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Focus on Aging: Federal Partners’ Webinar Series

This webinar series addresses important topics for public health and health care professionals, aging services organizations, the research community, and other stakeholders in aging. The series is a joint project of nine of the federal agencies that support the health and wellness of older adults in the U.S.: the Administration for Community Living, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Indian Health Service, the National Institute on Aging, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition to general topics of interest for older adults and those who work with them, each webinar will include information specific to individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, as well as their caregivers.

Past Webinars

June 2023: Resilience in Dementia Caregiving

Monday, June 5th, 2023, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. ET

Caregivers provide indispensable support to those who live with dementia. They help to meet the medical and functional needs of these individuals, while also maintaining commitments to work, family, community, and their own health. Many caregivers provide support on an unpaid basis, often over extended periods of time. Caregiving for a person living with dementia requires resilience – a capacity to adapt and persevere in the face of stress. In light of the growing prevalence of dementia in the United States and the necessity of dementia caregiving, research on caregiver resilience is critical, as are practical tools and strategies for building resilience among dementia caregivers. This webinar will feature the latest research on resilience in dementia caregiving and provide real-world insights from dementia caregivers who are helping others to learn about resilience.

Presentations and Speakers:

  • From Despair to Resilience: The Four Lessons I Learned From Being My Mom's Mom
    Loretta Veney, Author and Inspirational Speaker
  • Developing a Behavioral Framework of Resilience in Dementia Care Partners
    Yuanjin Zhou, Assistant Professor, Steve Hicks School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin
  • Resilience in Dementia Caregiving: A Research Perspective
    Fawn Cothran, Hunt Research Director, National Alliance for Caregiving
  • Bringing Light to Younger-Onset Dementia
    Diana Shulla Cose, Founding Executive Director, Lorenzo’s House

September 2022: COVID-19

Friday, September 9th, 2022, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Aging is a known risk factor for COVID-19, making older adults susceptible not only to infection, but to adverse post-COVID outcomes. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have investigated how age influences both COVID-19 risk and recovery, including among older adults in underserved communities. This webinar will explore such findings related to aging and COVID-19, highlighting the vulnerability of older adults to SARS-CoV-2 infection and to potential longer-term sequelae such as “brain fog,” as well as to the onset and/or progression of cognitive decline and dementia. Importantly, the webinar will also address the impact of the pandemic on the health and well-being of older adults in underserved communities.

Presentations and Speakers:

  • COVID-19 and Aging
    Peter Briss, MD, MPH, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Well-Being of Older Adults from Underserved Communities
    Maria Marquine, PhD, Duke University
  • Longitudinal Trajectories of Cognitive and Functional Recovery After Severe COVID-19
    Jennifer Frontera, MD, New York University Langone Health
  • COVID-19 and Dementia: Translating Findings from the Initial NYC Wave into Longitudinal Studies of Cognitive Aging
    James Noble, MD, MS, CPH, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  • COVID-19 and Long COVID in Long-Term Care Settings
    John Morley, MD, Professor Emeritus, Saint Louis University

March 2022: Dementia Risk Reduction

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. ET

While we don’t yet know for certain what, if anything, can prevent dementia, there are several modifiable risk factors that may lower the chances of developing the disease or delay its onset, while also promoting healthy aging. This webinar will explore the latest scientific advances on risk reduction and the importance of the inclusion of risk reduction as a national priority. Presenters will share actions that can be taken by public health professionals, health care providers, and community service organizations. The cross-cutting theme of social determinants of health will be addressed within each presentation.

Presentations and Speakers:

  • The 2021 National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias and the New Risk Reduction Goal
    Tisamarie Sherry, MD, PhD, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
  • Reducing Dementia Risk by Increasing Resilience: Exercise for the Body, Exercise for the Brain
    Laura Baker, PhD, Wake Forest University School of Medicine
  • Enlisting Public Health in the Fight to Address Dementia Risk Factors: The Public Health Center of Excellence
    Matthew Baumgart, Alzheimer’s Association
  • Preventing Dementia through Cardiometabolic Health Promotion
    Ann Marie Navar, MD, PhD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
  • Targeting Dementia Services and Supports to Populations with Social and Economic Needs
    Donald Smith, Texas Healthy at Home

September 2021: End-of-Life Care

Thursday, September 30th, 2021, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. ET

End-of-life care is a term used to describe support and medical care given during the time of life preceding death. Care at the end of life can include support for physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs. For those living with dementia, end-of-life care entails unique considerations in these domains, which are critical to maximizing quality of life. The September 2021 Focus on Aging: Federal Partners’ Webinar will delve deeply into the topic of end-of-life care for those living with dementia.

Presentations and Speakers:

  • Evidence- and Goal-Based Decision-Making in Dementia at the End of Life
    Susan Mitchell, MD, MPH, Harvard Medical School, Hebrew SeniorLife, Marcus Institute for Aging Research
  • Maximizing Quality of Life in Dementia: A Palliative Approach
    Maisha T. Robinson, MD, MS, Mayo Clinic Florida
  • Palliative Care for Dementia in Action: A Real-World Case
    Maribeth Gallagher, DNP, FAAN, Hospice of the Valley
  • Partnering Staff and Families to Enhance Advance Care Planning for VA Community Living Center Residents with Dementia
    Joan Carpenter, PhD, CRNP, ACHPN, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center
  • Walking On: Indigenous Perspectives on End of Life
    J. Neil Henderson, PhD, Department of Family Medicine & Biobehavioral Health, University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus

May 2021: Communicating Dementia Risk Information

Thursday, May 20th, 2021, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET

If a test could tell the risk of dementia, who would want to know — and how? Certain imaging scans, genetic tests, and even blood tests are increasingly able to signal whether a person may be at higher risk of developing dementia. However, these test results are not always clear cut. Researchers and clinicians have been investigating what such results may mean and the best ways to communicate them to patients and research participants. Knowing these results may be beneficial, particularly in terms of planning and potential intervention, but could have other implications. This webinar will explore the issue of disclosure in detail, including for diverse populations, focusing on the science of dementia risk, legal and ethical issues involving disclosure, and communication frameworks for disclosure.

Presentations and Speakers:

  • Why Risk Information Matters: One Participant’s Perspective
    Cynthia Huling Hummel, MDiv, DMin
  • Using Dementia Risk Information: Now and Future Directions
    Suzanne Schindler, MD, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
  • Legal and Ethical Considerations
    Emily Largent, JD, PhD, RN, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Components of Risk Communication
    Jennifer Lingler, PhD, MA, CRNP, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing
    Doris Zallen, PhD, Virginia Tech
  • Communicating Dementia Risk in Diverse Cohorts and Clinical Populations
    Jill Goldman, MS, MPhil, CGC, Columbia University Medical Center
    Gladys Maestre, MD, PhD, The University of Texas Rio Grande School of Medicine

February 2021: Workforce to Support the Needs of Older Adults

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021, 2:00 — 3:30 p.m. ET

Workforce development is challenging under the best of circumstances. Preparing a workforce that can meet the changing needs of older adults and persons living with dementia is particularly complicated, but more necessary than ever. This webinar offered workforce strategies and insights to help meet the unique care needs of older adults, including those living with dementia and those in diverse and underserved populations. Experts from across the United States offered their perspectives on this critical area of research and practice.

Presentations and Speakers:

  • Public Health and Medical Dementia Workforce Strategies and Challenges
    James T. Pacala, MD, MS, and Joseph E. Gaugler, PhD, University of Minnesota
  • Training the Nation’s Nursing Home Workforce using Project ECHO
    Sanjeev Arora, MD, MACP, FACG, University of New Mexico
  • Dementia Health Care/Service Workforce Needs in Indian Country
    Blythe S. Winchester, MD, MPH, CMD, Cherokee Indian Hospital

September 2020: Social Isolation and Loneliness

Monday, September 28th, 2020, 2:00 — 3:30 p.m. ET

Human beings are social creatures, thriving on connections with others. These connections can help to reduce social isolation and loneliness and lower risk for a variety of physical and mental health conditions. This webinar focused on how social isolation and loneliness affect older adults’ health and well-being, particularly amid the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar also addressed social isolation and loneliness in the context of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, emphasized the impact of health disparities, and provided information on potential interventions and mitigating technologies.

Presentations and Speakers:

  • Social Isolation & Loneliness: Interrelationships with Health & Well-Being in Older Adults
    Louise Hawkley, PhD, NORC at the University of Chicago
  • Social Isolation and Loneliness Among Older Adults During COVID-19
    Ashwin Kotwal, MD, MS, University of California San Francisco
    Carla Perissinotto, MD, MHS, University of California San Francisco
  • Managing Symptoms of Dementia, Maintaining Function, and Accessing Services During Isolation
    Sheria G. Robinson-Lane, PhD, RN, University of Michigan School of Nursing
  • Identifying and Serving People Living Alone with Dementia
    Don Smith, Area Agency on Aging at United Way of Tarrant County
  • I-CONECT Project: Using Video Chat to Reduce Social Isolation and Improve Cognitive Health
    Hiroko Dodge, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University

May 2020: Supporting Older Adults in Emergencies: Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

Wednesday, May 13, 2020, 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET


  1. Samir Sinha, MD, DPhil, FRCPC, Sinai Health
  2. Margaret Sanders, MA, LSW, Northeast Ohio Medical University
  3. Jeffrey Klein, FACHE, Nevada Senior Services
  4. Kathryn Hyer, PhD, MPP, University of South Florida
  5. Nia Reed, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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