Catholic Charities’ Healthy Aging Conference Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- Catholic Charities presents the sixth annual Healthy Aging Conference on Thursday, Oct. 13, at the new All Saints Neighborhood Main Street, 503 Commerce Dr., in Madison.

The daylong conference is devoted to helping seniors, adult children, and professionals who work with older adults become familiar with the scope of alternatives that lead to positive, healthy aging, and introduce them to organizations they can turn to for support.

Keynote presentation

Dr. Shilagh Mirgain, health psychologist at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, kicks-off the conference with a keynote presentation, “How to Thrive in Changing Times.”

Stress, life’s changes, and challenges can cause one to disconnect from passions and purpose. Drawing from mindfulness and mind-body medicine, one will learn skills and simple practices to cultivate greater well-being and happiness.

Mirgain is a frequent contributor to WMTV-15 News, Wisconsin Public Radio, and was recently featured on the TODAY show presenting skills to cultivate well-being and greater happiness. She is an accomplished researcher and trainer in the field of Mindfulness Meditation.

Morning panel

Healthy Mind All Around — People cope with change in a variety of ways. The impact of change on older individuals — family, friends, health, living situation, retirement — can be a real challenge. Panelists will share their expertise and ideas, and participants may ask questions during an extensive question and answer session.

Panelists include: Dr. Heidi Beckman, health psychologist and specialist at UW Health specializing in managing change, coping with chronic illness, dealing with depression and anxiety in older adults; Cheri Milton, an educator and grief counselor with Agrace HospiceCare; Kimberly Mueller, assistant researcher with the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute reporting the current findings and future directions in Alzheimer’s prevention research.

Afternoon panel

Getting Better with Age — Explore ways to lessen impact that physical changes have on one’s happiness, participation in their community, and social interactions.

Panelists include: Janet Bollig, medical social worker with Home Health United, talking about chronic disease management; Sara Koenig, Elder Nutrition Program manager with the State of Wisconsin Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources addressing the role of nutrition in maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle; and Dr. Janice Singles, health psychologist and practitioner at UW Health Pain Management, presenting ideas on non-medicinal pain management.

Panel facilitator is Carol Koby, host of All About Living and Living Minutes (AM 1550).

Afternoon sessions

Concurrent afternoon sessions (following the afternoon panel) include:

• Elder Law with Brenda Haskins, Haskins Short LLC, who practices in the areas of estate planning, guardianship, Medicaid planning, elder law, and probate.

• Mediterranean Diet with Donna Weihofen, retired clinical nutritionist at UW Hospital and Clinics, whose expertise centers on the role of food and nutrition in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, and age-related eye diseases. Weihofen was a lecturer in the UW School of Nursing, author of The Cancer Survival Cookbook and The Easy-to-Swallow & Easy-to-Chew Cookbook, and is a frequent guest on WISC-TV.

• Information booths from local non-profits and businesses that serve the older community will be available for attendees to visit.

Early bird registration is currently open online at

Registration for adults 65+ or students with ID is $30, and service providers and professionals, $65.

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