The Vermont Aging Network: Providing support where health happens, at home and in the community

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The Vermont Aging Network: Providing support where health happens, at home and in the community

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 12:00am -- katie

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging (V4A) and the Vermont Association of Senior Centers and Meal Providers (VASCAMP) will co-host the second annual Aging in Vermont 2018 Conference in Killington, Vermont on October 26th.

The theme of the day-long event this year is healthy living, starting with keynote speaker, Sandy Markwood, CEO of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Ms. Markwood will speak on how the U.S. health care system is in the midst of a dramatic change as focus shifts from delivering volume to improving outcomes and value for patients.  Ms. Markwood will emphasize that there is also another shift going on—the shift from medical-based clinical care to a recognition of the value of home and community-based services and supports. The medical establishment is realizing what the Aging Network knew all along: for most people, health happens at home and in the community.  And it’s the home that the Aging Network is invited into! Ms. Markwood will share new and exciting opportunities that are emerging for the Aging Network to partner with the health care system to promote healthy aging.  Ms. Markwood will help us to understand new developments in Medicaid, Medicare and Older Americans Act programs that can support the health and well-being of older adults in communities across Vermont.

With Vermont ranking as the second oldest state in the country, the increasing aging demographic is expected to improve the position of aging services and health care in the state economy. “This conference brings together like-minded participants and ingenious collaborators to enhance our knowledge and improve our communities for older Vermonters to be healthy. We are looking for a fabulous turn-out of participants and sponsors for our 2nd Annual Conference”, reports Janet Hunt, Executive Director of the Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging. “There is something for everyone who cares about healthy aging. This will prove to be one of the best conferences in Vermont!”

The conference will host ten valuable presentations. Some of these include:

Tai Chi--Fall Prevention with presenters Anne Bower, Laurie Knauer, Mary West, Larry Walter, Meredith Tips-McClaine, and Susan Williams who will share the clinical evidence supporting tai chi's benefits for fall prevention and other health issues with short tai chi demonstrations. The participants at the conference will gain a vivid sense of tai chi's direct impacts on healthy aging.

The Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Ending Abuse in Later Life with presenters Joann Erenhouse, Sargeant Jennifer Frank, Abby Tassel, Julie Gaudette, Gary Schall showing a model of inter-agency collaboration that will provide tools to protect and reduce victim trauma as agencies work collaboratively across traditional silos to end elder abuse.

Process, Policitics & Power presented by Representative Theresa Wood, Representative Daniel Noyes and Falko Schilling of Action Circles. They will discuss policy and strategies about how older Vermonters can use our power for positive change, how the legislative process works, how to track bills, and when is the best time to make your voice heard.

Writing Our Way Through Caregiving presented by Barb Asen, Family Caregiver Support Coordinator of the Central Vermont Council on Aging will provide an interactive session for all caregivers, regardless of situation or creative writing experience. Participants will explore an array of writing prompts and tools to support and enliven the caregiving journey. Some laughter guaranteed.

Partnering with USDA Rural Development to Make Homes Safe and Accessible with presenters Patricia Tedesco and Deborah Boyd who will share an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as it relates to ramps and bathroom modifications; learn how to access federal, state and local dollars to help fund access modifications; learn about the USDA's 504 program to help very low-income persons, older adults and people who experience disabilities.

Other breakout sessions at the conference include topics on nutrition for older Vermonters, Senior Centers without Walls, Reframing Aging and Aging in Place without Isolation. The conference will also feature our sponsors and exhibitors such as the Department of Disabilities and Independent Living; VNAs of Vermont, TLC HomeCare, Green Mountain Support Services, Bayada Home Health Care, Vermont Veteran’s Home and many more. Sponsorships help to reduce the cost of the conference for those who may not otherwise be able to attend.


For information about becoming a sponsor, early registration for the conference and entering our photo contest, please visit

Janet Hunt is the Executive Director of the Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging (V4A). V4A’s five non-profit agencies located throughout Vermont respond to the needs and directions of older Vermonters and their families by offering information and assistance in many areas. For more information, check-out the website at