Evelyn for 42 years, and together they serve both as grandparents and as caregivers to three elderly parents.

C5 – Community Outreach – 105 Gibson Centre

105 Gibson Centre is a Christian faith-based community centre devoted to bringing positive changes to the surrounding neighborhood.  It offers a wide range of social services and programs at a 47,000-square-foot facility, such as youth services, food bank, wellness awareness series, cultural café, sports and recreational activities, and, of special interest for this workshop: the Abundant Life program.  The Abundant Life Institute serves those who are 55 years old or older by providing lifelong learning opportunities and building a meaningful life, offering a wide range of courses and activities to expand members’ horizons with the hope that they will be empowered to lead a healthy life in their retirement years.  Monica Chan, the director of The Abundant Life Institute, will share with us about the many  innovative programs.

Monica Chan: Before joining the 105 Gibson Team, Monica had been a cross-cultural missionary, leading an international church planting team among the Japanese for 10 years and was a chaplain in nursing homes for 11 years later on in Toronto. During that period of time, Monica worked closely with older adults and has developed a deep affection for them. In view of the great demand, she believes that serving older adults at 105 Gibson will be a blessing to the whole community through helping the seniors and their families.

C6 – Focus on Aging in China

Both Canada and China are aging rapidly. The population demographics show that both countries will have their 60-plus population increase at an accelerated rate, exceeding the growth of the 25 or under sector. Canada, for instance, will have a drastic increase of the 100-year-old plus sector in the next 20 years.  China is experiencing the impact of its one-child policy in the 70s. Both these countries are working hard to relieve the burden of care for their aging communities.  This workshop will review some field observations (eldercare in long term care homes and  in the community) in Canada and in China from the last two decades, through the lens of a holistic care framework proposed by H. Koenig, a Christian medical doctor and author.  This workshop hopes to stimulate insight into the various complex care issues that communities in both the East and the West are involved with.  It is also a call-out for a dream of a principle-based eldercare model, one that is closer to the heart of Christ.

Edith Chen holds a Master of Social Work and a Master of Theological Studies degree. She served as a geriatric social worker in Canada (Toronto) from 1994-2017, assisting seniors with special needs to live independently in their own homes while helping to transition some of them to supportive facilities.   Edith is the founder of Enoch Society for Care of the Aging that has the vision and mission of bringing holistic care to aging communities in need.  Her field work includes work in the Greater Toronto Area as well as some rural villages in China.

After selecting your 3 workshops please go to the registration site HERE

If a Personal Support Worker (PSW) will be attending with you, or if you have special needs or concerns, please contact us at agingconference2019@gmail.com


LUNCH MENU

Montréal spicy chicken meal

Braised beef brisket in tomato sauce 

Vegetable salad with vinegar dressing

Rice and spaghetti

2 vegetable spring rolls

Chocolate mousse cake square

Coffee/ Hong Kong style Milk tea/ Hot water

Lunch and Refreshments are provided by the Café Beyond Vision at the 105 Gibson Cultural Café.  It is part of the Joy Beyond Vision Community (JBVC) vocational training program. In partnership with 105 Gibson Centre, the Café provides unique and meaningful employment combined with vocational training opportunities for those who live with visual impairment! Café Beyond Vision | Operated by Visually Impaired People (VIP).

Lunch-options: Register for on-site lunch, bring your own or go out to local restaurant. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate dietary restrictions.


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