Kentucky is spotlighting healthy aging as host of a major regional conference and with a Capitol rotunda display with contributions from senior centers from across the state.
Kentucky will host this year’s annual conference of the Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging (SE4A) Sept. 30 through Oct. 3 in Louisville.
SE4a is a nonprofit coalition of nine southern states that allows representatives to convene on national and regional issues facing Area Agencies on Aging attempting to establish viable programs for older adults. SE4a Member states include Kentucky, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) Director of Social Services Barbara Gordon is chairwoman of the conference.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Louisville and Kentucky to host a major conference attracting international leaders in the aging field,” Gordon said. “The SE4A Conference allows Louisville to highlight our leadership in aging as well as bring in the latest insights from professionals and practitioners from across the region.”
The SE4A conference provides a forum for professionals in the aging field to share information, network with other professionals and agencies, and to improve professional skills and competencies. This year’s theme is “Aging to Perfection,” a play on Kentucky’s booming bourbon industry, said DAIL Commissioner Shannon Gadd.
“People know Kentucky for bourbon, but they may not know what a vibrant community of older adults we have throughout the Commonwealth,” Gadd said. “As host of the SE4A conference, Kentucky will offer a central network for those in the aging services field to find new resources and collaborators.”
Gadd said September is National Senior Center Month, and also Bourbon Heritage Month.
As part of the SE4A conference, Kentucky’s senior centers were invited to decorate a bourbon barrel top that will be part of the conference’s silent auction, benefitting the SE4A’s education efforts.
Gadd said 53 barrel tops were completed, and that while some focus on the natural beauty of aging, most celebrate what is unique about each region.
“We are so excited to show off the incredible talents of Kentuckians who are 60+,” she said. “Each of these is a work of art.”
The barrel tops will be on display in the capitol rotunda from Sept. 24-28, and then they will relocate to the conference.
Information on healthy aging month activities can be found at https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dail/Pages/aaail.aspx. Conference registration is available at https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07effxxyou37a83001&oseq=&c=&ch.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Department of Aging and Independent Living (DAIL), KIPDA, the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency, the fifteen Kentucky Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living, and the Institute for Sustainable Health and Optimal Aging are coordinating the event.
Learn more about DAIL and other CHFS programs at chfs.ky.gov.