Aging experts from across the U.S. to speak at Optimal Aging Conference

    Presenter Stan Craig at the 2019 Optimal Aging Conference
    Presenter Stan Craig at the 2019 Optimal Aging Conference

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Experts on aging from across the United States will share their knowledge at the fourth Optimal Aging Conference, hosted by the University of Louisville Trager Institute and the Kentucky Association for Gerontology. With an emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches, the 2021 Optimal Aging Conference offers educational and networking opportunities for health care, social service and technology professionals, as well as older adults and their caregivers.

    “Our strong line-up of speakers, breakout sessions and poster sessions is not to be missed for anyone working in the aging field or who has interest in inspiring our understanding of aging,” said Anna Faul, Ph.D., executive director of the Trager Institute. “After having to cancel last year’s event, we are excited to bring back the Optimal Aging Conference this year on a virtual platform that allows for an incredibly rich and engaging experience.”

    The 2021 conference, scheduled for April 18-20, will feature experts in aging, dementia and Alzheimer’s research, innovation and public health and will be held virtually.

    “The 2021 Optimal Aging Conference will provide outstanding resources, inspiring ideas and continuing education for Kentucky’s aging service professionals,” said Anne Wildman of the Kentucky Association of Gerontology. “The conference is a great opportunity for networking and professional development.”

    2021 Optimal Aging Conference topics and speakers:

    Aging Inspired in Kentucky: Directions in Aging Policy (Panel Discussion)

    • Sandy Markwood, CEO, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
    • Eric Friedlander, acting secretary, Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services
    • Lindsey Hix, deputy director, Office of Senior Protection & Mediation, Office of the Kentucky Attorney General
    • Victoria Elridge, commissioner, Department for Aging and Independent Living

    A Community Network Approach to Health

    • Eric Feigl-Ding, Ph.D., chief health economist, MicroClinic International; faculty member, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston

    Ending the Alzheimer’s Pandemic

    • Dale Bredesen, M.D., professor, UCLA; founding president and professor emeritus, Buck Institute for Research on Aging; author of New York Times bestseller, The End of Alzheimer’s

    AARP Keynote: Examining the 50-plus Experience During COVID-19

    • David Wolf, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Health and Aging Services Leadership, Bellarmine University

    Alzheimer’s Update

    • Gregory Jicha, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and director, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky

    Guided by the theme “Aging Inspired,” conference attendees also will hear from experts on how to prevent financial elder abuse, national programs and arts activism counteracting ageism, programs for caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, the future impacts of artificial intelligence and robotics in senior care, trauma-informed care of older adults, international evidence-based falls programs, lifestyle medicine nutrition and more.

    Register through April 16. Contact Kelly Nason at kelly.nason@louisville.eduor Barbara Gordon at for more information.



    CHANGE NOTE:  AARP keynote speaker and topic changed 3/18/2021

    Betty Coffman
    Betty Coffman is a Communications Coordinator focused on research and innovation at UofL. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing.